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Three surf legends inducted into Hermosa Beach Surfers Walk of Fame

Three individuals who made major contributions to the world of surfing were honored during the Surfers Walk of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, April 27 — which marked the event’s 20th anniversary.

David Nuuhiwa, Greg Browning and Mike Balzer — surrounded by family, friends and surfing afficianados — each took home a replica of the plaque that will eventually be installed on the Hermosa Beach Pier.

The trio joined dozens of others feted over the last two decades, including such surf celebrties as Dale Velzy, Hap Jacobs and Greg Noll.



Nuuhiwa is celebrated as one of the top 25 surfers of all time, according to Hermosa Beach. He won the U.S. Championship title in 1971 and participated in many World Championships. Though Nuuhiwa calls Orange County home now, the surfer, known for his radical style in the 1960s and ’70s, lived in Hermosa Beach for years with shaper Donald Takayama. He was a master noserider, riding waves with both power and grace.

By the time he was 15, Browning, who began surfing and skateboarding with his brother Jeff, clinched the National Scholastic Surfing Association California Men’s Open Series title in 1991, according to the city.  After a successful surf career, Browning became a filmmaker, creating the movie series “Drive Thru,” and coached surf pro Tatiana Weston-Webb.

Browning was recently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, and several fundraising efforts have been set up to help with his medical costs, including a T-shirt fundraiser during the Spyder Surf Fest that followed the induction ceremony.

Another individual with huge impact on the sport was Balzer. With a decades-long career as a surf and motorcycle photographer, his work captured the essence of surf culture, gracing the covers of magazines such as Surfing and Surfer, and with subjects like icon Kelly Slater. Balzer captured amateur as well as professional events, becoming what Dennis Jarvis of Spyder Surf called in a previous interview “our social media.” Balzer helped put Hermosa Beach and the South Bay on the map, Jarvis said.

Nuuhiwa, Browning and Balzer will have their plaques installed on the Surfers Walk of Fame dedication area of the Hermosa Beach Pier at a later date, following ongoing pier renovations, according to a press release from the city.

Source: Orange County Register

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