Just in time for summer, here's a guide to surfing museums and Hall of Fames across the country:
International Surfing Museum, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Located in "Surf City, USA," the International Surfing Museum displays a rich history of surfboards, surf films, surf memorabilia, surf sculptures and even surf music. (A guitar of Dick Dale, "The King of the Surf Guitar," is framed in the museum).
The museum also contains exhibits on legendary surfers, including Duke Kahanamoku, the five-time Olympic medalist in swimming who is credited with popularizing the sport of surfing. The non-profit museum is free of charge, and it is loosely modeled after the famed Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
Huntington Surf & Sport, Huntington Beach, Calif.
A few blocks from the International Surfing Museum, Huntington Surf & Sport is not only the 2011 Men's and Women's Retailer of the Year in the surf industry, but it is also the site of the annual Surfers' Hall of Fame induction. Since 2002, the outside of the store, located at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street, has been used for the ceremonies. The venue boasts a bronze statue of Kahanamoku and the handprints of the inductees in the cement ground.
East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame, Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Established in April 2004, the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame museum was originally a part of a Ron Jon Surf Shop. The museum's popularity led to a move to its current location on the third floor of the Cocoa Beach Surf Company with plans to eventually move to a stand-alone building. Inside the museum, attractions include photos, documents, surfboards, trophies and posters that depict the history of surfing in the East Coast/Gulf Coast area. Kelly Slater, the record 11-time ASP World-Champion, was born in Cocoa Beach.
California Surf Museum, Oceanside, Calif.
Established in 1986, the California Surf Museum hosts an estimated 20,000 people annually. The museum displays a line of surfboards dating from boards of the early 1900s to today’s modern board. The museum is known for its film screenings, book signings and rotating exhibits. A current limited-time exhibit of the store, titled "Transitional Thinking: A Short Story 1966-1972," examines the sudden changes made to the surfing world during the time period.
Honolulu Surfing Museum
Originally a collection of surfing artifacts gathered by California surfer and antique collector James O'Mahoney, the museum changed one day when Jimmy Buffett walked in. Buffett immediately helped in gathering more materials for the museum, and the singer also donated some of his own surfing artifacts. The main attraction of the museum, located in Waikiki, is the gold ring worn by English Captain James Cook during his exploration of Hawaii in the mid to late 1700s.
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
The museum, which opened in 1986, is located in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse at Lighthouse Point, originally built in 1967 as a memorial for Abbott, who died surfing at the Pleasure Point surf break in Santa Cruz. The museum displays a variety of surf artifacts, while it also dives into the history of the Santa Cruz surf culture. An estimated 70,000 visitors enter the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum annually.
Texas Surf Museum, Corpus Christi, Texas
Opened in 2005, the Texas Surf Museum is set out to prove the state is more than just a land of cowboys and ranchers on dry land. The museum depicts the history of the Texas surf culture along the state’s 367-mile coast. Exhibits feature historic surfing photos, movies, boards and shaping tools of the Lone Star State.
New Jersey Surf Museum, Tuckerton, N.J.
One day when Ronnie, Snooki, Pauly D and the gang are free (because they're always so busy), they may hit up the New Jersey Surf Museum, established in 2010 along the Jersey shore at Tuckerton Seaport. The museum displays more than 300 historic boards that are evidence of surfing's existence in the northeast. The growing New Jersey landmark (the museum is currently doubling its size in 2012) also shows the environment and science of surfing along the Jersey Shore. To the surfing world, New Jersey is about more than just swamps.
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