2015 Surfboard Builders Hall of Fame inductions set for December
Published: November 20, 2015
Posted: November This year’s International Surfboard Builders Hall of Fame inductions, along with the Longboard Collectors Club annual swap, will take place Dec. 5 at Doheny State Park.
It’s a great event that I always try to make it to. It’s one of those “see all your old friends and make new ones too,” sorta deals.
I just received this year’s inductees list from my pal Mike, a.k.a. “Mickey Ratt” Ester, who puts the Surfboard Builders Hall of Fame event together each year with Bob “the Greek” Bolen.
We have both the East and West Coasts represented as well as Australia. The inductees are selected each year by the previous year’s inductees, kind of the ultimate surfboard version of a jury of your peers.
Starting off the list is a former Huntington Beach surfboard shaper, now living in Ventura – our very own Steve Walden. Steve built his first board in 1961 and by the early 1970’s was spoken of in the same category as the top shapers on the planet.
One of the few 60’s surfboard builders to survive even to this day in a very difficult business, Steve not only got by but also thrived. He has become one of the biggest and most respected surfboard builders in the world. His wildly successful “Magic” model is at the forefront of best sellers and has been for a long time. Good to see Steve getting some love from the Hall of Fame.
Next up is Santa Monica surf and skateboard legend Jeff Ho. Jeff was a part of the “Dogtown and Z Boys” skateboard crew that radicalized that sport – well documented in a movie of the same name. He’s known for his innovative surfboard designs as well as his skills in the water and on concrete.
Another Southern California boy getting the nod is the late Rick Stoner. Rick started building boards with his pal Bing Copeland and eventually opened his own business under the name Rick Surfboards in Hermosa Beach. Both Rick and Bing were students of the great Dale Velzy himself.
One more California boy on this year’s list is Oceanside’s Gary Linden. He’s known for his skills in big surf, even today in his 60’s, and for his amazing hand-made balsawood surfboards. In the age of shaping machines, where people do very little of the real shaping of boards anymore, Gary is one of the few who can still cut out a blank and do the whole job with his hands.
The last entry from California is a master of the craft from Encinitas, the one and only Tony Channin. He’s known as the manufacturer of some of the highest quality surfboards in the world, top of line shapes and beautiful fiberglass work. From the early days of Channin Diffenderfer surfboards, with the renowned shaper Mike Diffenderfer, to evolving into his own super star, Tony has been one of the main men in the business for many decades. Great guy.
From the East Coast is the long-time surfing and shaping legend Pete Dooley from Florida and Natural Art Surfboards. Natural Art has been at the top of Eastern-built surfing equipment since the early 1970’s and Pete is an icon of the region. Also inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 2004, Pete remains at the top of his craft.
And rounding out the group is this year’s thunder from down under, Pat Morgan. Pat hangs his power plainer in the chilly yet extremely surf-fertile Australian state of Victoria. It’s a place with cold and rugged surfing conditions and dedicated and innovative surfing industry creators. And also the home of Brian Singer and Claw Warbrick, who brought us Rip Curl Wetsuits. Pat is not as well know here in the U.S. as some of our other inductees but is a huge hero in the land of Oz.
If any of you are anywhere near the O.C. on that day, I strongly recommend you head down to Doheny Beach and be a part of this really cool event. I might even see ya there myself.