Surfing Walk of Fame Announces 2012 Inductees


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The Surfing Walk of Fame has announced its 2012 class. The seven inductees will have their names placed in the pavement at the corner of PCH and Main Street in Huntington Beach, California, during a ceremony on August 2.

Below I've included quick summaries of each person, with their achievements lifted from the Surfing Walk of Fame press release. I've also included links to stories and bios where you can read more about each individual.

The late Michael Peterson, regarded by many as the best high-performance surfer during the mid-1970s and winner of the first-ever pro tour contest, shares the Surf Pioneer award with groundbreaking shaper Dick Brewer. Brewer was instrumental in designing boards to fit inside the tube at Pipeline while working alongside Gerry Lopez and Reno Abellira.

RIP Michael Peterson, Surfer, by Sean Doherty
Michael Peterson still sports the very same pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses he wore during the ’70s. They’re a bit beat up these days, the frame held together by sticky tape, but they still work just fine. For MP, the leather jackets, jeans, and panama hats may have been all about fashion, but the sunglasses were pure function. They formed a reflective barrier against the outside world. Behind them he couldn’t be read. Behind them he could plot the downfall of the guys he was surfing against, size up the chick across the room, scope out a dealer for a bag of exotic candy. Behind Michael Peterson’s glasses spun several worlds, some real, some imagined, one occasionally bleeding into the other.
Read more.

Dick Brewer, Surfline
In the evolutionary scale of surfboard design, think of Dick Brewer as the missing link. In a few critical years in the late '60s, Brewer was responsible for making us want to trade in our go-karts for race cars when his followers streaked deep through the hollows of Honolua Bay, Sunset Beach and Rincon, Puerto Rico, on pocket-rocket space sticks that defined the new lines of performance surfing for years to come. Read more.

Hawaiian legend Michael Ho received the Surfing Champion nod this year. Ho was a competitive force for over 25 years, winning the Pipeline Masters five times and the Triple Crown twice.

Michael Ho, Surfline
The most consistent performer of the past three decades on the heaviest stretch of surf in the world happens to be one of the smallest. At a mere 5'5″ and 135 pounds, Michael Ho personally proved size to be of little importance when it comes to bravery on the North Shore. His expertise was not limited to big surf, as he became a highly successful and feared competitor in all conditions, finishing in the ASP Top 16 for 10 consecutive seasons. Read more.

The Surf Culture honor goes to the late Sean Collins—largely regarded as the original pioneer in surf forecasting. With 1.7 million unique visitors a month, his company, Surfline, has been in service for over 25 years and is considered the go-to destination on the World Wide Web for surf reports, forecasts and news.

Surf Prophet, Outside, by Chris Dixon
Surfer has long deemed itself the bible of the sport, yet our Book of Revelations was Surfline's WaveFax. If a staffer wanted to know what the next two weeks of life held, Sean Collins was either prophet or God. Read more.

Alisa Schwarzstein-Cairns, this year’s Woman of the Year, won a world amateur title at the age of 15, went on to be named ASP Rookie of the Year and then remained in the ASP top eight for four years.

Alisa Schwarzstein-Cairns, Laguna Beach Magazine
The mid-1970s was the time of surfing’s wayward past, and her parents, she says, thought the sport was “for hippies and druggies.” Although they ended up being her biggest supporters, at first they were extremely skeptical about letting their adventurous daughter take up surfing. Few notable women surfed anywhere near Laguna Beach, so determined, 9-year-old Alisa set out to teach herself. She took her $10 savings to a thrift shop on Glenneyre Street and bought a used, very delaminated and heavy 6-foot 6-inch single-fin surfboard. After her first attempt on the board meant for a seasoned surfer, she ended up in the hospital with broken teeth, a root canal and two very upset parents who waited two years to let their daughter surf again. Read more.

Also in this year’s ceremony, George Draper, founder of the famous George’s Surf Shop in HB is recognized as the Local Hero. And longtime Dwyer Middle School surf coach Stacy Wood earns the Honor Roll spot.

George Draper, Original Mayor, Cadamaran
I mean I had so many boards in there from different manufacturers, but it was wonderful, yeah we were the supermarket of the surf industry. The other shop had one or two different makes while yours had variety of longboards, short boards and whatever color you wanted ? Kneeboards, skimboards, yeah it was fantastic. Read more.

Students Should Knock on Wood, Huntington Beach Independent, by Suzie Harrison
“She always makes us have a better spirit,” said Jenna Balester, 13. “She is always helping [us] with self esteem and becoming better at whatever we do. She's a good teacher.” Read more.

—Joe Spring