Born in Southern California’s south bay in 1948, Hakman would waste little time establishing his North Shore credentials after a family trip to Hawaii in 1959. At the age of 17 and pitted against 23 world class surfers, he won the inaugural Duke Kahanamoku Classic at Sunset Beach. From age 21 to 27 Jeff won more major surfing titles than anyone in the world including the first Pipeline Masters, two more Duke contests, three Hang Ten Internationals and the Gunston Pro. His mastery of and fearless approach to Sunset Beach led to his lifelong moniker, “Mr. Sunset”. In 1976 along with Bob McKnight, Jeff would launch Quiksilver USA.
Hailing from Australia’s famed Gold Coast Bartholomew was crowned world champion in 1978 and is a two-time “Masters” champion. Currently president of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), Rabbit burst onto the international scene in 1975, an era during which saw the likes of Shaun Tomson, Mark Richards, Ian Cairns and Peter Townend vying for world titles. “Bugs” has had a huge influence on the sport from the ’70s through today, taking tube riding to new levels and mentoring such standout pros as Gary Elkerton and Sunny Garcia. Bartholomew plays a prominent role in the all-new documentary, “Bustin Down the Door.”
President, Chief Surf Forecaster, and Founder of Surfline.com, Collins was the first person to accurately forecast swells on a regular basis in the ’70s and early ’80s. A surfer, sailor and self-taught meteorologist, he pioneered and created the first ongoing surf forecast available to the surfing public via Surfline and 976-SURF in 1985. He developed the very first live “Surfcam” in 1996, the precedent for the worldwide camera network available on Surfline.com today. Collins was named one of the “25 Most Influential Surfers of the Century” by Surfer Magazine in the summer of 1999 and the “8th Most Powerful Surfer in the Surf Industry” by Surfer Magazine in the summer of 2002.
Another NSSA product and Huntington Beach High graduate, Gerlach broke into the ASP Top 16 in 1986 and stayed there until he finished runner-up in 1991. “Gerr” then abruptly dropped off the tour, but continued to hone his surfing and ultimately embraced the burgeoning big wave movement. He towed Mike Parsons into a history-making wave in 2001 and Parson’s returned the favor in 2005, towing Gerlach into a 68-foot bomb at Todos Santos, Mexico. Brad is the founder of the National Surf League (NSL), the revolutionary surfing competition format adopted by ESPN’s X Games.
The former NSSA (National Scholastic Surfing Association) champion is an ASP tour veteran, boasting a top 16 finish in 1987. Known as “snips” during his competition days for an uncanny ability to cut through smaller surf, Parsons transformed his surfing in the late 90’s when he sought to tackle the largest behemoths on the planet. The San Clemente native successfully rode a 66-footer at Cortes Bank in 2001 to win the Billabong XXL and then upped the ante earlier this year by riding an estimated 80 foot wave in January.
Nicknamed “Pottz” and “Eggy Potter”, Martin is a British born surfer who was educated in Durban, South Africa. Considered the best “free-surfer” of his generation, Potz displayed immense talent, but lacked the consistency in the era of 25-plus event tours. He forever silenced the critics in 1989 by winning the world title. Pottz redefined competitive surfing by performing risky aerials moves and helped lead the way for a new form of competitive surfing which is now standard on the pro tour.
Bruce is a talented regular foot surfer from Hanalei, Kauai and younger brother of three-time world champion Andy Irons. Perhaps best known for his radical aerial maneuvers and fearless tube-riding abilities, Bruce turned pro shortly after graduating high school. After close calls in 1998 and 2000, Bruce defeated Kelly Slater to win the prestigious 2001 Pipeline Masters event. On December 15th, 2004, he won the “Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau” event in waves that exceeded forty feet at Oahu’s Waimea Bay.
Legendary surfboard shaper was a relative unknown until Shaun Tomson captured the world title in 1977 on a Merrick-shaped board. Soon thereafter Al began making boards for future legend Tom Curren. Under Merrick’s tutelage, the teenage star inked deals with Op and Rip Curl and went on to win three world titles. As Curren’s status reached epic proportions, so did Merrick’s surfboard label, Channel Islands. This reputation grew as young surfers wanted to duplicate Curren’s feats and the next generation of top professionals, spearheaded by Kelly Slater, desired Merrick’s creations; further cementing his status as an elite shaper/ entrepreneur.