Surfers’ Hall of Fame Honors Rusty Preisendorfer

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – Rusty Preisendorfer, one of the industry’s most prolific and forward-thinking shapers/entrepreneurs and whose iconic R-dot boards are ridden by the world’s elite surfers, is among the 2014 inductees to the Surfers’ Hall of Fame.  Rusty joins with Timmy Turner, the filmmaker and modern-day inspiration who overcame a virulent staph infection to return to the water and his craft, in the Friday, August 1st ceremony at 10 a.m.

Rick “Rockin’ Fig” Fignetti and David Stanfield will emcee the event while Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper will provide a special welcome to attendees. In the middle of an exciting world title chase, Carissa Moore, this year’s other inductee, will have a special ceremony held in her honor on Friday, July 25 at 10 a.m.

“Rusty Preisendorfer is a great surfer, a great waterman and a Legendary Shaper,” said Surfers’ Hall of Fame Founder Aaron Pai.  “Rusty perfected the modern thruster as we know it, has always been a major leader in Surfboard technology and innovation…. Most of all though…Rusty Preisendorfer is just a fun person to be around and a super nice guy!  We are very honored and excited to induct Rusty Preisendorfer into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame!”

Nicknamed the “Stradivarious” of shapers due to his reputation for quality and innovation, Rusty was born in Los Angeles to a research mathematician (his father worked at Scripps) and an occupational therapist.  He became a Windansea local at a fresh six weeks of age and eventually entered  shaping during a groundbreaking era with influences that included Dick Brewer, Mike Hynson and Skip Frye.  While attending the University of California at San Diego, he spent his initial stint shaping for Gordon and Smith. Exploring Australia in 1974, he garnered his first serious exposure when Rabbit Bartholomew purchased one of his 8-foot guns.

Starting to gain a solid reputation in the business, he launched his own company the same year — Music Surfboards. T he late ’70s proved a pivotal time, as Rusty shaped for a growing San Diego-based manufacturer called Canyon Surfboards and worked with a reputable stable of world-class riders including David Barr, Randy and Wes Laine, Peter Townend, Shaun Tomson and Ian Cairns.

In 1985 Rusty left Canyon and launched Rusty Surfboards.  The iconic R-dot logo boards were ridden by more than half the world’s Top 16 surfers at the time and Rusty was the most in-demand shaper anywhere.  He launched a full line of clothing in 1988, growing the business into  one of the industry’s largest-grossing companies and helped launch the careers of Serena Brooke, Pat O’Connell and CJ and Damien Hobgood.  After selling the clothing side of Rusty in 2007, he renewed his focus on making surfboards, experimenting with every type of post-Clark construction from sandwiches to epoxies to parabolics.

As a shaper, Preisendorfer deserves credit for perfecting the modern thruster as we know it. Subtle variations are all that separate the current standard from his early ’80s models.  The boxy rails that are so commonplace today were the benchmark of Occy’s boards during his phenomenal run as a teenager.

Surfer ranked Preisendorfer fifth on a 2002 list of the “25 Most Powerful People in Surfing” while Surfing magazine named him one of the “10 Best Shapers of All Time,” in 2004 and their “Shaper of the Year” in 2008 for his command of the myriad technologies.  SIMA will honor Rusty for his extensive impact on the surfing world with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Waterman’s Ball.

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony pays tribute to those individuals who have made an indelible mark on the sport, industry and culture of surfing.  Annually, tens of thousands of visitors travel to Huntington Beach’s downtown area and literally walk in the footsteps of surfing superstars and legends from several eras including Laird Hamilton, Andy Irons, Jack O’Neill, Robert August, Bob Hurley, Sean Collins, Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Pat O’Connell, Al Merrick, Shaun Tomson, Rob Machado, Skip Frye and Rabbit Kekai, who are already immortalized in cement.

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony is open to the public, free-of-charge.  Further information is available at http://hsssurf.com/shof/.

