In celebration of the NSSA’s 30 year anniversary, founding members Chuck Allen, Holly Allen, Tom Gibbons, Dr. Laird Hayes, Rob Hill and John Rothrock will be inducted into the “Honor Roll” of the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk. Created in 1995, the Honor Roll pays tribute to those individuals who have contributed to surfing and its culture and are deserving of recognition, but might not qualify to receive a stone on the Walk of Fame.
The story of the NSSA takes us back to the late 70’s when American competitive surfing was in a state of turmoil. The surfing organizations that did exist, lacked structure and discipline. By 1978, the disarray was enough for El Toro High School’s Chuck Allen, Edison High School’s John Rothrock, Orange Coast College’s Dr. Laird Hayes, Huntington Beach High School’s Rob Hill and Long Beach State’s Tom Gibbons to create a surfing organization that would unite all of America’s competitive surfers under one common banner.
By forming the NSSA and requiring that each member be passing in school, the founders hoped that surfing would no longer be the sport that was associated with the old “beach bum” stereotype.
The founder’s visions and hopes were soon realized as the NSSA’s focus on student surfers and the operation of top quality, well organized events gained massive popularity. In the past 30 years, the NSSA has kicked off the careers of numerous successful professional surfers including several world champions, and has seen doctors, lawyers, legends, lifeguards and virtually the entire surf industry groomed on its competitive format.
With the many changes and developments the sport has seen, the NSSA founders’ core message still rings loud and clear; surfing and scholastics go hand in hand. “I personally am very honored by this recognition,” said Chuck Allen who now works with events marketing at Mountain High Resort. “My grandkids and their grandkids have a place to visit my memory in the future years!”
The NSSA founders are amongst six other surfing icons who will be inducted including three-time ASP World Champion and three-time NSSA National Champion Andy Irons.
The Surfing Walk of Fame's annual ceremony to honor those individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport and culture of surfing will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 24 on the corner of Main Street and PCH in Huntington Beach.