by Corky Carroll
The 24th annual INTERNATIONAL SURFBOARD BUILDERS’ HALL OF FAME induction ceremony, party, festival and Polynesian Luau will take place this year on Saturday, October 14th. It will be held at the Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach and entertainment begins at 8 A.M, with the induction ceremony at 10 A.M. It is free to the public and a super fun event to go to. All kinds of fun stuff and cool people hangin’ out.
The founders of the ISBHOF, Bob “the Greek” Bolen and Mike “Mickey the Ratt” Ester, are stoked to have one of their greatest line ups of surfboard building talent for this year’s induction. Here is a brief rundown.
The Campbell Brothers, Malcolm and Duncan. I love these guys. Totally original and unique surfboard designers who are responsible for one of the best and most functional board designs to date. The “BONZER.” In 1970, when some of us were working on “twin-fin” shapes, these two brothers from Oxnard were thinking a bit ahead. They could see the pluses and minuses of the two fin and were taking it farther. What they came up with was so much more than just a three-fin board, it was a totally new bottom design that went along with the very different fin shapes and set up. And it really worked great. The first time I tried one I refused to give it back to the owner, Mike Eaton. Three months later he snuck into my back yard in the middle of the night to get it back. And today I am riding a Bonzer SUP. These dudes rock, stoked to see them get some love.
Wayne Brown, local boy makes good. I really liked Wayne, he was one of those “stoked” kinda guys that you just felt good being around. He did a lot of stuff. Started out in 1967 making surfboards, BC and then Wayne Brown Surfboards. This led to him also manufacturing Skateboards and a shop on Main Street in Huntington Beach. Then he began importing Piping Hot Wetsuits from Australia, which led to him making a deal with Aleeda Wetsuits to manufacture here in the U.S. He had a place in the back of his shop where he could make you a custom wetsuit and deliver it in 24 hours. Wayne sadly passed away in 2018.
Craig Sugihara. Founder and owner of Town and Country Surfboards. Craig is one of those totally cool hard-core surfers who came up through the ranks. Started riding a Piapo board in 1957, started surfing in 1959 under the guidance of the beach boys at Waikiki, started learning how to shape and laminate boards in 1965, built his first board in 1967, got his first surf industy job in 1968 working for George Downing at Greg Noll Surfboards doing fiblerglass work, started building complete boards in 1970 for Mystic Surfboards out in Waianae and finally opening his own TOWN AND COUNTRY surf shop in 1971 in Pearl City. Today he has six stores, Licensees all over the world and is still building surfboards. And, the dude is a great surfer and very cool dude on top of all that.
John Kies. A San Diego surfer who began shaping boards in 1965. Four years later he had a growing market for his shapes and began building boards in his parents’ garage, this was right at the beginning of the “underground” garage board era. In 1972 he began shaping for Hansen Surfboards and then became factory manager and shaper for Koast Surfboards. Putting himself through college on his earnings he found that he couldn’t keep up the demand and so he hired up and coming shapers Rusty Priesendorfer, Bill Shrosbee and Mike Slingerland to help him. All became world class shapers on their own. After Koast closed down John seized the chance to open his own business, Encinitas Surfboards. 35 years, and 24,000 boards, later John is still going and stoked that he can “actually do this for a living.”
Also on the slate to get inducted this year are Mitchell Rae of Outer Island Surfboards in Australia and Bernie Crouch from the infamous East Coast brand, Mad Dog Surfboards.
If you are free on Saturday the 14th this is be the place to be. Super cool and groovy all the way.