Corky Carroll

Hall of Fame to induct revolutionary quartet

Each year during the running of the Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing event the Surfers Hall of Fame holds its annual induction ceremony. The event is the brainchild of local surfer and surf shop owner Aaron Pai and is held in the Hall of Fame plaza area on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street in Huntington Beach.

The plaza is right in front of Pai's world-renowned Huntington Surf 'n Sport. The format is similar to Grauman's, or Mann's, or whatever it is now, Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Hmmm, maybe it's "Corkys" now? It's the place where the stars are immortalized by putting their hands and feet in the concrete. They do the same thing with the surfers inducted into the Hall of Fame.

It's a cool thing to watch people checking out the size of their own feet to those of one of the surf stars. This list of previous inductees include Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, Shaun Tomson, Mike Doyle, Jack O'Neill, Robert August, Lisa Anderson, Jericho Poppler, Rob Machado, and on and on. Even me, but they put my prints under the spot where the trash can goes. I have been known to move it, but they just move it back as soon as they seem me split. Humph!

I just got the list of inductees for this year's ceremony, which will be held on Friday, July 24th at 10 a.m. It's a good group this year and represents multi generations of the surfing culture. The inductees are:

Jeff Hackman, known as "Mr. Sunset Beach" back in the 1960's and 70's. Jeff won the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational at that famous beach a couple of times and as well as the very first Pipeline Masters event, three Hang Ten Internationals and the Gunston Pro in South Africa. He was known for his calm style under pressure in large surf on the North Shore of Oahu and for his quiet and casual personality. Jeff is one of those dudes that everybody liked. He went on to launch, along with Bob McKnight, Quiksilver U.S.A. in 1976.

Bruce Brown. Bruce is the Long Beach kid who became the most well-known surf moviemaker of his time. He was nominated for an Oscar and made a number of well-known surfing movies during the late 1950's and early 1960's. The most well known, of course, is the legendary "Endless Summer." He also would make "On Any Sunday," a motorcycle film staring Steve McQueen and eventually "Endless Summer 2."

Bruce is a master narrator. When I think of Bruce it always comes to mind how he could take what would probably be a throw away shot with any other surf movie maker and turn it into something either totally funny or interesting in some other way with his story telling and smooth delivery. His movies were always the most entertaining.

Also being inducted is one of the stars of "Endless Summer 2," Pat O'Connell. Along with previous inductee, Robert "Wingnut" Weaver, Pat smoothly surfed the waves around the world in that eternal quest for "the perfect wave." After the filming of the movie Pat became a respected professional surfer and would land as high as number 11 on the World Tour and number 10 on the Surfer Poll. Today he is a member of the marketing department at Hurley International.

Rounding out the list this year is Joey Buran. Joey began his surfing career by winning a pro surfing event in his hometown of Oceanside when he was like 17 years old or something young like that. The bummer was that the guy who put on the event ran off with all the money. Joey's winner's check, which if I remember right was $10,000, bounced.

It did launch the flashy blond-haired goofy-foot onto the world surfing scene and he went on to become an extremely well liked and respected professional surfer, winning the 1984 Pipeline Masters. Today Joey is involved with the Surfers Chapel in Huntington Beach.

The induction ceremony is always worth going down there to witness. All sorts of surf stars and surfing industry peeps show up and you should too.