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Press Contacts: Mike Kingsbury, Jennifer Hernandez, Cortney Long, MKM
Mike@teammkm.com; Jennifer@teammkm.com; Cortney@teammkm.com

(714) 375-2188

Credits: Surfline.com, Encyclopedia of Surfing and Mike Kingsbury, MKM

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World Title Chase Necessitates Separate Surfers’ Hall of Fame Ceremony For Carissa Moore on Friday, July 25, 2014

Timmy Turner and Rusty Preisendorfer to be inducted at “traditional” August 1st ceremony which showcases Rockin’ Fig as emcee and a special welcome by Mayor Matthew Harper

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – In the middle of an exciting world title chase, 2014 Surfers’ Hall of Fame inductee Carissa Moore will have a special ceremony held in her honor on Friday, July 25 at 10 a.m.  The tentative schedule for the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, an ASP Women’s World Tour event, shows Carissa paddling out for a heat at the time she would be inducted, hence the “early” ceremony one week prior to the more traditional event.  Bob Hurley, founder of Hurley, will be presenting the Surfers’ Hall of Fame Trophy to Carissa Moore and speaking at the July 25 ceremony.

Timmy Turner and Rusty Preisendorfer, this year’s other inductees, will be honored on Friday, August 1st as originally scheduled.  Rick “Rockin’ Fig” Fignetti will emcee the main event while Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper will provide a special welcome to attendees.  It is anticipated that a dignitary will speak on Carissa Moore’s behalf.

“We are stoked and excited to honor Carissa Moore at this year’s Surfers’ Hall of Fame,” said Aaron Pai.  “Carissa is battling for another world title and we wanted to ensure that she could enjoy her own induction ceremony along with family, friends and sponsors without worrying about rushing off to the competition.  We’re pleased that she is able to join us on Friday, July 25 for a special ceremony in her honor.”

Carissa was born in 1992 in Honolulu and began riding waves with her father at age five.  In 2004 the 12 year-old began a remarkable competitive run, winning the first of four National Scholastic Surfing Association “open division” women’s titles.  She became the most decorated surfer in NSSA history with 11 national titles.

Already a two-time ASP World Champion (2011 & 2013) and two-time U.S. Open Champion (2010 & 2013), the 21 year-old was the youngest-ever winner in the prestigious Triple Crown of Surfing at age 16 and won the Surfer Poll Award for top female surfer in 2011.  In 2007, at age 14, Carissa finished second at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast ASP event, twice defeating seven-time world champ Layne Beachley.

By 2009 Moore had signed lucrative endorsement deals with Nike and Target, reportedly becoming the highest paid female surfer in the world.  She finished third on the World Tour in 2010, won the largest purse in history ($50,000 at the U.S. Open) and was named Rookie of the Year.  The following year Carissa made the finals of all six and won three of the World Tour events, dispatching four-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore on her way to the title.

Following a disappointing 2012, Moore stormed back in 2013 winning four and finishing in the top five of all eight events to secure her second world crown.  Her torrid pace continues this year where she’s already won two events and currently sits atop the leader board in the world title race.

“Carissa Moore may be one of the most gifted athletes to ever set foot on a surfboard,” said Bob Hurley.  “It was obvious, when she was only 9 years old, that she had potential to revolutionize women’s surfing.  While her fiercely competitive nature will likely lead her to more world titles….  The important thing to know is that Carissa is gifted with a heart of gold.  A  magical smile that lights up the room, and unique ability to make others feel much more important than herself.”

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony pays tribute to those individuals who have made an indelible mark on the sport, industry and culture of surfing.  Annually, tens of thousands of visitors travel to Huntington Beach’s downtown area and literally walk in the footsteps of surfing superstars and legends from several eras including Laird Hamilton, Andy Irons, Jack O’Neill, Robert August, Bob Hurley, Sean Collins, Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Pat O’Connell, Al Merrick, Shaun Tomson, Rob Machado, Skip Frye and Rabbit Kekai, who are already immortalized in cement.

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony is open to the public, free-of-charge.  Further information is available at http://hsssurf.com/shof/.

###
Press Contacts: Mike Kingsbury, Jennifer Hernandez, Cortney Long, MKM
Mike@teammkm.com; Jennifer@teammkm.com; Cortney@teammkm.com

(714) 375-2188

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The Surfers’ Hall of Fame Announces its 2014 Inductees

SURFERS’ HALL OF FAME TO INDUCT TIMMY TURNER, CARISSA MOORE & RUSTY PREISENDORFER; CEREMONY TAKES PLACE ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 1, 2014

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – Against the backdrop of Surf City’s 100 Years of Surfing celebration and the 20th Anniversary of the U.S. Open of Surfing, the Surfers’ Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2014 inductees: Timmy Turner, the filmmaker and modern-day inspiration who overcame a virulent staph infection to return to the water and his craft; Carissa Moore, the two-time world and U.S. Open Champion; and Rusty Preisendorfer, one of the industry’s most prolific and forward-thinking shapers/entrepreneurs whose iconic R-dot boards are ridden by the world’s elite surfers. The three newest inductees will have their hand and footprints immortalized in cement for the ages on Friday, August 1st at 10 a.m. in front of Huntington Surf & Sport.

