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/.