The event was hailed by its organizers as “the greatest gathering of surf legends San Diego has ever seen.”
Among the inaugural list of surfing hall of famers:
• Skip Frye (from Pacific Beach known for his pro surf career and iconic boards.)
• Mike Hynson (from Pacific Beach who costarred in the 1966 hit "The Endless Summer" and surfboard design guru.)
• Butch Van Artsdalen (from La Jolla, a pioneering surfer who took on 25-foot waves in Hawaii to garner the title "Mr. Pipeline.")
• Tom Ortner (La Jolla resident and an icon in the Windansea beach community.)
• Carl Ekstrom (from La Jolla, developed the first asymmetrical boards in the late 1960s.)
• Larry Gordon (a fixture in the board making community from the 1960s until his death in 2016.)
• John Holly (veteran Ocean Beach surfer and board shaper.)
• Chuck Hasley (founder of the Windansea Surf Club of La Jolla.)
• Windansea Surf Club (legendary surf club known for boasting some of the best-known surfing names.)
Surfboard craftsman Hank Warner, a legend in his own right, was the event’s master of ceremonies.
“It was a big event, Belly Up was packed,” said Warner adding, “Ninety-nine percent of surfers grew up idolizing these inductees in the San Diego Surfing Hall of Fame.”
Attendees enjoyed live music from Jimmy Lewis, live art from Wade Koniakowsky, and a special collaboration between Warner and surf filmmaker Ira Opper.
"These innovators and pioneers have emerged everywhere that waves break. In this regard, San Diego has been particularly blessed," organizers wrote. "Our 70 miles of coastline have produced some of the most innovative shapers and wave stylists in the sport. And as everyone paddling out to the lineup knows, you have to honor those who have come before us."
Warner discussed his long-term goals for the San Diego Hall of Fame.
“We’re going to be doing this yearly,” he said. “We have a list of about 100 people we’ll be choosing from.”
Warner pointed out the inaugural list of legends are “influential surfers so it was pretty much bulletproof (selecting) for the first year.”
Warner said the objective is for the San Diego Hall of Fame to be nonprofit and truly representative of the surfing community.
“It’s an amazing group,” he noted. “It’s not just surfers. It’s shapers. It’s artists. It’s photographers, the whole gamut. It’s really honoring all the elite surfers who have come before us.”
Discussing the policy of a future brick-and-mortar San Diego Hall of Fame site, Warner envisions inductees “donating boards, photos, wetsuits, etc., priceless heirlooms to the museum/hall of fame.”