“We are extremely stoked and honored to induct Timmy Turner, Carissa Moore, and Rusty Preisendorfer into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame this August,” said Surfers’ Hall of Fame founder Aaron Pai.  Brief inductee bios include:

Timmy Turner: Huntington Beach’s favorite son Timmy Turner is a living miracle.  Captain of his high school surf team and busboy at his family’s restaurant, The Sugar Shack, a surf trip to Indonesia at age 17 became the catalyst for a burgeoning filmmaking career.  Over the span of three years and numerous trips to an uninhabited Indonesian island, Timmy documented three surfers conquering epic waves on a dangerous reef, braving the elements and struggling to survive.  “Second Thoughts” won Movie of the Year at the 2004 SURFER Poll and Video Awards, putting Turner on the map.  His next film, “The Tsunami Diaries,” which documented relief efforts in Indonesia, may have contributed to an aggressive staph infection that attacked Turner’s brain in December 2005.  After six different brain surgeries, losing most of his skull and spending more than a month in the intensive-care unit of Hoag Memorial Hospital, Timmy survived but was forced to recalculate his life.  His next

film, “Cold Thoughts,” was a tribute to his journey: hospitalization, rehab, recovery and lifestyle changes to ward off future infections, including a ban on trips to tropical climates.  Six years in the making, Timmy and crew sought surf in remote and frigid spots in Canada, Chile, Iceland and Alaska to film “Cold Thoughts”.  In late 2013 the father of five was finally allowed by doctors and family to make his return to the place and waves he loves so much: a dry left hander in Indonesia.

Carissa Moore: Hawaiian Carissa Moore is setting the pro surfing world on fire.  Already a two-time ASP World Champion (2011 & 2013) and two-time U.S. Open Champion (2010 & 2013), the 21 year-old was the youngest-ever winner in the prestigious Triple Crown of Surfing at age 16 and won the Surfer Poll Award for top female surfer in 2011.  Carissa was born in 1992 in Honolulu and began riding waves with her father at age five.  In 2004 the 12 year-old began a remarkable competitive run, winning the first of four National Scholastic Surfing Association “open division” women’s titles.  She became the most decorated surfer inNSSA history with 11 national titles.  In 2007, at age 14, Carissa finished second at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast ASP event, twice defeating seven-time world champ Layne Beachley.  By 2009 Moore had signed lucrative endorsement deals with Nike and Target, reportedly becoming the highest paid female surfer in the world.  She finished third on the World Tour in 2010, won the largest purse in history ($50,000 at the U.S. Open) and was named Rookie of the Year.  The following year Carissa made the finals of all six and won three of the World Tour events, dispatching four-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore on her way to the title.  Following a disappointing 2012, Moore stormed back in 2013 winning four and finishing in the top five of all eight events to secure her second world crown.  Her torrid pace continues this year where she’s already won two events and currently sits atop the leader board in the world title race.

Rusty Preisendorfer: Nicknamed the “Stradivarious” of shapers due to his reputation for quality and innovation, Rusty Preisendorfer’s huge impact on the sport dates to the 70s when he worked for San Diego’s Canyon Surfboards, and shaped for international stars Shaun Tomson, Ian Cairns and Peter “PT” Townend among others.  By the mid-80s his stable of riders grew to include Dave Parmenter and an up-and-coming Aussie named Mark Occhilupo, whose shortboard prototypes set the standard for the high performance thruster.  In 1985 Rusty left Canyon and launched Rusty Surfboards.  The iconic R-dot logo boards were ridden by more than half the world’s Top 16 surfers at the time and Rusty was the most in-demand shaper anywhere.  He launched a full line of clothing in 1988, growing the business into  one of the industry’s largest-grossing companies and helped launch the careers of Serena Brooke, Pat O’Connell and CJ and Damien Hobgood.  Surfer ranked Preisendorfer fifth on a 2002 list of the “25 Most Powerful People in Surfing” while Surfing magazine named him one of the “10 Best Shapers of All Time,” in 2004 and their “Shaper of the Year” in 2008 for his command of myriad technologies.  SIMA will honor Rusty for his extensive impact on the surfing world with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Waterman’s Ball.

