Hometown heroes earn more respect when they build their surf community where they live. Jack Haley was this surf hometown hero. From the first surfing crown in 1959 to his inductions in several halls of fame, Haley was a pioneer for the surfing community.
He is unlike any other champion surfer. He left a legacy in the surfing world, but Haley took to entrepreneurial projects that were just as successful as his surfing.
With the first surfing championship win under his belt and years of recognition, Haley opened Jack Haley Surfboards in his hometown of Seal Beach. By 1965, he opened Captain Jack’s, a seafood and steak restaurant in Sunset Beach. By the seventies, Haley was selling real estate.
As years past and his new ventures pulled him in different ways, Haley stayed true to the surfing lifestyle. Haley continued to pursue other aspects in the ocean. He became a lifeguard where he was instrumental in rebuilding the Seal Beach Lifeguard Station. But he always stayed true to the longboard lifestyle even after the newfandangle shortboards littered the all the surf hot spots.
Part of his style was his street wear. Out and about away from the surf, Haley created the image every old surf buff strives for: Hawaiian shirt, sandals and casual pants or shorts, depending on the season.
His commitment to the surfing world lives on long after his death in March 2000. Haley’s contributions led to his induction into the Seal Beach Hall of Fame, the Surfing Walk of Fame and the first Surfers’ Hall of Fame, which was located inside Huntington Surf and Sport. With the reconstruction and the newly dedicated home of the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, Haley, will be inducted in 2004 by using his first imprints.