Surf’s Up at Huntington’s Walk of Fame : New Attraction’s Inauguration Marks Latest Gift from Sport to City It Made Famous
They skipped the Pellegrino and Perrier, omitted the air-kisses and dazzling smiles, and were the better for it. After all, it was Huntington Beach, not Hollywood, and this was the inauguration of the Surfing Walk of Fame, not a mere addition of yet another star to that other walk, the one on Hollywood Boulevard.
Huntington Beach, which likes to call itself Surf City, inaugurated its newest attraction this month with honorees appropriately attired in khakis or shorts and Hawaiian shirts, not business suits. Bruce Brown, the filmmaker whose 1964 movie “Endless Summer” detailed the international search for the perfect wave, was one of the six inaugural inductees. Brown was nicely low-key, saying he was flattered and embarrassed and did not really deserve the honor. But when he was asked what he planned to do after the ceremony, he struck just the right note with the ringing declaration: “I’m going home to surf.”
Fittingly, it was the co-owners of a surfboard shop in Huntington Beach who instigated the project four years ago and donated $30,000 for the walk. Organizers wisely decided to set aside one of the six slots for a “local hero,” with the initial honor in that annual category going to Robert August, one of the stars of “Endless Summer” (Brown this year made a sequel, “Endless Summer II”).
Also deserving enshrinement was Joyce Hoffman of San Juan Capistrano, a five-time champion whom some consider the best female surfing competitor ever. Hoffman’s gracious comment: “It’s nice to know that after 30 years, people remember you as giving something to surfing.”
Surfing gave a good amount to the city as well, with city officials reporting that residents of other states usually tell them they’ve heard of the city because of the beaches. Now the sport’s latest gift to the city is the Surfing Walk of Fame, which fits nicely with the city’s redevelopment of its downtown area.