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony pays tribute to those individuals who have made an indelible mark on the sport, industry and culture of surfing.  Annually, tens of thousands of visitors travel to Huntington Beach’s downtown area and literally walk in the footsteps of surfing superstars and legends from several eras including Laird Hamilton, Andy Irons, Jack O’Neill, Robert August, Bob Hurley, Sean Collins, Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Pat O’Connell, Al Merrick, Shaun Tomson, Rob Machado, Skip Frye and Rabbit Kekai, who are already immortalized in cement.

The nation’s first imprint collection of legendary surfers, the Surfers’ Hall of Fame celebrated its first induction in 1997 inside of specialty retailer Huntington Surf & Sport where several slabs remain.  Four years later with the blessing of the City Council and a stunning bronze statue of the sport’s spiritual leader Duke Kahanamoku serving as a backdrop, the ceremony moved outside to the corner of PCH and Main, less than 100 feet from the famed Huntington Beach Pier, site of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing.

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony is open to the public, free-of-charge.  Further information is available at http://hsssurf.com/shof/.

###

Press Contacts: Mike Kingsbury, Jennifer Hernandez, Cortney Long, MKM
Mike@teammkm.com; Jennifer@teammkm.com; Cortney@teammkm.com

(714) 375-2188

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Skip Frye

Skip Frye_Blog_300x250

“Skip Frye is one of the all-time great surfers and one of the all-time great surfboard shapers!  Skip is true surfing royalty,” said Aaron Pai, founder of the Surfers’ Hall of Fame.  “We are truly stoked to honor Skip for all he has done for our sport.”

Skip Frye was born in 1941 and began surfing at age 16 after moving with his family to the north San Diego suburb of Pacific Beach.  His birth name was Harry, but since his father was away in the military, he was assigned the task of being the “skipper” around the house and the name stuck.  His first wave riding experience came at Pacific Beach in 1958, and was the beginning of a lifelong passion that continues to this day.

By the mid-60s the shy but focused Frye had become one of California’s best competitors.  Known for his gliding, fluid style which allowed him to capture several local and national titles, Skip competed in the first Duke Kahanamoku Surfing Championships at Sunset Beach and also represented the U.S. at the World Contests in 1966 and 1968, narrowly missing the final of each occasion.   The venue for 1968 was Puerto Rico, which instantly became his favorite surf destination, thanks to its warm, idyllic surf and Latino flavor.  A photo of him from the trip appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Skip’s talents for shaping surfboards began to emerge in 1963 and within two years he was working for San Diego’s Gordon & Smith’s Surfboards; in 1966 G&S introduced the Skip Frye signature model.  Frye was riding a 9’6” board in late 1967 when he traveled to Australia with the legendary Windansea Surf Club for an American versus Australia team contest (the U.S. team got waxed by Aussies riding lighter boards).  After that trip, Skip became more interested in shorter more maneuverable boards and began experimenting with designs such as the V-bottom and Baby Gun.

He kept refining the designs and created a board he called the Egg, one of his best-known shapes.  As longboards nearly vanished overnight, Frye went with the flow, working on egg shapes and later experimenting with the Fish (his keel-fin, heavy-glassed split-tails remain in high-demand throughout So Cal).  Skip stayed with G&S until the mid-seventies and then struck out on his own to shape boards at the Green Room and at his own place called The Shack, behind Select Surf Shop in Pacific Beach.

In 1981 Skip returned to Gordon & Smith and also started competing again.  He left G&S in 1986 to join the crew at Diamond Glassing, and began shaping under his own business name, Skip Frye Surfboards.  It was here that he developed his iconic Diamond Frye Logo, a combination of wings and a diamond. In 1988 Skip and his wife Donna officially opened Skip Frye Surfboards, which was a small shaping room and front office that adjoined Windansea Surf Shop in Pacific Beach.  Skip began shaping and working on new fin configurations for longer boards, as he was a fan of the smooth glide the increased planning surface allowed. Through this work, he developed a variety of shapes, including the Eagle and Fish Simmons.

