In July of 2018 the NJ Surfing Hall of Fame Surfer Awards were held at The Tuckerton Seaport. The “Surfies”, as I call them, are the off year event produced by the NJSHOF to honor the best of the best in the surfing community today. Its a Separate event entirely from the Hall Of Fame induction Ceremony that honors lifetime achievements that will be held again in 2019., this event is for the community to honor those who are active and deserving during the current year. It’s a less formal affair and always a good time to bring the Hall Of Famers and the young crop of talent together. This year was no exception and the event was a ton of fun, Great People, Great Food and beer flowing from local brewery The Yards. If you missed out then you need to get to the next one. But we’ll give you a quick recap just the same.
The Cecil Lear Legacy Award is given to an unsung member of the community who has given an extraordinary amount to the community. This year’s winner was the Late Ruth Grottola from Wildwood. Ruth was a lifelong advocate for beach access and ran the local ESA for decades. Her son and daughter were on hand to accept for her in a very emotional tribute.
The Surfing Stewardship Award was posthumously awarded to Frank Livelli from Asbury Park, who fought a decade long battle with Ciba Geigi to stop a toxic pipeline that contaminated local beaches. Frank’s efforts eventually forced Ciba Geigi to become a super fund site and helped ensure our beaches safety for future generations. His family was on hand to honor his legacy.
Surf Shop Of The Year for 2018 was awarded to Eastern Lines from Belmar. Don Tarrant and his Daughter Darby were recognized for their continued support of the local surfing scene as well as a decades long commitment to Professional Surfing in NJ. The Belmar Pro has been the stand out Surfing Event on NJ for many years.
The Presidents Award Is a Special Recognition given out directly from the President, Currently Brian Heritage, to a community member who has helped the surfing community at large through their dedication and passion. This year’s recipient certainly exemplified those criteria. Jim Kirk from Cape May was the driving Force behind the creation of the NJSHOF and has continued to work behind the scenes to make sure as many legends are recognized through the organization and beyond. A lifelong waterman and accomplished surfer in his own right Jim is the embodiment of Stoke in NJ.
NJSHOF Media Award is given to a member of the community who has helped expand our local surfing scene through their chosen form of media. Nominees excelled in various forms of media excellence from Photography to journalism. This year’s winner Jon Coen from Ship Bottom has established himself as the bard of NJ Surfing and continues to excel as nationally recognized outdoor lifestyle writer and a local commentary who uses surfing as a backdrop for the larger issues facing the local community at large. His wit and acerbic sense of humor make him a must-read for surfers and non-surfers alike.
Shaper Of The Year Was awarded to longtime Shaper and Surfer Brian Heritage. Brian has been shaping for longer than he’s like us to share and has recently been redesigning classic retro shapes originally designed by his Hall Of Fame Father Dan and reconfiguring tem with modern lines. He continues to evolve and further the surfing of many young riders under his wing.
Female Young Gun Award Was awarded to Morgan Iglay of Manasquan NJ. Morgan continues to excel competitively and has garnered excellent results in ESA and beyond.
Male Young Gun Award Went to Kyle Tester of Cape May NJ. Kyle also has dominated local ESA events as well as begun to make a name for himself traveling internationally and surfing some of the best breaks in the world.
Female Surfer Of The Year Was awarded to Cassidy Mclain from Ventnor. Cassidy has been a stand out surfer for many years and continues to surf on the WQS and push for her dream of surfing on the big tour. She scored excellent results in 2016 and 2017.
Male Surfer Of The Year for 2018 went to Rob Kelly of Ocean City NJ. Rob has been repping Nj Surfers across the globe for a decade now. His recent work at The American wave Pool and beyond have elevated his status even more.
Hope to see you all at the official 2019 NJ Surfing Hall Of Fame Inductions!
See below for photos by NJ legend himself, Bruce Chrisner: