“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.