NEW JERSEY SURFING HALL OF FAME 2017 INDUCTION CEREMONY
The 2017 New Jersey Surfing Hall of Fame bi-annual induction celebration took place May 12th at the Flanders Hotel in Ocean City, New Jersey with some of the industry’s most influential in attendance. The sold-out crowd of over 600 was made up of old timers, rippers, legends and grommets. The class of 13 HOF surfers were introduced by former World Champ Peter “PT” Townend, who has a storied past on the Jersey Shore. The infamous “Orange County bubble” did not disappoint, showing how important surf culture in New Jersey is to the longevity of the surfing lifestyle. Other big names included Quiksilver co-founder Bob McKnight, VP of sales Ted Li, Sales Director Mike Reilly, and Director of Roxy Sales Sasha Hartloff. Electric owner Eric Crane celebrated his Jersey roots feeling right at home with the entertaining crowd.
Even with many industry celebrities in attendance the night belonged firmly to the Hall of Fame inductees. The group embodied the true spirit of what surfing means to the New Jersey community and its many contributions to the sport. The lineup included athletes, artists and influencers equally represented from individual coastal regions determined by the NJSHOF board of directors. To learn more about the organization and induction process visit http://www.njsurfinghalloffame.com/.
Class of 2017 Inductees:
Jeff Arensman – A central Jersey fierce competitor during the ’70s. Titles include 2nd-place in the 1971 US Surfing Championships at Huntington Beach, and 1st place at East Coast Surfing Championships in 1973
Kevin Casey – A Central Jersey surfer who earned two US Men’s Open Championships in ’83 and ’85. He received one of 30 invites to the 1983 Hawaiian Tropics Men’s World Cup Pipeline event, and hit #48 on the 1978 IPS rankings
Gary Finnigan – A Northern District, Monmouth County surfer whose career started 1969 who still competes regularly and usually wins. He is a mentor, volunteer, and family man influencing many along the way.
Larry Friedel – Represents Cape May County as the owner/founder of 7th Street Surf Shop in Ocean City, NJ. He is a pioneer of the “learn to surf” school concept in NJ who helped coach and mentor pro surfers Dean Randazzo and Matt Keenan.
Tony Giordano – The Central District’s owner/founder of Ocean Hut Surf Shop in Lavallette, NJ. A Casino Pier fixture and legend with contributions too long to list…if you know Tony G you know.
Brian Heritage – Cape May County’s Owner of Heritage Surf and Sport in Sea Isle City, NJ. Now a the owner and shaper for Heritage Surfboards he has endless competitive results from East Coast Champs all the way to the pro tour, steering BH to bringing some of the largest Pro and Jr Pro competitions to NJ in the last 20 years.
Charlie Kunes – Representing the Northern District he surfed for Les Reitman’s (NJSHOF class of 2015) Manatee Surf Shop and its Hobie team. A Monmouth county surfer, shaper and mentor with a peer group including Harold Iggy, Reno Abellira, Nat Young, and Scott Busbey.
Tom McClaren – The Atlantic County surfer was the 1994 Colin J. Couture award recipient, mastermind behind South Jersey District ESA, and co-wrote ESA competition hand book.
Jack Meyer – A Renowned Monmouth County (Northern District) Artist whose work and influences can be found throughout the surf industry. He did airbrush work for numerous shapers including Channel Islands, OP, and Local Motion. The Longtime industry rep passed away in 2007.
Bill Minder – The Founder Monmouth Beach Surf Shop (Northern District) he assembled a “surf shop team” in the 60s including guys and gals. He mentored many including 2015 NJHOF inductees Vince Troniec as well as the late Jim Jeffries and Steve Adeskavitz.
Mark Neustadter – Atlantic County industry vet who has been a Sales Manager at Rip Curl, Rusty sales rep in the 90s, and numerous other rep jobs with heavy hitting surf brands. He has had a storied amateur/pro career including media exposure and advertisements in major magazine publications. A Legendary character who has brought NJ surfing well beyond the state’s borders.
Tom O’Brien – Atlantic County surfer has a laundry list of competitive successes that continues today. The Absecon Island native, helped mentor Frank Walsh, Zack Humphreys and Cassidy Mclain. A renaissance man that represents the best of NJ surfing
Sandy Ordille – Cape May County and East Coast Hall of Fame inductee for 2017. She has been a trailblazer for women’s competitive surfing on the East Coast and set the stage for surfers like Frieda Zamba and Lisa Anderson.
Main Sponsors Vans, Quiksilver and Billabong
Shop Sponsors Heritage, 7th Street and Kona
Industry Sponsors Electric, RVCA, Cobian, Dragon, Volcom, Sanuk, Oneill, Rip Curl, Isurus, Gforce, Vissla and Creatures of Leisure.