In November 1990, Skip and Donna left Windansea, moved across the street and opened Harry’s Surf Shop with longtime friend and fellow surfer/shaper Harry “Hank” Warner.  Harry’s was the namesake of not only Skip and Hank, but both their fathers and also Hank and Donna’s grandfathers.  Harry’s was not your typical surf shop; it was a combination retail store, surf museum, art gallery, shaping shop and political gathering place.  Photos of customers with their new boards lined the walls and art pieces and sculptures from local artists were prominently featured.

Skip’s career has had many twists and turns, however, he was never more energized than during the longboard revival.  ”The biggest buzz I ever had in surfing was the early ’90s when I went back to the big ones,” he recalls. “I mean the 11-footers.  The same thing happened to Duke Kahanamoku when Tom Blake reintroduced him to the 16-foot olos back in the ’30s.”
Skip’s boards have slowly become collector’s pieces often passed down through generations.  Meanwhile, Skip continues his own tireless work for surfing’s constituency by collecting and building boards, his keel-fin fish being particularly popular.  ”I feel it’s my duty to pass along the heritage of our sport,” he says with a passion.  But there’s still a long way to go, a lot of work to be done.”

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Shane Dorian

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A fearless surfer from Hawaii’s Big Island, Shane’s lengthy resume of accomplishments includes costarring in the 1998 big-wave melodrama In God’s Hands, winning the 1999 Rip Curl Bells and 2000 Billabong Pro Mundaka World Tour events, and a top 5 ASP ranking in 2000.  The wiry (5’8”, 150 pounds) Dorian was a leading “New School” aerialist in the early ‘90s, since the middle ‘90s has been one of the world’s best big-wave riders taking top prize in the 2008 and 2013 XXL Global Big Wave awards, and is a tube rider of phenomenal agility and precision.

Shane Dorian was born on July 19, 1972 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii to his father Patrick, a former Hollywood actor and stunt double for Elvis Presley, and his mother Susan, an independent, strong-willed woman who went on to compete in female bodybuilding events.  When Shane was three, his parents opened a restaurant called Dorian’s right on the beach.  Since Dorian was too young to wait tables, the long hours hanging around the restaurant soon forced him to turn to the ocean for amusement.  Along with best friend Mike Stewart, he virtually lived at the once-empty grommet breeding pool known as Banyans…on bodyboards.

Shane began surfing at age five in 1977; it took him six years to win his first contest, then another three to win the Hawaiian State titles.  Surfing education became a top priority as Dorian’s mother worked out a system where Shane would spend the second and third school quarters on the North Shore of Oahu (the peak winter season) and the first and fourth quarters back home on the Big Island.  ”The schools didn’t really understand it,” said Shane.  ”But I don’t blame ‘em. The concept of pro surfing was so foreign to them back then.”

Dorian’s official coming-out party was during the Gotcha Pro at Sandy Beach in 1987.  He beat out big names, made it through four rounds and got some media exposure.  More importantly, he became friends with a couple of the heavies and the up-and-coming surfers on Oahu, Brock Little and Todd Chesser.  With Little and Chesser leading the way and Dorian following, an informal North Shore boot camp was instated.

Shane proved in the following years he could not only keep up with the big boys but also surpass them.  But in ‘92, with a few years of heavywater experience under his belt, he followed Chesser and Little out to an outer reef during an exceptionally giant day.

“It took us, like, 45 minutes to get out there. And then when we did, we were facing these 25-foot waves with crazy cleanup sets.  I sat outside those guys for a while, but then I started getting pissed when they caught a bunch of waves,” Dorian recalls.

“About that time, the horizon went dark from this huge set and we started scratching.  I was too deep, but I wanted a wave so bad that I just flipped around and went on the first one.”  Shane launched over the falls, lost consciousness and then regained consciousness to find he could not feel his legs and was foaming at the mouth.  “I barely made it through that one, but it was a major turning point for me. As Brock said, it was the first time I realized that I was mortal.”

