Pasadenan to be Inducted Into Surfer Hall of Fame

Published : Tuesday, May 29, 2018 | 5:25 AM

Pasadena’s own famous surfer Herbie Fletcher will be inducted into the Surfer’s Hall of Fame in Huntington Beach on Friday, August 3, along with two other surfers – Hawaii’s Ben Aipa and Long Beach’s Brett “Simpo” Simpson – who will have their hands and footprints immortalized in cement for ages.

“We are honored and excited to induct these three great surfers and thank them for their contributions and achievements to our surfing world,” said Surfers’ Hall of Fame founder Aaron Pai in a press release Friday.

Born in Pasadena in 1948, Fletcher began surfing at 9 was a semifinalist in the 1996 World Surfing Championships. By the end of the 1970s, Herbie had purchased Astrodeck, a maker of non-slip coatings for surfboards; founded Herbie Fletcher Surfboards in Dana Point, and was among the leaders of the longboard resurgence.

Fletcher’s creation of a peel-and-stick version of Astrodeck turned the brand into the sport’s best known accessory utilized by nearly all of the world’s top surfers.

In the mid 1980’s Fletcher ventured into surf videos, releasing “Wave Warriors,” a series of promotional videos for Astrodeck followed by the “Adrenaline Surf” series.

In the winter of 1985, Fletcher gathered together surfers and surf photographers in front of his house at the Banzai Pipeline for the first of what has become a three-decade long tradition to promote his latest film. He was on the vanguard of the tow-in surfing movement, riding 25-foot waves at Waimea Bay on his Kawasaki Jet Ski.

In 1987, years before Laird Hamilton popularized the technique, Fletcher towed in Martin Potter, Tom Carroll and Michael Ho into 12-foot waves at Pipeline.

His wife Dibi, leader of the Fletcher surf dynasty, is daughter of surf industry icon Walter Hoffman and sister to two-time World Champion Joyce Hoffman. Fletcher’s oldest son Christian was a trailblazing aerial surfer in the 1990s, while son Nathan, a world-class surfer in his own right, branched out into skateboarding, motocross and snowboarding.

Both sons were shamelessly promoted in their father’s videos. Grandson Greyson follows in the Fletcher clan footsteps as one of the world’s best skateboarders while the youngest Fletcher, Laser, is not far behind.

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 travel to Huntington Beach’s downtown area and 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, Gerry Lopez, George Downing, Shane Dorian, Greg Noll, Corky Carroll, Shaun Tomson, Rob Machado, Timmy Turner, Shawn Stussy, Rabbit Kekai and many more, who are already immortalized in cement.

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 and Sport where several slabs remain.

Four years later with the blessing of the Huntington Beach city council and a stunning bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku serving as a backdrop, the ceremony moved outside to the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Main, less than 100 feet from the famed Huntington Beach Pier, site of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing.

This year’s induction ceremony features the inductees, family, friends, pro surfers and industry titans, and is open to the public, free of charge.

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