Sam Hawk, Janice Aragon, Kai Lenny To Enter Surfers’ Hall of Fame
The Surfers’ Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that Sam Hawk, a standout power surfer in the 1970s and part of the renowned Hawk surfing clan that includes Tom and their late brother Chris; Janice Aragon, winner of the ISA World Surfing Games and NSSA Nationals and current executive director of the NSSA; and Kai Lenny, a champion big wave surfer, stand-up paddle surfer and racer, surfer, tow-in surfer, windsurfer, kitesurfer and overall watersports enthusiast are our 2019 inductees.
Sam, Janice and Kai will have their hand and footprints immortalized in cement for the ages on Friday, August 2nd at 9am on the corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach.
“We are extremely excited and very honored to induct Sam Hawk, Janice Aragon and Kai Lenny into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame and thank them for their contributions and achievements to our Surfing World,” said Surfers’ Hall of Fame founder Aaron Pai.
Born in 1950 in South Gate, Hawk first started surfing at age fourteen in Huntington Beach. As one of the renowned Hawk surfing clan that includes Tom and their late brother Chris, Sam helped shape the local surf culture in the 1960s and ’70s. He moved to the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii in 1967 and by 1971 had firmly established himself as the most advanced regular footer surfer at the Banzai Pipeline as well as a key pacesetter at both Sunset Beach and Rocky Point.
Known for riding massive waves with complete and startling abandon, Sam finished fourth at the 1972 Pipeline Masters contest and placed third in the 1974 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship. An apprentice of master surfboard shaper Dick Brewer in the early 1970’s, Hawk went on to become a highly regarded board maker in his own right; initially making boards for the Brewer label before eventually branching out on his own. Sam continued to surf throughout the decades and was Cheyne Horan’s tow-in partner during the enormous Biggest Wednesday swell that hit Hawaii’s North Shore in January, 1998.
Janice Aragon was born in 1955 in Fresno, California, and raised in Downey. She began surfing at age 16. A relative late bloomer to competitive surfing, Janice entered and won her first surfing contest in 1983 at age 29. Aragon was the mother of a two year-old daughter and an unheralded competitive surfer when she won the 1984 ISA World Championships in her hometown of Huntington Beach, helping lead the U.S. to a team victory. Janice had a second child in 1985, and the following year won the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) Nationals, one of amateur surfing’s most prestigious events.
Aragon was hired as an NSSA competition judge in 1986, and the following year broke new ground, becoming the first woman to judge a professional world tour event, working the Op Pro Surfing Championship. Blazing more trails in the growing sport, Janice was hired as the NSSA’s executive director in 1989. Aragon sent ripples into American amateur surfing when she splintered the NSSA away from the United States Surfing Federation in 1993, forcing surfers to choose competing in the better organized and talent-superior NSSA or working toward a U.S. world team slot through the USSF. The NSSA grew and prospered under Aragon’s leadership in the mid- and late 1990s. Thousands of young surfers have gone through the NSSA ranks, later going on to myriad professions including doctors, lawyers and heads of surfing brands.
Born on October 8, 1992, Kai Lenny’s parent’s dipped him in the Maui shorebreak before his first week on earth was complete. His skills as a waterman exploded soon thereafter. Lenny, whose name is derived from the Hawaiian word for ocean, learned to surf by age five, windsurf at six, stand up paddle at seven and kite surf at nine. He had his first sponsor before age 10. Lenny’s mentors include windsurfing legend Robby Naish and big wave greats Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama.
Lenny is already one of the world’s most accomplished watermen. A runner-up at the Kite Surf Pro World Championships, Kai is a seven-time winner of the SUP (stand up paddle) world title. In 2014 Lenny finished fourth in the grueling 32-mile Molokai 2 Oahu (M2O) Paddleboard World Championships, the ultimate test of pain and paddling. The following year he came in second. After consulting with Kalama, Kai tweaked his equipment, training and race tactics. He trounced everyone at the 2016 race, setting a new world record in the process.
Following in the path of his pioneering mentors, Lenny has been riding Pe’ahi (Jaws), Maui’s notorious big wave break, since he was 16. On May 2nd of this year, Kai won the WSL Big Wave Awards for Overall Performance and XXL Biggest Wave Award for his revolutionary session at Jaws last November. When the Jaws Challenge was postponed due to its monster waves being too large, the “Kai show” began and he served up one of his best performances to date. Lenny stunned the surfing world when he was towed into an absolutel behemouth then airdropped 20 feet coming off a cutback on the lip and stuck the landing.
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, Bethany Hamilton, Jack O’Neill, Robert August, Bob Hurley, Sean Collins, Kelly Slater, Lisa Andersen, Gerry Lopez, George Downing, Shane Dorian, Greg Noll, Corky Carroll, Shaun Tomson, Rob Machado, Sumo Sato, Timmy Turner, Shawn Stussy, Rabbit Kekai, Rick Fignetti and many more, who are already immortalized in cement.
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. 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/.