12 July 19
Votes have been tallied and a fresh crop of legendary riders will once again be forever enshrined in surfing’s history books on August 1, 2019 at 10:00am in Huntington Beach, California.
Through a selection ballot, a host of respected surf industry veterans, former professionals, current inductees and surf journalists narrowed down a field of hundreds of candidates to name the 2019 Surfing Walk of Fame’s honorees in their respective categories: Derek Ho & Joel Tudor(Surf Champion), Reynolds “Renny” Yater(Surf Pioneer), Jeff Divine & Art Brewer(Surf Culture), Courtney Conlogue(Woman of the Year), Sam Hawk(Local Hero) and Don MacAllister(Honor Roll).
Celebrating 26 consecutive years of honoring surf legends, the Surfing Walk of Fame is the only tribunal in surfing to award specific categories as well as require a 10-year margin since the commemorating achievement. This year’s recipients will be cemented alongside past inductees, earning their immortal place in the pavement on the corner of PCH and Main Street, directly across from the famous pier in Surf City USA — Huntington Beach, California.
“We consider it a privilege to have spent the last 25 years recognizing those in the world of surfing who impacted not only the sport, but the culture,” said John Eitheridge, Surfing Walk of Fame Chairman of the Board. “We’ve seen champion surfers, both men and women, surf-culture icons who’ve created and nurtured brands, local heroes who’ve given Surf City its soul and true pioneers who’ve ushered the sport from backstreet to Main Street. All are to be thanked and all are to be revered. Their names are forever etched into our collective conscience.”
Headlining the group in the Surf Champion category is Hawaii’s first World Champion, a two-time Pipeline Master and four-time Triple Crown winner Derek Ho. At the ripe old age of 54, Ho, remarkably, is still out charging Pipe alongside his fellow Surf Champion inductee Joel Tudor. Boasting a black belt in jujitsu, Tudor is a two-time World Longboard Champion and eight-time winner of the U.S. Open of Longboarding.
Earning the Women of the Year induction is H.B. Pier regular and World Surf League stalwart Courtney Conlogue. She’s finished runner-up to the World Title twice in her young career and also boasts two U.S. Open titles. Conlogue recently won her third Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach crown, taking that event victory three of the past four years.
Legendary California shaper Renny Yater will be commemorated in the Surf Pioneer category. After apprenticing at Hobie and Velzy Surfboards, Yater moved north and founded Yater Surfboards as well as the Santa Barbara Surf Shop. In 1964, he introduced the Yater Spoon, one of the lightest, thinnest and most maneuverable boards of that era.
A duo of iconic lensmen will share the honors for the always-colorful Surf Culture plaque. Jeff Divine and Art Brewer, both considered masters of surf photography, will have their legacy cemented on Main Street. And former Huntington Beach Mayor and longtime Surfing Walk of Fame Chairman of the Board Don MacAllister will be recognized in the Honor Roll category. While Huntington-native-turned-big-wave-hellman Sam Hawk earns the Local Hero achievement.
“The Board of Directors of the Surfing Walk of Fame are honored to recognize and celebrate these heroes of our culture,” Etheridge said. “This year's induction class is an exceptional one. The championships won by Joel Tudor and Derek Ho have defined the sport over combined decades. Our own Courtney Conlogue has proven, year after year, her prowess the world over; with wins in a dozen different countries. Artists Art Brewer and Jeff Divine have brought — not only to us, but also to those not in the lineup — the power and wonder of the sea.
"Renny Yater’s shapes and innovations defined surfing for over 60 years and his passion for all things water have made him a living legend. Surfer and shaper Sam Hawk has impacted the sport with innovation and passion and still today has his handprint firmly on the culture of Surf City. Then there’s Don MacAllister, the Mayor. His vision, along with that of both Mike Abdelmouti and Peter ‘PT’ Townend, and his passion for giving back to Surf City has sustained the efforts of the Surfing Walk of Fame for 25 years.
“To each and every one, we say mahalo,” Etheridge said. “To each and every one, we tip our collective straw hats. To each and every one, we say welcome to your new Ohana; a family of legends etched in stone.”
Here are the voting criterions used to decide each division:
SURF CHAMPION – Nominees must have held a world championship and/or world-class event titles specific to Huntington Beach.
SURF PIONEER – Nominees achieved surfing fame as a respected surfer or pioneer in the time before major championship; candidates must either be at least 50 years old or deceased.
SURF CULTURE – Inductees are nominated from the arts and/or industry, and must have helped create and define surfing culture.
WOMAN OF THE YEAR – Any female who meets the qualification in any of the four categories: surf champion, surfing culture, local hero, or surfing pioneer.
LOCAL HERO – Nominees must have resided in Huntington Beach for at least 10 years, graduated from Huntington Union School District, been a finalist in the surf champion category, contributed to Huntington surfing culture, been a surfing pioneer in the city or a past champion at the annual Huntington Beach City Championships.
HONOR ROLL – Recipients of the honor roll award deserve recognition du to their important contributions to the sport of surfing and its culture, but hey do not qualify under the specific guidelines of the other five walk of fame categories. The honor roll is the only category chose by the Walk of Fame Board of Directors.
This year’s honorary induction ceremony will take place during the U.S. Open of Surfing outside of Jack’s Surfboards in Huntington Beach at 10:00am on Thursday, August 1, 2019.
Past recipients of the Surfing Walk of Fame honors include Duke Kahanamoku, Kelly Slater, Lisa Anderson, Tom Curren, Bruce Brown, Eddie Aikau, Shaun Tomson, Mark Richards, Gerry Lopez, Layne Beachley and more.
- Author: Mike Cianciulli, Walk of Fame Huntington Beach