Surfer’s Hall of Fame
Image Source: www.surfcityusa.com
Located on the beautiful palm tree-lined sidewalks of Main Street and the Pacific Coast Highway, is a great tribute to surfing culture in the world, the Surfer’s Walk of Fame. It’s near the International Surfing Museum in sunny Huntington Beach, Orange County, California. Mimicking the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, this beautiful salute to surfers past has stood for almost 27 years. The beautiful red pavement, interrupted with a gray slab, is a beautiful memorial to surfing culture. It is one of the most sought-after honors in the surfing world. The wide pavement holds three slabs in a row at its widest and two at its narrowest. Each slab is engraved with the name of the honored surfer. It also has the date it was engraved on and the hand and footprints of the inductee.
Surfer’s Hall of Fame History
Under the gaze of the international press, the Surfing Hall of Fame was first dedicated in May 1994. Its founding was accredited to Don MacAllister. Mr. MacAllister and five other surfers, along with a benefactor from Jack’s Surfboards got together to mail out over 200 ballots to the surf industry. They set standards and brought their dream of a Walk of Fame to reality. The Walk is sponsored by Jack’s Surfboards, Golden Road Brewing, Vans, and the World Surf League (WSL). The Walk was dedicated to the “Father of Modern Surfing”, Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku. The Duke was born on August 24, 1890, in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is Popularised by his 1912 and 1920 Olympic Swimming. He brought the modern sport of surfing into the light for the world to see, and for his efforts, has the privilege of being one of the first granite slabs on the Walk. A statue has also been dedicated to the Duke, one that overlooks the walk.
Hall of Fame Induction
Every year, a veteran and experienced board compile a list of qualified possible inductees to the Walk. Intensive research is carried out while compiling this list, with the help of media outlets, surf associations, museums, and magazines. The list is always divided into five of the following categories:
Category 1(Surf Pioneer): Inductees in this list must be either above 50 years old or should be deceased, and have contributed to surfing meaningfully before the time of major championships.
Category 2(Surf Champion): Inductees must have a World Title in Surfing specific to Surf City.
Category 3(Woman of the Year): Inductees are the women who receive the most votes from all the other categories.
Category 4(Surf Culture): Inductees must have contributed to surfing culture significantly from the arts or administrative fields.
Category 5(Local Hero): Inductees must have resided in Huntington Beach for at least 10 years and must have qualified for one other category.
This comprehensive list is then distributed to 200 international surfing authorities, who cast their votes to decide which candidate will receive the honor of being inducted.
Famous inductees into the walk of fame include Tom Blake (1994), Mark Richards (1994), Rell Sunn (1996), Jim Jenks (2017), and Ben Aipa (2019).
So if you’re somewhere in Surf City, make sure you take a picture with your favorite slab.