When he wasn’t tempting fate, Dorian engaged in much safer activities like charging Backdoor.  Surfing alongside a rapidly growing crew that included Kelly SlaterRob Machado, Chris Malloy, Taylor Knox, Benji Weatherley and Conan Hayes, Dorian helped launch a new breed of surfing that included a whole bag of anti-gravity tricks combined with traditional carving and heavy-wave charging.  Dubbed the “New School” and well documented in Taylor Steele’s videos, the New School remained the established surfing order through the 90s.

Dorian joined the ASP World Tour in 1993 where he hovered outside of the top 10 for a number of years before cracking the barrier with a fourth-place finish in 2000.  Popular among surfers and fans, Shane finished runner-up to Kelly Slater in the 2000 Surfer Magazine Readers Poll Awards and finished 2nd in the prestigious 2001 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave contest.  Shane received the coveted “Waterman of the Year” award from SIMA in 2012, one of the sport’s highest honors.  Earlier this year, Shane Dorian went home with two awards for an unbelievable barrel ride at Jaws earlier this season, winning $55,000 for the Pacifico Tube and Billabong XXL Ride of The Year.

“Shane Dorian is one of the most famous and gifted Big Wave Surfers on the Planet and a true Surfing Legend,” said Surfers’ Hall of Fame founder Aaron Pai!  “Shane continues to inspire generations of Surfers.  We are stoked to be able to thank Shane Dorian for his achievements and contributions to our Surfing World and are happy and excited that he will be here for his induction into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame!”

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Rick “Rockin’ Fig” Fignetti

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“Rick ‘Rockin Fig’ Fignetti is a home grown Huntington Beach surfing legend; one of Huntington’s finest,” said Surfers’ Hall of Fame founder Aaron Pai.  “He’s been an amazing ambassador for our sport both in and out of the water.”

For more than 20 years, the name “Rockin Fig” has been synonymous with surfing and Huntington Beach.  From his lengthy stint on KROQ FM as the resident “surfologist” to announcing major competitions like the U.S. Open of Surfing, Bud Surf Tour and NSSA Nationals, his unique and quirky voice is instantly recognizable to competitors and fans alike.  Old time surfers might even remember hearing his surf reports on 976-SURF back in the day when people actually used a landline to call for surf updates.  More recently he can be seen and heard on TV and radio commercials as a spokesperson for Toyota of HB.

Despite his notoriety and commercial success, Fig is a surfer first and foremost, and spent more than three decades in pursuit of an individual championship title.  Fig competed in the first NSSA National Championships in 1978, making it to the finals and was on the Orange Coast College team that won a title in 1979 and 1980.  Although a 10-time West Coast Surfing Champion, an individual NSSA (National Scholastic Surfing Assoication) title remained elusive for 35 years until he won his first (and second) titles as a 55 year-old last year.

“I’ve made a lot of final appearances, but have never been able to pull off the win,” Fig stated after his crowning achievement.  “I’ve waited forever. I thought I’d never possibly get a national title before I died.  There’s always been an empty spot in my heart, thinking every time I’ve kind of messed up.  So I’m kind of at peace with myself.”

Considered an institution locally, Fig is the proprietor at Rockin Fig Surf Headquarters on Main Street; an old-school shop with tons of surfboards that he is happy to discuss with an encyclopedic knowledge.  Rick is also a journalist of some note, having penned a column in the Huntington Beach Independent and Los Angeles Times for many years.  Hardcore surfers can find him most every day on the north side of the pier, riding waves and loving life.

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2013 Surfers’ Hall of Fame Inductee – Skip Frye

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – Harry Richard “Skip” Frye’s profound impact on the surfing world, from stylish competitor and world-class shaper to environmental ambassador, has spanned nearly six decades.  The Surfers’ Hall of Fame takes great pride in announcing that Skip will join fellow surfers Shane Dorian and Rick “Rockin Fig” Fignetti as an inductee into the 2013 class of the Surfers’ Hall of Fame on Friday, July 26 at 10 a.m. in front of Huntington Surf & Sport.  Please visit http://hsssurf.com/shof for more information.

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony pays tribute to those individuals who have made an indelible mark on the sport, industry and culture of surfing.  Annually, tens of thousands of visitors travel to Huntington Beach’s downtown area and literally walk in the footsteps of surfing superstars and legends from several eras including Laird Hamilton, Andy Irons, Jack O’Neill, Robert August, Bob Hurley, Sean Collins, Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Pat O’Connell, Al Merrick, Shaun Tomson, Rob Machado and Rabbit Kekai, who are immortalized in cement.

