Surfers’ Hall of Fame Announces 2023 Honorees
The Surfers’ Hall of Fame Committee is honored and blessed to announce Ítalo Ferreira, Laylan Connelly, and Fernado Aguerre as the three inductees in the upcoming 2023 ceremony to be held in Huntington Beach, CA, on Friday, August 4, 2023, at 9:00 a.m., on the corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway.
“The sport of surfing has such an amazing history, spirit, and culture all its own,” said Aaron Pai, founder of Surfers’ Hall of Fame. “We are super stoked to be able to preserve a part of our surfing history in this unique and special way, for future generations to enjoy. We are here for the love of surfing. That is our main purpose, our passion and our drive behind what we do.”
The Surfers’ Hall of Fame is the nation’s first imprint collection of legendary surfers. The collection is located at 300 East Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, in front of the Huntington Surf and Sport flagship store. It features legendary surfers like Bethany Hamilton and Kelly Slater.
“What a totally amazing class of 2023 Surfers’ Hall of Fame Inductees, Ítalo Ferreira, Laylan Connelly, and Fernando Aguerre are,” said Pai. “Each of them have a passion and a love for our sport of surfing. They have changed the surfing world, making it a much better place. We are super excited to celebrate their achievements and contributions to our sport of surfing.”
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 Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, less than 100 feet from the famed Huntington Beach Pier, the site of the U.S. Open of Surfing.
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, Gerry Lopez, George Downing, Greg Noll, Corky Carroll, Rick Fignetti, Sumo Sato, Michele Turner, Timmy Turner, Ryan Turner, Casey Wheat, Shawn Stussy, Pat O’Connell, Bethany Hamilton, Mick Fanning, Brett Simpson, Kai Lenny, Carissa Moore and many more, who are already immortalized in cement.
The Pai Family along with the Surfers’ Hall of Fame are steadfast in their passion to continue this legacy of paying tribute to those who contribute greatly to the Sport of Surfing.
Ítalo Ferreira, a Brazilian Professional Surfer, is one of the most explosive surfers in the world and is known for his high-energy approach and willingness to entertain at all costs. In 2019, Ferreira started by winning the first tour stop of the year and later he won the inaugural Red Bull Airborne event. Ferreira went on to win the final event of the year at Pipe Masters, becoming the Men’s World Surfing Champion. On July 27, 2021, Ferreira won the first Men’s Olympic Surfing Gold Medal in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Laylan Connelly started as a Journalist in 2002 and her impact and influence on the sport of surfing has been instrumental. Connelly’s reporting has elevated surfing over the past two decades. Through her writing, Connelly has served as a bridge between the tight-knit surfing community and the outside world. People who have never known the thrill of riding a wave, can gain insight on surfing’s unique culture and marvel in stories of inspiration, determination, and successes.
Fernando Aguerre was born in Argentina and immigrated to Southern California in 1984 to launch Reef Brazil, the beach sandal company. Today, President of the International Surfing Association, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and passionate global promoter of surfing culture, Aguerre is the man who for almost three decades relentlessly pushed to get surfing included into the Olympics. Aguerre considers himself to be a devoted “Bridge Builder” between organizations, cultures, countries, and all types of groups. This is his objective of helping to build a better world.