Surfing Walk of Fame spruces up granite stones for first inductees
The first granite stones set in the sidewalk on Main Street in Huntington Beach to create the Surfing Walk of Fame nearly three decades ago got a makeover, with new plaques put in place this week to replace the older, deteriorated tributes.
The annual Surfing Walk of Fame induction ceremony – along with the US Open of Surfing that typically brings thousands down to Huntington Beach – was supposed to happen this week, but was canceled with coronavirus concerns still lingering.
“We just thought it was good to keep the stoke alive,” said Peter “PT” Townend, who sits on the Walk of Fame’s board of directors and was at the first induction in 1994. So organizers took the opportunity to do some needed maintenance.
“After 27 years, they just got worn down from foot traffic and cracks and stuff,” said Townend, surfing’s first world champion. “We thought it was a good idea to do something.”
The surfer stones that were replaced include Linda Benson, Joyce Hoffman, Robert August, Duke Kahanamoku, Bruce Brown, Tom Blake and Martin Potter.
It was also a chance to recreate an image taken in 1997 with three original board members, Don MacAllister, Ron Abdelfattah and Townend, along with Huntington Beach Mayor Lyn Semeta taking the place of then mayor Linda Moulton-Patterson.
Townend said he remembers wondering that first year inducting surfers: “Is any of this relevant?”
“Now, there’s 150 stones, it’s such a bigger deal,” he said. “To get your granite stone on the sidewalk is a big deal. I think it means more today to inductees than when it did when we started.”