“Skip Frye is one of the all-time great surfers and one of the all-time great surfboard shapers!  Skip is true surfing royalty,” said Aaron Pai, founder of the Surfers’ Hall of Fame.  “We are truly stoked to honor Skip for all he has done for our sport.”

Skip Frye was born in 1941 and began surfing at age 16 after moving with his family to the north San Diego suburb of Pacific Beach.  His birth name was Harry, but since his father was away in the military, he was assigned the task of being the “skipper” around the house and the name stuck.  His first wave riding experience came at Pacific Beach in 1958, and was the beginning of a lifelong passion that continues to this day.

By the mid-60s the shy but focused Frye had become one of California’s best competitors.  Known for his gliding, fluid style which allowed him to capture several local and national titles, Skip competed in the first Duke Kahanamoku Surfing Championships at Sunset Beach and also represented the U.S. at the World Contests in 1966 and 1968, narrowly missing the final of each occasion.   The venue for 1968 was Puerto Rico, which instantly became his favorite surf destination, thanks to its warm, idyllic surf and Latino flavor.  A photo of him from the trip appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Skip’s talents for shaping surfboards began to emerge in 1963 and within two years he was working for San Diego’s Gordon & Smith’s Surfboards; in 1966 G&S introduced the Skip Frye signature model.  Frye was riding a 9’6” board in late 1967 when he traveled to Australia with the legendary Windansea Surf Club for an American versus Australia team contest (the U.S. team got waxed by Aussies riding lighter boards).  After that trip, Skip became more interested in shorter more maneuverable boards and began experimenting with designs such as the V-bottom and Baby Gun.

He kept refining the designs and created a board he called the Egg, one of his best-known shapes.  As longboards nearly vanished overnight, Frye went with the flow, working on egg shapes and later experimenting with the Fish (his keel-fin, heavy-glassed split-tails remain in high-demand throughout So Cal).  Skip stayed with G&S until the mid-seventies and then struck out on his own to shape boards at the Green Room and at his own place called The Shack, behind Select Surf Shop in Pacific Beach.

In 1981 Skip returned to Gordon & Smith and also started competing again.  He left G&S in 1986 to join the crew at Diamond Glassing, and began shaping under his own business name, Skip Frye Surfboards.  It was here that he developed his iconic Diamond Frye Logo, a combination of wings and a diamond. In 1988 Skip and his wife Donna officially opened Skip Frye Surfboards, which was a small shaping room and front office that adjoined Windansea Surf Shop in Pacific Beach.  Skip began shaping and working on new fin configurations for longer boards, as he was a fan of the smooth glide the increased planning surface allowed. Through this work, he developed a variety of shapes, including the Eagle and Fish Simmons.

In November 1990, Skip and Donna left Windansea, moved across the street and opened Harry’s Surf Shop with longtime friend and fellow surfer/shaper Harry “Hank” Warner.  Harry’s was the namesake of not only Skip and Hank, but both their fathers and also Hank and Donna’s grandfathers.  Harry’s was not your typical surf shop; it was a combination retail store, surf museum, art gallery, shaping shop and political gathering place.  Photos of customers with their new boards lined the walls and art pieces and sculptures from local artists were prominently featured.

Skip’s career has had many twists and turns, however, he was never more energized than during the longboard revival.  ”The biggest buzz I ever had in surfing was the early ’90s when I went back to the big ones,” he recalls. “I mean the 11-footers.  The same thing happened to Duke Kahanamoku when Tom Blake reintroduced him to the 16-foot olos back in the ’30s.”
Skip’s boards have slowly become collector’s pieces often passed down through generations.  Meanwhile, Skip continues his own tireless work for surfing’s constituency by collecting and building boards, his keel-fin fish being particularly popular.  ”I feel it’s my duty to pass along the heritage of our sport,” he says with a passion.  But there’s still a long way to go, a lot of work to be done.”

The nation’s first imprint collection of legendary surfers, the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, celebrated its first induction in 1997 inside of specialty retailer Huntington Surf & Sport where several slabs remain.  Four years later with the blessing of the City Council and a stunning bronze statue of sport’s spiritual leader Duke Kahanamoku serving as a backdrop, the ceremony moved outside to the corner of PCH and Main; less than 100 feet from the famed Huntington Beach Pier, site of the U.S. Open of Surfing.

