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Strauch, Abellira, Mulanovich named for Walk of Fame

Paul Strauch © John Severson/Walk of Fame



Surf History

2015 Surfing Walk of Fame inductees announced

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 July, 2015 - Huntington Beach - The votes have been tallied and six legendary wave riders will once again be forever enshrined in surfing’s history books on July 30, 2015.

Through a selection ballot, a host of respected surf industry veterans, former professionals and surf journalists narrowed down a field of hundreds of candidates to name the six 2015 Surfing Walk of Fame’s honorees in their respective categories – Reno Abellira (Surf Champion), Paul Strauch (Surf Pioneer), Dick Graham (Surf Culture), Sofia Mulanovich (Women of the Year),  John Boozer (Local Hero) and David Nuuhiwa Sr. (Honor Roll).  

The Surfing Walk of Fame is the only tribunal in surfing to award specific categories as well as require a 10-year margin since the commemorating achievement. This year’s recipients will be cemented alongside past inductees, earning their immortal place in the pavement on the corner of PCH and Main Street, directly across from the famous pier in Surf City USA -- Huntington Beach, California.

"We are celebrating our 22nd year of honoring people into the Surfing Walk of Fame by placing engraved stones in the sidewalk on Main Street and PCH,” said Don MacAllister, SWoF Chairman of the Board. “We are pleased to have such a distinguished group to represent the surfing world this year.” 

Early bottom turn innovator and “cheater five” inventor Paul Strauch earns the Surf Pioneer induction this year. Born in Hawaii, his timeless style also transferred over into the contest realm where he won the prestigious Makaha Invitational in 1959 as well as the 1966 Hawaii state titles.

Legendary Hawaiian surfer/shaper Reno Abellira receives the Surf Champion nod. With countless results on the early world pro circuit as well as numerous North Shore podiums, perhaps Abellira’s biggest victory came at thundering Waimea Bay as he topped Jeff Hakman to win the 1974 Smirnoff Pro.

The always-colorful Surf Culture plaque will be awarded to Surfing Magazine cofounder Dick Graham. After a lengthy journalism career than included writing, photography and editing, Graham also contributed to the evolution of the surf industry with stints at Lightning Bolt and Hang Ten beachwear.

The Woman of the Year honor will be presented to Peru’s Sofia Mulanovich, South America’s only surfing World Champion. Mulanovich achieved the feat by dethroning perennial ASP World Champ Layne Benchley after six-straight crowns. Mulanovich also holds a Gold Medal from the ISA World Surfing Games.

Also in this year’s ceremony, Huntington mainstay John Boozer is recognized as the Local Hero. And longtime bestower of blessings for the US Open of Surfing, the late David Nuuhiwa Sr. is remembered with the Honor Roll spot.

Here are the voting criterions used to decide each division:

SURF CHAMPION – Nominees must have held a world championship and/or world-class event titles specific to Huntington Beach.

SURF PIONEER – Nominees achieved surfing fame as a respected surfer or pioneer in the time before major championship; candidates must either be at least 50 years old or deceased.

SURF CULTURE – Inductees are nominated from the arts and/or industry, and must have helped create and define surfing culture.

WOMAN OF THE YEAR – Any female who meets the qualification in any of the four categories: surf champion, surfing culture, local hero, or surfing pioneer.

LOCAL HERO – Nominees must have resided in Huntington Beach for at least 10 years, graduated from Huntington Union School District, been a finalist in the surf champion category, contributed to Huntington surfing culture, been a surfing pioneer in the city or a past champion at the annual Huntington Beach City Championships.

HONOR ROLL – Recipients of the honor roll award deserve recognition du to their important contributions to the sport of surfing and its culture, but hey do not qualify under the specific guidelines of the other five walk of fame categories. The honor roll is the only category chose by the walk of fame board of directors.

This year’s honorary induction ceremony will take place during the U.S. Open of Surfing outside of Jack’s Surfboards in Huntington Beach at 10:00am on July 30th. Past recipients of the Surfing Walk of Fame honors include Duke Kahanamoku, Kelly Slater, Lisa Anderson, Tom Curren, Bruce Brown, Eddie Aikau and more. For additional information go to .

Mike Cianciulli

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