by Corky Carroll
This years annual SURFERS HALL OF FAME induction ceremony is set for Friday, August 4 at the SHOF plaza on the corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. Directly across the street from the Pier, which is where the U.S. Open of Surfing will be going on that week. The event starts promptly at 9 A.M., is open to the public free of charge and runs until its done (normally 2 to 3 hours, depending on who they give the mic to.) If you are a devout surfer or have an interest in the history of the sport, then this is a must see event for you. All kinds of surfing heroes and celebrities show up and are right there up close and personal for you to meet and talk to.
The SHOF is in its’ 26th year and is the brainchild of lifetime hard core local surfer, and owner of Huntington Surf ‘n Sport, Aaron Pai.
(From the press release)
“The sport of Surfing has such an amazing history, spirit and culture all its own. We are super stoked to be able to preserve a part of our Surfing History in this unique and special way, for future generations to enjoy. We are here for the love of surfing. That is our main purpose, our passion and our drive behind what we do,” said Pai.
“What a totally amazing class of 2023 Surfers’ Hall of Fame Inductees, Ítalo Ferreira, Laylan Connelly and Fernado Aguerre are! Each of them have a passion and a love for our Sport of Surfing and have changed the world and made it a much better place! We are super excited to celebrate their achievements and contributions to our Sport of Surfing,” Aaron went on to say.
In my last column I talked about our own Laylan Connelly, who just happens to be a fellow surf reporter here at the Orange County Register. Next time I will feature Italo Ferreira. Today I would like to tell you about a guy who has had a huge impact on surfing and one who I respect a lot, Fernando Aguerre.
Fernando is originally from Argentina and immigrated to the U.S. in 1984. His mission at the time was to launch, right here in Huntington Beach, what would become a hugely successful sandal company called “REEF BRAZIL.” His ads became famous for featuring, how can I say this with a G rating?, the most perfect female posteriors imaginable. It worked. I admit that I used to look at those photos and think to myself, “where does he find these incredible babes?” This is how I first became aware of Fernando and my impression was “this dude is smart.” Sell sandals by showing perfect butts, who knew?
Today he is President of the International Surfing Association, as well as one of the most active and dedicated promoters of surfing, both as a sport and a culture, on a world wide basis. For almost 30 years this dude worked tirelessly and continually to get surfing included in the Olympic Games. And successfully I might add. Without the efforts Fernando put into this this I seriously doubt surfing would now be an Olympic sport. That in itself is more than reason enough for the honor of being inducted into the SURFERS HALL OF FAME.
As a result of his efforts surfing for the first time in history was included in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Next years games will feature surfing at Teahupo’o, in Tahiti. Then in 2028 the games come to Los Angeles. The site for the surfing has not been announced as of yet, but very possibly could be right here in Orange County at the Huntington Beach Pier.
As President of the ISA Fernando is one of Surfings most avid promoters. His creed is to create “A Better World Through Surfing.”
Some of the more well known past inductees into the SHOF include Laird Hamilton, Andy Irons, Jack O’Neill, Robert August, Bob Hurley, Sean Collins, Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Gerry Lopez, George Downing, Greg Noll, Rick Fignetti, Sumo Sato, Michele Turner, Timmy Turner, Ryan Turner, Casey Wheat, Shawn Stussy, Pat O’Connell, Bethany Hamilton, Mick Fanning, Brett Simpson, Kai Lenny, Carissa Moore and many more.
This is definitely one of the coolest surfing related events to be available to us here in the O.C. You really should plan and making it out there and be a part of surfing history in the making.