HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – Against the backdrop of the mega surf contest that he helped shape, Ian “Kanga” Cairns will enter the 2010 Surfers’ Hall of Fame this August. Winner of the 1973 Smirnoff Pro and 1975 Duke Kahanamoku Classic, Cairns was the premier “power” surfer of his era and dominated the North Shore during the mid to late-seventies.
The 13th annual Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 6 in front of Huntington Surf & Sport (corner of PCH and Main) coinciding with the Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing.
Known as a fierce competitor who carved trench-like turns in big surf, Cairns ultimately turned his attention to growing the sport and played an instrumental role in the development of the NSSA, ASP, Op Pro, Bud Surf Tour and the U.S. Open of Surfing; earning a reputation as an articulate and passionate supporter of competitive surfing. Cairns, along with other inductees to be announced, will place their hands, feet and signature in wet cement for the ages during a public ceremony.
Cairns was influential in the development of American surfing (and surfers), adding structure to the nascent sport and creating a “clear path to follow.” Under his direction, the venerable Op Pro Surfing Championships produced some of the most memorable clashes in surfing history and created a world-class “stadium” venue to showcase the sport. The Bud Tour received extensive media coverage and jump-started the careers of a new crop of Americans led by Kelly Slater, Taylor Knox, Rob Machado, Shane Beschen and Pat O’Connell.
Among myriad achievements ranging from co-founder of the Bronzed Aussies, appearances in two-dozen surf movies and overseeing the Bluetorch media company, perhaps the most indelible mark Cairns made in the world of surfing is the gargantuan U.S. Open. Prior to taking a brief hiatus from the sport, Cairns helped lay the foundation for the U.S. Open to become the world’s largest professional surfing competition and a consumer showcase for the sport.
“Ian Cairns is a true Surfing Legend who continually pours his heart and soul into our Sport,” said Surfers’ Hall of Fame founder Aaron Pai. “Big Wave Surfer, fierce competitor and currently the head coach of the USA Surf Team, we are very honored that he will be inducted into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame this summer!”
The 2010 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 to Huntington Beach’s downtown area literally walk in the footsteps of surfing superstars and legends from several eras including Laird Hamilton, Mike Doyle, Jack O’Neill, Robert August, Greg Noll, Jericho Poppler, Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Martin Potter, Al Merrick, Shaun Tomson and Rob Machado who are already immortalized in cement.
Styled after the famed Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, which Aaron Pai visited as a youngster, the Surfers’ Hall of Fame is intended to “connect the generations of surfers with a lasting tribute and permanent public showcase for the achievements of those who have shaped and revolutionized the sport,” said Pai. The standing room only crowd on induction day is testament to the landmark’s popularity and the surfing community’s acknowledgment of their heroes.
The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony is open to the public, free-of-charge.