Huntington Beach to celebrate 25th anniversary of Surfers’ Hall of Fame with three inductees

Surfer Peter Mel of Santa Cruz
Surfer Peter Mel of Santa Cruz listens to a speaker during the induction of Casey Wheat into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame last June. This year, it’s Mel’s turn to be inducted.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

The Surfers’ Hall of Fame, located at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street in Huntington Beach, contains the handprints of dozens of surfing superstars, industry leaders and supporters.

As the Hall of Fame turns 25 this year, three more inductees are set to become immortalized in cement.

Surfer Peter Mel, surf explorer Martin Daly and Sugar Shack Cafe owner Michele Turner make up the 2022 class. Each will be honored on Aug. 5, during the U.S. Open of Surfing.


There will also be a rededication ceremony from the Pai family, which owns and operates Huntington Surf & Sport and started the Surfers’ Hall of Fame in 1997.

“As we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, we want to take a moment to rededicate our commitment to the Surfers’ Hall of Fame and to surfers and surfing at the epicenter of the surfing world,” Aaron Pai said. “This year’s honorees have contributed so much to riding waves, supporting our surfing community and staving off hunger after a local surf session. We are grateful to Peter Mel, Martin Daly and Michele Turner for their commitment to surfing and the surf community.”

Waitress Jessica Turner brings meals to customers at Michele's Sugar Shack Cafe on Sept. 21, 2020.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Mel, from Santa Cruz, found his footing on the Big Wave Tour, where he was crowned champion in 2012. He also won contests including the 2013 Mavericks Invitational, and is a broadcaster for the World Surf League. He is known as a big-wave surfer, and his son John Mel is a four-time surfing national champion.

Daly is a surf explorer, boat captain, surfer and diver. Since the 1980s he has run boat charters that take surfers to the waves of their dreams. He also continues to give back to the community, providing relief aid after the tsunamis in Indonesia and supporting coral health programs and research on nuclear debris in Bikini Atoll.

“The relationship with the ocean, being out there in the environment with your friends and family, sharing those magic experiences that only surfing can provide, that’s what it is all about,” Pai said. “That’s what Martin has dedicated his life to. That’s what he’s given to so many people. He’s opened up the world and changed lives. It’s about as pure as it gets.”

Turner has given the gift of food to many local surfers with her restaurant on Main Street in Huntington Beach. The Sugar Shack has been family-owned since 1967 and “The Shack,” as it is known to locals, provides items like pancakes and hearty breakfast burritos to Surf City residents and visitors alike.

The mother of surfers Timmy and Ryan Turner, Michele Turner, is also the grandmother of 11 and the godmother of countless surfers, Pai said.

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