Local Legends to Join Surfers' Hall of Fame
LOCAL LEGENDS RYAN TURNER, SHAWN STUSSY AND BLAINE “SUMO” SATO TO ENTER 2016 SURFERS’ HALL OF FAME ON FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2016
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – The Surfers’ Hall of Fame welcomes local legends Ryan Turner, Shawn Stussy and Blaine “Sumo” Sato as its 2016 inductees. Stussy, who surfed the Huntington Beach Pier in the 1960s and once shaped for Chuck Dent, launched the eponymous Stussy, Inc. in 1980; Ryan Turner is a former captain of the acclaimed Huntington Beach High School Surf Team and perhaps the best unknown surfer and legendary tube rider in the world; and Blaine “Sumo” Sato is an amazing diver, fisherman, regular charger on the north side and Pastor of the H20 Community Church in Huntington Beach.
Against the backdrop of the stunning Huntington downtown at PCH and Main Street, the 2016 inductees will have their hand and footprints immortalized in cement for the ages on Friday, July 29th at 9:30 a.m. in front of Huntington Surf & Sport; under the watchful eye of Duke Kahanamoku, the sport’s spiritual leader whose statue anchors the Surfers’ Hall of Fame. This year’s induction ceremony features the inductees, family, friends, pro surfers and industry titans, and is open to the public, free-of-charge. Further information is available at https://hsssurf.com/shof/.
“We are extremely stoked and honored to induct these three Huntington surf legends Shawn Stussy, Ryan Turner and Pastor Sumo Sato into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame this July during the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing,” said Surfers’ Hall of Fame founder Aaron Pai. Brief inductee bios include:
Shawn Stussy: Stussy, Inc. bears the name of designer Shawn Stussy, who started surfing at the Huntington Beach Pier in 1968 just as the sport was gaining wide recognition in popular music and movies. By the age of 13, Stussy began to design and shape his own surfboards in the family garage; creating his first board out of an older sister’s log, which he stripped and reshaped. He was so talented that as a 15-year-old high school student he was hired by Chuck Dent in Huntington Beach. From 1973 to 1980 Shawn shaped for Russell Surfboards on 17th street in Newport Beach, also called The Brotherhood. In 1980 Stussy launched his own business, shaping surfboards in his Laguna Canyon studio during the day and at night boxed T-shirts for sale in area surf shops. To brand his handiwork he took a large marker and scrawled his signature on the finished boards which soon became his trademark and logo. “I had the logo screen-printed on T-shirts and sweatshirts, but it had nothing to do with producing clothes. I was trying to promote the boards.” While Stussy may have viewed his clothing ventures as a sideline that helped spur the sale of his surfboards, an old surfing buddy named Frank Sinatra, Jr. (no relation to the famous singer) saw greater potential. In 1983, they joined forces and in 1984 established Stussy Inc. with Stussy handling design and Sinatra shouldering the business responsibilities. It was on March 27, 1986 that the company registered the Stussy trademark in the United States. Stussy went on to become one of the biggest street wear labels of the 1980s and 90s, reaching a value of $17 million a year at one point. Shawn sold his interest in 1986 and has been surfing and raising his family since. He still shapes in Santa Barbara on a regular basis and has a new shaping and design project called S/Double.
Ryan Turner: Ryan Turner is a great surfer, mentor, big wave charger and pillar of the Huntington Beach surfing community, running the Famous Sugar Shack Restaurant that his family has owned since the 60’s! With younger brother and acclaimed surf filmmaker Timmy, life from an early age was about the beach and surfing. Part of the Huntington Beach High School surf team, Ryan enjoyed a lot of junior surf contest success, but as he got older it was travel and surfing solid barrels which focused his surfing talent. It doesn’t matter where you put Ryan, Mexico, Canada or Indonesia the chances are he will be the man notching up the most tube time. It is this reputation for tube riding which leads to yearly invitations to the Padang Padang Cup in Bali, among the most coveted barrel riding events in the world. He proved in 2009 that he ranked among the world’s best tube riders, losing only in the semi-final to Jamie O’Brien, a future Pipeline Masters Champion, by less than two points. Considered the “best unknown surfer in the world” by Coach Andy Verdone, Ryan is one of the top 10 backside barrel riders in the world and has proven this point again and again with his many Indonesia surfing trips. In Mainland Mexico, Ryan also finished 3rd at Puerto during another Barrel riding event scoring a perfect 10 along the way. Sponsored by Rusty as a teenager, Ryan captained the Huntington Beach High School surf team to the NSSA Team Title. Many times he would win heats for his team riding a shortboard, longboard and Boogie Board! He traveled around the world in High School to Australia, Hawaii, Mexico and South Africa while competing for his team. Later as an adult, he chaperoned a trip to Jeffrey’s Bay for the high school team team with a young Brett Simpson on the trip. When he isn’t getting shacked in Mexico or Indo, Ryan is back in Huntington, surfing the pier, pulling shifts in the family restaurant and hanging with his wife and family. Any traveling surfer worth their salt has come in and swapped surf stories with Ryan…over a plate of eggs with a cup of coffee on Main Street, Surf City, USA!
Blaine “Sumo” Sato: Blaine “Sumo” Sato is a waterman, family man and he’s had success as a professional chef. While often found charging waves on the north side of the Huntington Beach Pier on a colossal 12-foot longboard stout enough to carry his burly Hawaiian frame, Sumo’s real passion is serving the Lord. Pastor Sumo’s church, “H20,” serves the homeless, surfers in recovery, residents in crisis, be it spiritual, physical or otherwise. He has officiated marriages (Bethany Hamilton), baptisms and memorial services (Andy Irons, Sean Collins, Chris Love to name just a few); offering comfort when we grieve, and shares our tears of joy when we are elated! Sumo was raised on both Oahu and the Big Island, part of an extended family of nearly two dozen relatives. He survived a brush with drugs as a teenager, nearly succumbing to the Hawaiian drug scene in the 1970s. A chance meeting with a missionary changed his life, and instead of ending up in prison he became a disciple of God. Sato moved to California in 1990 and pursued a master of Divinity degree. He spent several years travelling between Hawaii and California, spreading the gospel and forming churches, and riding the waves when time permitted. In 2011, Pastor Sumo helped form the H20 Community Church in Huntington Beach and also serves as the chaplain for the city’s Marine Safety Division. In February, life threw Pastor Sumo a curveball when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer and the surf community rallied to raise funds for his healthcare. Recently, Sumo underwent an 11 hour surgery to remove two malignant tumors. Pastor Sumo has a long road to recovery, but with his loving wife, Diane and his family’s unwavering support, he is optimistic and his faith in God even stronger.
The Surfers’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony pays tribute to those individuals who have made an indelible mark on the sport, industry and culture of surfing. Annually, tens of thousands of visitors travel to Huntington Beach’s downtown area and literally walk in the footsteps of surfing superstars and legends from several eras including Laird Hamilton, Andy Irons, Jack O’Neill, Robert August, Bob Hurley, Sean Collins, Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, CJ Hobgood, Al Merrick, Shaun Tomson, Rob Machado, Timmy Turner and Rabbit Kekai, who are already immortalized in cement.
The nation’s first imprint collection of legendary surfers, the Surfers’ Hall of Fame celebrated its first induction in 1997 inside of specialty retailer Huntington Surf & Sport where several slabs remain. Four years later with the blessing of the City Council and a stunning bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku serving as a backdrop, the ceremony moved outside to the corner of PCH and Main, less than 100 feet from the famed Huntington Beach Pier, site of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing.