Category Archives: Surf

The Catalina Classic, the longest race of the paddleboard season, is this Sunday, August 26th. Always on the last Sunday of summer, the 32 mile race from the Catalina Isthmus to the Manhattan Beach pier attracts paddlers from around the world, including France, Australia, Hawaii, and the U.S.A’s East and West coasts.

Now in its 37th year, the Catalina Classic originated in 1955 when Bob Hogan along with Greg Noll, Ricky Grigg, Tommy Zahn and other surf pioneers decided to race their paddleboards from Catalina to the mainland. Since then, the race has seen some of the world’s greatest watermen compete, including Dale Velzy, Micky Munoz, Miki Dora, Laird Hamilton, Buzzy Kerbox, and Jaimie Mitchell.

The race kicks off at 6 a.m. at the Isthmus of Catalina, and racers finish anywhere from 5 to 9 hours after the start. They are expecting approximately 80+ paddlers to do the challenging trek, using only their arms to propel themselves through the water.

Some of this year’s noted paddlers include several winners from the sport’s most prestigious paddleboard competitions. Returning champions Sean Richardson and Adam Buckley will compete against each other in the Unlimited Division, and Women’s Stock Champion Jo Ambrosi from Australia will defend her title against the largest field of women’s paddlers ever assembled for the Catalina Classic.

Several paddlers have taken on the additional challenge of raising money for several non-profit organizations including Ocean of Hope, Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, and the ALS Association. Last year, paddlers generated over $100k to support these causes.

For more information, go to or Continue reading

A brand new all-girls magazine called Salted, ’’a much-overdue homage to women’s surfing’’ will hit newsstands on August 14, 2012. The glossy mag, created by the editors of SURFER Magazine, features the best female surfers on the planet, trips to the most idyllic locales, profiles, interviews, history, fashion features, and more.

It will feature the best female surfers on the planet—including Stephanie Gilmore, Coco Ho, Sally Fitzgibbons, Carissa Moore, and many more— and is made with the quality, authenticity, and incredible imagery similar to SURFER Magazine.

“There are so many amazing female surfers right now and so many interesting stories that aren’t being told,” says SURFER Magazine Managing Editor, Janna Irons. “It’s great to finally give them the attention they deserve—and to have a home for all the beautiful images we’ve collected. I’m so excited we were able to create something that celebrates all we’ve been missing out on.”

Hitting newsstands August 14, Salted is nearly 100 pages of uninterrupted female surf content in an over-sized, glossy format. Find it at your local surf shop or bookstore. The digital version will also be available on the Apple Newsstand beginning August 6.

Sage Erickson and Quincy Davis, two of the many surfers featured in the debut issue of Salted Magazine. Photo: Maassen Continue reading

Legendary coach Andy Verdone, pioneer surfer Rabbit Kekai, and Dane Reynolds, one of the most progressive surfers in the world, will be the 2012 inductees for the Surfers’ Hall of Fame. Verdone, Kekai, and Reynolds will immortalize their hand and footprints in cement for the ages on Friday, August 3rd at 10:00 a.m. in front of Huntington Surf & Sport.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the nation’s first imprint collection of legendary surfers, the Surfers’ Hall of Fame celebrated its first induction in 1997 inside of specialty retailer Huntington Surf & Sport where several slabs remain. Four years later with the blessing of the City Council and a stunning bronze statue of sport’s spiritual leader Duke Kahanamoku serving as a backdrop, the ceremony moved outside to the corner of PCH and Main; less than 100 feet from the famed Huntington Beach Pier, site of the U.S. Open of Surfing.

Here’s a little bit about the newest inductees:

Rabbit Kekai:
Surfing since age 5, Rabbit was taken under the wing of Duke Kahanamoku at age 10 and became a pioneer of the North Shore surfing scene in the ’30s, known as an innovator of drop-knee turns on short, finless boards. Nicknamed “Rabbit” for being one of the island’s fastest runners, Kekai is a living legend in the world of surfing. Rabbit won Peruvian and Makaha International titles during the ’50s, and each winter season, he can be found at every Triple Crown event, doling out jerseys, wisecracks and advice as Beach Marshall, a position he has held since the first Pipeline Masters in 1971.

Dane Reynolds:
Dane Reynolds, one of the most progressive surfers in the world, is known for his “go for broke” style of surfing that includes a number of experimental and aerial maneuvers. He competed in the 2003 and 2004 X Games and received the highest single wave score both years. His first video, “First Chapter,” won Best Male Performance in a Video and Video of the Year at the 2006 Surfer Poll Awards. Dane qualified for the 2008 World Tour, rocking to the coveted Top 10 in 2009. Reynolds had a breakout year in 2010, ending up tied for fourth in the world. Despite injuries that held him back in 2011 and thus far in 2012, Dane is known for pushing the boundaries of the sport. Many pros call him the most exciting free surfer in the world.

Andy Verdone:
The Huntington Beach High School surf coach took over from the late Chuck Allen in ’87-’88, and immediately helped the team take home NSSA National titles. Known as the “Phil Jackson” of surf coaches, Verdone parlayed Allen’s success and has built his program into among the most successful and winningest in the country, capturing 10 NSSA National Titles as well as a National Surf League Title in 2010. He has trained and coached some of the best surfers in Huntington Beach, including the Deffenbaugh brothers, Jay Larson, Micah Byrne, Shaun Ward and Brett Simpson. Year after year, 100 students try out for his squad and only 30 make the cut. Verdone’s impact on the sport of surfing in Surf City is such that one young surfer moved here from Nantucket, Massachusetts without his family just to surf for the Huntington Beach Oilers.

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony pays tribute to those individuals who have made an indelible mark on the sport, industry and culture of surfing. Annually, tens of thousands of visitors to Huntington Beach’s downtown area literally walk in the footsteps of surfing superstars and legends from several eras including Laird Hamilton, Andy Irons, Jack O’Neill, Robert August, Bob Hurley, Sean Collins, Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Pat O’Connell, Al Merrick, Shaun Tomson and Rob Machado who are already immortalized in cement.

Famed sports commentators David Stanfield and Rockin’ Fig will serve as Masters of Ceremony.

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony is open to the public, free-of-charge. Further information is available at Continue reading

Next Thursday August 2nd, seven surfers will be added to the 2012 Surfing Walk of Fame. The new inductees were selected by a panel of surf industry veterans, former pros and surf journalists.

“The Surfing Walk of Fame board of directors is very excited with this year’s voter-selected honorees for the 2012 induction,” said Don MacAllister, SWoF Chairman of the Board. “For the past 19 years, we mail ballots throughout the world and gather votes to make our selection.”

The 18th annual Surfing Walk of Fame event is at 10 a.m. on Aug. 2 in front of Jack’s Surfboards in Huntington Beach off Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, where surfers’ names will be memorialized in granite and places along the walkway.

This year’s seven honorees are:

  1. Hawaiian legend Michael Ho, who won the Pipeline Masters five times and the Triple Crown twice.
  2. The late Michael Peterson, winner of the first-ever pro tour contest.
  3. Surf forecasting pioneer Sean Collins who founded and passed away in December. Collins will be given the surf culture award.
  4. Surfboard shaper Dick Brewer, who continues to shape and innovate surfboards, and in more recent times has built tow boards for Laird Hamilton, Derrick Doerner and Garrett McNamara.
  5. Alisa Schwarzstein-Cairns, who will be given the woman of the year award. She won a world amateur title at age 15, then was named ASP Rookie of the Year and remained in the ASP top eight for four years.
  6. George Draper, founder of George’s Surf Shop in Huntington Beach, and will be given the local hero award.
  7. Stacey Wood, Dwyer Middle School’s surf coach, whose teams have won multiple NSSA National Interscholastic titles, gets the honor roll category.

This year’s honorary induction ceremony will take place during the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach on August 2.

Past recipients of the Surfing Walk of Fame honors include Duke Kahanamoku, Kelly Slater, Lisa Anderson, Tom Curren, Bruce Brown, and Eddie Aikau.

Congratulations to these deserving folks, whose contributions have absolutely shaped the surf industry! Continue reading

Starting to get Olympic fever, but wish there was something for surfers? Well, surfers from around the world have their own version of Olympic competition. The Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship begins tomorrow, July 14, with the Opening Ceremony, Parade of Nations and Sands of the World Ceremony in Rivas, and competition along Nicaragua’s pristine coastline at Colorado Beach at Hacienda Iguana to commence the following day. Team USA will be defending its gold medal.

The International Surfing Association hosts contests through the year in various categories of surf – including juniors, SUP, and longboarding divisions. The ISA, established in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the world governing authority for surfing, but the sport has yet to make its breakthrough at the official Olympic Games.

During the first year of the event (2007), 66 athletes from 12 nations participated. When competition begins at the 2012 Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship on July 14th, there will be 150 surfers from 27 nations, both ISA Masters records. The caliber of athletes who are competing in Nicaragua include national champions and local legends to former professional surfers and Pipeline Masters.

This year, for the first time in the five-year history of the event, an Asian country will be participating, with Japan sending a team to compete.

Last year, the USA sent a team to compete in the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship for the first time and came home with five individual medals and the Team Gold Medal. Team USA is set to prove that last year’s dominance was no fluke. The athletes will be competing for individual medals, team medals and the perpetual Eduardo Arena Trophy, which will be awarded to the Gold Medal-winning team.

One of the goals of the ISA is to take competitions to developing regions to showcase surfing, to help boost economy and get governments involved. It also helps various cultures and all walks of life have a chance at the podium.

The idea is for surfers to make friends with others in various parts of the world, perhaps stay at each other’s houses during future surf trips, and make friends that will last a lifetime; just as many who are entered in the ISA World Masters Championships have done.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre has been a longtime advocate for surfing to one day be a part of the Summer Olympics, and thinks it can change the event the way snowboarding has for the Winter Olympics.

“I don’t embark on things I don’t think are possible,” said Aguerre, a co-founder of the surfwear brand Reef.

Who else thinks it’s only just a matter of time for surfing to become an Olympic sport? In the meantime, check out more of the action and info here:

Continue reading