New Class of Surfing Walk of Fame Inductees Honored – Orange County Register

Carissa Moore has had all year – a first gold medal in surfing at the sport’s Olympic debut and a fifth world championship won just weeks ago at Lower Trestles. Now his name has been carved into the granite stone of the Surfing Walk of Fame on Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach.

But there is still one distinction missing.

“I just want General Mills to put it on a Wheaties box,” joked Peter “PT” Townend, first world surfing champion and co-host of the event on Thursday, September 23, to crowd applause. “An internet user has never been to the Wheaties’ box, you know that? Never. I now ask that we want Carissa Moore on the Wheaties box.

Moore, honored as “Woman of the Year,” was one of a new class of Surfing Walk of Fame inductions ahead of Jack’s Surfboards. The others included Damien Hardman (surf champion), Mike Tabeling (surf pioneer), Cecil Lear and Hoppy Swarts (surf culture), Mike Downey (local hero) and Tim Brown and Ron Abdelfattah (honor roll).

The event takes place annually during the US Open of Surfing, which begins its final days of competition this weekend.

  • Travis and Nancy Tabeling stop for a plaque photo of his father, Mike Tabeling, before the start of the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame Induction Day Ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, CA, Thursday, September 23 2021. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • A visitor to the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame induction ceremony films surf coach Brett Simpson as he accepts the Woman of the Year award for Carrisa Moore from Peter “PT” Townend on Main Street in Huntington Beach, CA, Thursday, September 23, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Visitors laugh as Tim Brown accepts the honor roll award at the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame induction ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, Calif. On Thursday, September 23, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Honor Roll winner Tim Brown, center, with John Etheridge, left, and Peter “PT” Townend, at the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame induction ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, Calif., On Thursday, September 23, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Local Hero winner Mike Downey, center, with John Etheridge, left, and Peter “PT” Townend, at the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame induction day ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, CA, Thursday, September 23, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Local Hero winner Mike Downey reacts as he receives his award at the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame Induction Day Ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, CA on Thursday, September 23, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Peter “PT” Townend shows off a photo of Mike Tabeling as he announces his award for Surf Pioneer at the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame induction ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, Calif. On Thursday, September 23, 2021. Tabeling passed away in 2014. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Inductees Buzz Swarts (accepting the Surf Culture award for his father, “Hoppy” Swarts, left, Honor Roll winner Ron Abdelfattah, center, and Surf Culture winner Cecil Lear, at the ceremony 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame induction on Main Street in Huntington Beach, Calif. on Thursday, September 23, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Tim Brown accepts the Honor Roll award at the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame Induction Day Ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, Calif. On Thursday, September 23, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Travis and Nancy Tabeling accept the Surf Culture Award for Travis Tabling’s father Mike Tabeling at the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame Induction Day Ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, CA on Thursday 23 September 2021. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Tim Brown, Honor Roll winner, left, and Surf Culture winner Cecil Lear, greet each other after the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame Induction Day Ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, CA, Thursday, September 23, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Inductees and officials at the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame Induction Day Ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, Calif. On Thursday, September 23, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Mark Isenberg watches the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame induction ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, Calif. On Thursday, September 23, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Honor Roll winner Ron Abdelfattah, center, receives his award from Peter “PT” Townend, left, and John Etheridge at the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame induction ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, Calif., Thursday, September 23, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Surf Culture winner Cecil Lear at the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame Induction Day Ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, Calif. On Thursday, September 23, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Visitors attend the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame induction ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, Calif. On Thursday, September 23, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • New plaques at the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame Induction Day Ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, Calif. On Thursday, September 23, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Mike Downev, right, receives a punch after accepting the Local Hero Award at the 2021 Surfing Walk of Fame induction ceremony on Main Street in Huntington Beach, CA on Thursday, September 23, 2021 (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register / SCNG)

The induction was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thursday’s rally marked the 27th year of honoring sporting legends in Surf City, with more than 165 names added since its inception in 1994.

The first surfer to be honored on Thursday was Abdelfattah, co-owner of Jack’s and one of the founders of the Walk of Fame.

“It has been my home for many years. Being honored this year shows the loyalty and commitment I have made to my community, ”he said.

Next came Swarts, a surfer from South Bay who formed the United States Surfing Association in 1996, laying the foundations for competitive surfing today. He started surfing at Hermosa Beach in the 1930s, becoming a member of the Palos Verdes Surfing Club in 1934 and decades later, in 1974, he drafted the framework for the United States Surfing Federation. He died in 1988.

His son, Buzz, who accepted his award, spoke about his father’s early years of surfing and how he was trained and served as the first president of the USSA.

“They were concerned about the image of surfing. They thought they had to find a way to improve the picture, ”Buzz said, noting that his father formulated the original scoring system with his mind of mathematical genius. “Things blossomed from there.”

Lear was also instrumental in the early competitive surf scene, co-founder of the Eastern Surfing Association in the 1960s. At the event, Lear shared how his mother and father introduced him to the beach, arousing a love for the ocean that has never left it.

“You can’t believe how proud and honored I am to be recognized for helping surfing. It was a labor of love, “he said.” I’ve received so many awards, met so many friends, it’s mind-boggling. “

Hardman, a two-time world champion (1987 and 1991), was unable to participate in the event due to strict Australian travel restrictions. After winning 19 events throughout his career, he was the first male surfer to win seven events in one season.

Rip Curl North America President Dylan Slater, recounting how he admired Hardman’s surfing style over the years, accepted his award and read a speech by Hardman: “I am incredibly proud and honored to be inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame… I loved traveling and competing at Huntington Beach Pier. I had a real love-hate relationship with the pier, ”noting that it scared her on the most important days.

Tabeling was the first Florida surfer to achieve impressive results in the contest in the late 1960s and early 1970s, his second place finish at the 1968 US Championships catapulting him to stardom.

“One of the best things he did as a trailblazer was the spread attack,” said his son Travis, who accepted the award. “It means a lot to our family, and this family also includes all of you and the hundreds of people he touched while he was here. It’s hard to speak for a man who is full of creative surprises.

If his father was here today, he would encourage people not to be afraid to be “a first” or to “accomplish something seemingly inconceivable,” said Travis Tebeling.

Tim Brown, who earned an Honor Roll designation, is a sports chiropractor who has worked with countless surfers, including the best in the world, explaining how he wanted to find a job that would allow him to spend time at the beach and surf.

“Live what you love,” he said. “I found a way to combine my love and passion for surfing with my love for health and fitness.”

Local hero Downey has been a coach, host and board member for the Professional Longboard Association. He credited his father with pushing him into the waves.

Downey spoke about the early days of Surf City, a still underdeveloped part of the city, when he boxed surfboards for Plastic Fantastic with Rick “Rockin ‘Fig” Fignetti, an icon of the town that died earlier this summer.

“I have seen the transformation of this city,” he said. “The reason we’re all here today is to celebrate Surf City. “

With Moore back in Hawaii, his award was accepted on his behalf by his American surf coach, Brett Simpson, who spoke about his aloha spirit.

“She loves love,” Simpson said, noting that Moore has her foundation, Moore Aloha, which encourages young girls to surf. “She’s just damn special… she melts your heart.”

Carissa Moore surfs during the Rip Curl World Surf League Final at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, Calif. On Tuesday, September 14, 2021. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register / SCNG)

Moore sent a video for the induction ceremony.

“It has been an amazing year this year and it would not have been possible without the love and support of my family, friends and fans around the world,” she said. “Receiving this award is a really special way to end 2021.”


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