Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 1:42 p.m.
This summer, the Surfers' Hall of Fame in Huntington Beach will add to its ranks a big-wave surfing pioneer, an AAP World Tour veteran and one of HB's local legends.
George Downing, Taylor Knox and Chuck Linnen will be enshrined on the sidewalk in front of Huntington Surf & Sport at a ceremony on Aug. 5. They will join the likes of Greg Noll, Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, Gerry Lopez, Andy Irons and Robert August, among many of surfing's notable others.
Downing was among the earliest surfers in Hawaii to venture into and ride large waves at Makaha and Waimea Bay. Now in his 80s, Downing has long served as the competition director for the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau.
Knox has been competing on the ASP World Tour since qualification in 1993. Beyond being a talented contest surfer, he also won the inaugural K2 Big-Wave Challenge in 1998, after paddling into and successfully riding a 52-foot wave at Todos Santos
The "surf king" of HB, Linnen has a range of competition accolades to his credit. He grew up surfing and "shooting the pier" and is said to have influenced numerous surfers, including Corky Carroll. Linnen is a retired teacher, but he recently held the titles of NSSA Senior Champ and WSA Grand Master.
Each surfer will be immortalized with a block of concrete that will have either handprints or footprints and a signature, which will be available for all to see on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street.