Ever wonder why you surf the way you do? Like it or not, you've been influenced by someone, and not necessarily someone you’d expect. Whether you're riding a 12-foot foam top or a 6' 3″ potato chip, your style is based on an amalgamation of other influences. And that's not a bad thing. Enter the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame. The ECSHF is "dedicated to the preservation of the history and heritage of East Coast surfing," and as such they’re sticking to their mission by inducting nine ambassadors into their ranks this January.
Every two years since 1996, the Hall of Fame has honored surf advocates in one of five respective categories: surfers, media, industry, and pioneers. This year's inductees include: Jeff Klugel, Bob Rohmann, Scott McCranels, Sue Lloyd Hogan, Sharon Wolfe, Doug Waters, Ross Houston, Bud Gardner, and George Miller.
Klugel, Rohmann, McCranels, Hogan and Wolfe were all on the forefront of the contest scene from the '60s to the '90s, and took home numerous championships, including several ESA and World Championships. Each has continued an active participation in the sport and in their communities.
If you opened a surf mag during the '80s or '90s, chances are you laid eyes on one of Doug Waters' photos. Although he only shoots surf on special occasions now, Waters is still a force in the motor sports photography industry.
Aside from creating the industry blitz that is Surf Expo, inductee Ross Houston also founded the Eastern Surfing Association Beach Access Program in the '70s and '80s, opening beaches that were previously inaccessible to surfers.
Shapers Bud Gardner and George Miller both hail from Florida. Among the very first custom board makers on the East Coast, they started in the 1960s and built their reputations as they built their boards. Both are still shaping to this day.
“To enter the ECSHF in 2010 is an amazing achievement, and the newest members truly deserve it,” said 2004 Inductee and ASP Judge Pete Dooley. “They have, in one way or another, helped turn surfing into what it is today. The sheer commitment they have all shown to the sport they love is reason enough to take your hat off to them.”
So from January 14-16 of 2010 at the Surf Expo in Orlando, FL, the nine icons will be inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame and be forever immortalized for what they've given to surfing, and to us.