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Huntington Surf & Sport hosted an induction ceremony for the Surfers’ Hall of Fame Friday morning, including an emotional tribute and standing ovation for Hawaiian George Downing.
During the ceremony, Downing was described as a pioneering big wave rider, innovative board shaper, Waikiki beachboy, mentor, contest director and all-around waterman.
Downing and the other inductees left their footprints and wrote inscriptions in concrete. Downing wrote, “Save our surf, surf with Aloha.”
“When Duke was around, you didn’t dare not surf with aloha,” Downing said during his speech.
He also said, “We have a religion, surfing is a religion. It’s God’s gift to all of us. We must remember to cherish it.”
Other inductees on Friday included local long-time Huntington Beach surfer Chuck Linnen, Simon Anderson, an Australian best known for developing the “Thruster” design of three equal-size fins, and Taylor Knox, part of 1990’s “New School” crew that replaced the 80’s power surfers.
Those honored and their families and friends were treated to a lunch at Surfline headquarters after the ceremony.
HSS Owner Aaron Pai founded the Surfers’ Hall of Fame.