August 1, 2020

Surfing Walk of Fame spruces up granite stones for first inductees

By anaheimsigns

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.

  • Courtney Conlogue

    Surfing Walk of Fame board member John Etheridge celebrates the unveiling of eight new granite stones that replaced the previous ones during a ceremony in Huntington Beach on Saturday, August 1, 2020. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Orange County

    Surfer Courtney Conlogue’s plaque is one of the eight stones replaced in front of Jack’s Surfboards in Huntington Beach. The Surfing Walk of Fame granite stones were revealed during a ceremony on Saturday, August 1, 2020. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Surfing

    Stones are kept under wraps before the Surfing Walk of Fame rededication ceremony on Saturday, August 1, 2020. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Townend

    Rick Robbins watches the New Stone Day Ceremony with Princess, left, and Bosco, during a rededication ceremony. Eight new granite stones replaced old ones in front of Jack’s Surfboards in Huntington Beach on Saturday, August 1, 2020. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Courtney Conlogue

    Surfing Walk of Fame board member John Etheridge celebrates the unveiling of eight new granite stones that replaced the previous ones during a ceremony in Huntington Beach on Saturday, August 1, 2020. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Orange County

    Surfing Walk of Fame board member John Etheridge celebrates the unveiling of eight new granite stones that replaced the previous ones during a ceremony in Huntington Beach on Saturday, August 1, 2020. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Surfing

    Surfing Walk of Fame board members Tom Herbel, left, and John Etheridge, unveil new granite stones during a ceremony in Huntington Beach on Saturday, August 1, 2020. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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“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.”