Big wave rider, explorer and surfer mom to enter the Surfers Hall of Fame – Orange County Register
One tackles mountains of water, braving beastly waves from around the world. Another has explored exotic islands for decades, carrying surfers to the waves of their dreams.
And the third of this year’s newly announced Surfer Hall of Fame inductees made her mark closer to home, earning the title ‘Surf Mom of Main Street’ for the year she spent fueling surfers. before and after their sessions.
Big wave surfer and contest commentator Peter Mel, surf explorer Martin Daly and Sugar Shack Café owner Michele Turner will take their place this summer among nearly 90 other surf culture notables who have made their mark at Huntington Beach.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Surfers Hall of Fame, with a re-dedication ceremony planned to mark the milestone.
“We want to take a moment to reaffirm our commitment to the Surfers Hall of Fame and to surfers and surfing at the epicenter of the surfing world,” Hall of Fame Founder Aaron Pai said. “This year’s winners have done so much to ride the waves, support our surfer community and stave off hunger after a local surf session. We are grateful to Peter Mel, Martin Daly and Michele Turner for their commitment to the surfing and the surfing community.
Mel is a staple in the surfing world, a legendary charger of the biggest waves in the world. He has won numerous contests over the past three decades, including the 2012 Big Wave World Championship and the 2013 Mavericks Invitational.
Most recently, he was awarded the 2021 Red Bull Big Wave Ride of the Year for a massive wave at Mavericks, not far from his home in Santa Cruz.
Mel said he was honored to be among the inductees who have put their hands and feet in the cement outside of the Pai family’s Huntington Surf & Sport over the years.
“I’ve spent my whole life enjoying the ocean and working in the industry, competing and commentating,” he said. “To be recognized for that is great. It’s flattering, very cool.
Mel recently started running the Freeline Surf Shop in Santa Cruz, opened by his father 55 years ago.
There are three generations of the Mel family surfing – his son, John Mel, 21, reached the quarter-finals of Jack’s Surfboards Pro this weekend in Huntington Beach.
Mel, 52, spoke of that massive January 2021 wave that stunned the surfing world, a beast he was paddling in – instead of being towed. He raised his arms in the air while riding the building-sized wave, making the feat effortless.
“There aren’t many waves like that at Mavericks, this was one that was a gift. I had to be in the right place at the right time,” he said, noting that he didn’t know her exact height, but that she was “massive.” “I was able to do it with paddling – and 30 years of experience.”
It was a moment he was able to share with his son, John, who was in the channel screaming as his father took the fall, one of the highlights of his long career.
“To be able to share this with your son is amazing,” he said.
As for induction into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, Mel has another feat to accomplish: finding the right words to inscribe in cement.
“You want to have something that will last forever,” he said. “I’ve been there, put my hands and feet into impressions and wondered if I’d ever be (inducted). Sure enough, that day has come.
Daly is also recognized for his years of surfing around the world, described as “a legendary surf explorer, boat captain, surfer and diver”.
Daly left his hometown as a teenager to explore the world, working on dive and rescue boats in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, before buying his own boat with proceeds from his recovered underwater treasure .
Since the 80s, Daly has been organizing boat charters that help other surfers chase their dream waves. It also gives back, in the past by providing humanitarian aid after the tsunamis in Indonesia and by supporting coral health programs and nuclear debris research in Bikini Atoll.
“The relationship with the ocean, being out there in the environment with your friends and family, sharing those magical experiences that only surfing can provide, that’s what it’s all about,” says the Hall of Fame announcement. “That’s what Martin has dedicated his life to. This is what he gave to so many people. He opened up the world and changed lives. It’s about as pure as it gets.
Many Surf City residents know Turner, the third inductee this year. His cafe is “world famous for its after-dawn patrol breakfast, where legends and locals tell the tale over fluffy pancakes and hearty breakfast burritos.”
She opened “The Shack” in 1967 and for 55 years supported the Huntington Beach Surfing Team and the National Scholastic Surfing Association.
“The walls of The Shack tell the story of its history with photos of renowned surfers and hopefuls,” the Hall of Fame announcement reads.
She will join her sons Timmy and Ryan Turner, both of whom have had their own place in the cement.
The Surfers Hall of Fame was established in 1997 inside Huntington Surf & Sport, where several slabs remain. Four years later, the ceremony moved outdoors to the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street, where a collection of the world’s most accomplished, innovative and influential surfers put their hands, feet and signatures into the concrete.
The induction ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. on August 5 during the US Open of Surfing.