2014 Waterman’s Weekend Honorees

Tom Carroll – Waterman of the Year

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Tom Carroll, two-time world champion, will be given the title of 2014 Waterman of the Year. He dominated the 1982 World Cup at 8-to-10-foot Sunset and won three consecutive events, becoming the first goofy foot to earn a professional world title. He won again in 1984 and also won the Surfer Poll that year, proving he was a surfer’s surfer and the people’s choice. During Carroll’s 14-year tenure on the world tour, he racked up 26 victories (third only to Curren and Slater), finished in the top five a record nine times and never wavered as the most powerful surfer on earth. With all of these titles he can now add 2014 Waterman of the Year.

Ted Danson – Environmentalist of the Year


Well-known and accomplished television and film actor and producer Ted Danson is also an avid protector of our environment and a prime candidate for the 2014 SIMA Environmentalist of the Year title. Danson founded the American Oceans Campaign (AOC) in 1987 in order to alert Americans to the life-threatening hazards created by oil spills, off-shore development, toxic wastes, sewage pollution and other ocean abuses. In 2001, the AOC merged into a new organization called Oceana. Oceana is now the world’s largest international advocacy group exclusively focused on oceans. Danson is a board member and spokesperson for Oceana. The group has since won over a hundred important policy victories for the oceans around the world resulting in the protection of more than a million square miles of ocean and the restoration of major fisheries in Europe, South America and the United States. The group will launch campaigns this year in Brazil and the Philippines thanks to funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Danson continues to be heavily involved in Oceana’s campaigns and recently wrote a book entitled “Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them.”

Rusty Preisendorfer – Lifetime Achievement Award


Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Rusty Preisendorfer, is considered a premier shortboard shaper and a fundamental part of shaping history. As a shaper, Preisendorfer deserves credit for perfecting the modern thruster as we know it. His shaping career began with his fascination in merely building things, fixing dinged up boards that he found at garage sales at a young age. He quickly turned a love for creation into an unrivaled name in shaping and transmitted that into one of the largest apparel lines in the industry. Preisendorfer is recognized all over the world by a single letter – “R” – and by the time he started Rusty Surfboards in 1985, more than half the world’s Top 16 surfers had ridden his boards. He was the most in-demand shaper anywhere and in 1988 he launched a full clothing line, which grew into one of the largest-grossing businesses in surfing. For 25 years, he worked on creating fuller size master molds, crafting boards for larger surfers and was also one of the first big labels to sign a deal with SurfTech to make molded versions of his designs. Rusty’s impact on the surf world is extensive, and SIMA is proud to honor him with the SIMA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hobie Alter – Special Recognition Award


Hobie Alter, widely remembered as the man behind the development of the foam-and-fiberglass surfboard, will be the 2014 Special Recognition Award recipient. The award will be presented to his family as Alter passed away March of this year. Hobie started shaping balsa boards in the early ‘50s and in 1954 opened the Hobie Surfboards shop in Dana Point, Calif. He was arguably one of the most successful entrepreneurs in surfing history and also saw success with his popular sailboat and radio-controlled glider designs. In 1993, SIMA honored Alter with the organization’s first Waterman of the Year award and SIMA can’t think of a better way to honor his memory than by bringing his legacy full circle to receive the Special Recognition Award.

Watch Acceptance Speeches from previous Waterman’s Ball’s






Past Honorees

Year Waterman Environmentalist Lifetime Achievement Special Recognition
2013 Fernando Aguerre Brandon Boyd & Incubus Peter “PT” Townend Jon Rose
2012 Shane Dorian Jean-Michel Cousteau Sean Collins
2011 Greg Long Jefferson Wagner George Downing
2010 Tom Curren Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Al Merrick
2009 Rob Machado Dave Rastovich Dick Baker
2008 Mark Occhilupo Jackson Browne Eduardo Arena Surfrider Foundation & Sierra Club’s Friends of the Foothills
2007 Lisa Andersen Eddie Vedder Randy Rarick Kelly Slater & Layne Beachley
2006 Bob McKnight Jack & Kim Johnson Rabbit Kekai
2005 Andy Irons Chris Evans Larry “Flame” Moore
2004 Kelly Slater Greg MacGillivray Miki Dora Bethany Hamilton
2003 Laird Hamilton Serge Dedina Bill & Bob Meistrell
2002 Fred Hemmings Shaun Tomson Leroy Grannis
2001 Bud Brown Donna Frye Kenny Collins, Brad Gerlach, Peter Mel & Mike Parsons
2000 Jack O’Neill Susan Crank & Tom Knapp
1999 Gerry Lopez Richie Moretti
1998 Greg Noll Yvon Chouinard
1997 John Severson John Kelly
1996 Rell Sunn
1995 Walter Hoffman
1994 Bruce Brown
1993 Hobie Alter