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony is open to the public, free-of-charge.  Further information is available at http://hsssurf.com/shof/.

Press Contacts:
Mike Kingsbury, Jennifer Hernandez, MKM
Mike@teammkm.com; Jennifer@teammkm.com

(714) 375-2188

Credits: Skipfryesurf.com, Surfline.com, the Encyclopedia of Surfing and Wikipedia.com

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2013 Surfers’ Hall of Fame Inductee – Rick “Rockin’ Fig” Fignetti

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – The iconic Huntington Beach surfer/shop owner with the distinctive voice that so many of us have heard over the years on the radio, at contests and on television commercials will cement his place among the sport’s idols later this month.  Rick “Rockin Fig” Fignetti  will join fellow surfers Shane Dorian and Skip Frye as an inductee into the 2013 class of the Surfers’ Hall of Fame on Friday, July 26 at 10 a.m. in front of Huntington Surf & Sport.  Please visit http://hsssurf.com/shof for more information.

The nation’s first imprint collection of legendary surfers, the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, celebrated its first induction in 1997 inside of specialty retailer Huntington Surf & Sport where several slabs remain.  Four years later with the blessing of the City Council and a stunning bronze statue of sport’s spiritual leader Duke Kahanamoku serving as a backdrop, the ceremony moved outside to the corner of PCH and Main; less than 100 feet from the famed Huntington Beach Pier, site of the U.S. Open of Surfing.

“Rick ‘Rockin Fig’ Fignetti is a home grown Huntington Beach surfing legend; one of Huntington’s finest,” said Surfers’ Hall of Fame founder Aaron Pai.  “He’s been an amazing ambassador for our sport both in and out of the water.”

For more than 20 years, the name “Rockin Fig” has been synonymous with surfing and Huntington Beach.  From his lengthy stint on KROQ FM as the resident “surfologist” to announcing major competitions like the U.S. Open of Surfing, Bud Surf Tour and NSSA Nationals, his unique and quirky voice is instantly recognizable to competitors and fans alike.  Old time surfers might even remember hearing his surf reports on 976-SURF back in the day when people actually used a landline to call for surf updates.  More recently he can be seen and heard on TV and radio commercials as a spokesperson for Toyota of HB.

Despite his notoriety and commercial success, Fig is a surfer first and foremost, and spent more than three decades in pursuit of an individual championship title.  Fig competed in the first NSSA National Championships in 1978, making it to the finals and was on the Orange Coast College team that won a title in 1979 and 1980.  Although a 10-time West Coast Surfing Champion, an individual NSSA (National Scholastic Surfing Assoication) title remained elusive for 35 years until he won his first (and second) titles as a 55 year-old last year.

“I’ve made a lot of final appearances, but have never been able to pull off the win,” Fig stated after his crowning achievement.  “I’ve waited forever. I thought I’d never possibly get a national title before I died.  There’s always been an empty spot in my heart, thinking every time I’ve kind of messed up.  So I’m kind of at peace with myself.”

Considered an institution locally, Fig is the proprietor at Rockin Fig Surf Headquarters on Main Street; an old-school shop with tons of surfboards that he is happy to discuss with an encyclopedic knowledge.  Rick is also a journalist of some note, having penned a column in the Huntington Beach Independent and Los Angeles Times for many years.  Hardcore surfers can find him most every day on the north side of the pier, riding waves and loving life.

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony pays tribute to those individuals who have made an indelible mark on the sport, industry and culture of surfing.  Annually, tens of thousands of visitors travel to Huntington Beach’s downtown area and literally walk in the footsteps of surfing superstars and legends from several eras who are immortalized in cement, including Laird Hamilton, Andy Irons, Jack O’Neill, Robert August, Bob Hurley, Sean Collins, Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Pat O’Connell, Al Merrick, Shaun Tomson, Rob Machado and Rabbit Kekai.

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony is open to the public, free-of-charge.  Further information is available at http://hsssurf.com/shof/.

Press Contacts:
Mike Kingsbury, Jennifer Hernandez, MKM
Mike@teammkm.com; Jennifer@teammkm.com

(714) 375-2188

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