SURFERS’ HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES AN EXTRAORDINARY CLASS OF INDUCTEES AS
SHANE DORIAN, SKIP FRYE & ROCKIN’ FIG JOIN THE ELITE GROUP ON FRIDAY, JULY 26
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – The Surfers’ Hall of Fame is pleased to announce one of its most extraordinary classes to date when it inducts three generations of surfing royalty including a legendary surfer/shaper who made an indelible mark in the 60s, an iconic local personality and member of the first NSSA National Team in 1978, and a “new school” world tour veteran acknowledged as one of the best big wave riders in the world. Skip Frye, Rick “Rockin Fig” Fignetti and Shane Dorian will have their hand and footprints immortalized in cement for the ages on Friday, July 26 at 10 a.m. in front of Huntington Surf & Sport.
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 already immortalized in cement.
“We are extremely honored and looking forward to Skip Frye, Rick Fignetti and Shane Dorian being inducted into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame this July,” said Surfers’ Hall of Fame founder Aaron Pai. Brief inductee bios include:
Skip Frye: 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. 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 went on to represent the U.S. internationally in 1966. Frye began shaping surfboards in 1963 and within two years 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 ultimately led Skip to design a board he called the Egg, one of his best-known shapes. Frye has shaped boards for Rob Machado and Brad Gerlach among other elite surfers.
“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 Pai.
Rick “Rockin Fig” Fignetti: 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. 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 title remained elusive for 35 years until he won his first (and second) titles as a 55 year-old last year. 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, penning 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.
Pai added, “Rick ‘Rockin Fig’ Fignetti is a home grown Huntington Beach surfing legend; one of Huntington’s finest!”
Shane Dorian: 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, is a tube rider of phenomenal agility and precision, and since the middle ‘90s has been one of the world’s best big-wave riders (his North Shore sessions with Brock Little and the late Todd Chesser are the stuff of legends) taking top prize in the 2008 XXL Global Big Wave awards. Shane began surfing at age five in 1977 and by the mid-late 80’s was a veteran of both the U.S. Championships and World Amateur Surfing Championships. 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.
Regarding Shane Dorian, Pai stated, “Shane Dorian is one of the most gifted new school big wave surfers on the planet and a truly amazing WATERMAN in our sport today!”
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.
Mike Kingsbury, Jennifer Hernandez, MKM