Ten individuals will be inducted into the Surfing Legends of ECSC Hall of Fame as the week-long summer beach sports festival gears up at the oceanfront. A special ceremony at the 55th Annual Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans and fueled by Monster Energy will be 5 p.m., Aug. 25, at the main stage on 4th Street.
Established by the Virginia Beach Jaycees in 2005, the Surfing Legends of ECSC Hall of Fame consists of men and women who have helped the sport of surfing in Hampton Roads and who have also played a role in the growth and success of the annual ECSC. The next class to be inducted into the ECSC Legends:
- Rick Banta
- (surfing community, sponsors) – Banta is the originator of the Super Groms (youth surfing) at ECSC. He was one of Quiksilver’s very first east coast sales reps and developed the Super Grom division that has become so popular at surf events worldwide. He is still active in the surf wear industry and a surfer, but more importantly, he’s one of the people most responsible for introducing new generations of surfers at ECSC.
- Jimbo Brothers
- (surfing community) – One of the top proponents of the East Coast short board revolution, Brothers was a perennial ECSC competitor. He was the contest’s first Pro winner in 1972. Team rider for Al Sneblin’s Surf Shop, he also rode for Vardeman Surfboards.
- Bobby Chenman
- (surfing community) – Virginia Beach’s own “godfather of the longboard” began surfing the steel pier at age of 12. Traveling to Hawaii and California in the 60s and 70s, Chenman adapted the west coast style to the east coast wave. A diehard ECSC supporter, he’s been active as a judge and in promoting the event and has competed in 49 of the 56 ECSC contests.
- Lowery “Tuck” Finley
- (VB Jaycees, past chairs) – A past ECSC chairman, committee member, chapter officer and longtime surfer, Finley played an integral role in ECSC’s survival during the crucial era of the late 1960s and early 70s, when ECSC’s future was not certain.
- Grace Frierson
- (volunteer) – For nearly 40 years, Grace “volunteered” for the surf contests just to ensure the contest heats were handled professionally and with respect for the sport, donating her pay back to event organizers. A constant influence behind the scenes, she worked in the name of surfing as a healthy sport and to simply give back. She worked in the trenches alongside future ECSC legends for decades.
- Myron Nahra
- (VB Jaycees, past chairs) – Nahra got involved with ECSC from his first year as a Jaycee in 1986 and continued through becoming a JCI Senator and VB chapter life member. He has been involved with many beach innovations over the years, such as the installation of the first skateboard half-pipe, larger stages and scaffolding, and the multi-year sponsorship contract with Virginia Tourism Corp. He co-chaired 28th annual ECSC and served as executive director in the late 1990s to early-2000s.
- Harry Purkey
- (VB industry/sponsors/supporters) – With an ECSC career that spans more than 40 years, Purkey served the ESA as a competitor, judge, executive director, contest director and many other thankless jobs that directly contributed to ECSC’s amazing growth and seamless operation during those decades. He remains active as a competitor and director.
- Les Shaw
- (VB industry/sponsors/supporters) – A co-creator of WRV (along with ECSC Legend Bill Frierson) and later sole owner, Shaw was a principal ECSC financial sponsor and in-kind prize contributor for more than 20 years. His company’s outreach into Hawaii and the Outer Banks has helped keep Virginia Beach on the radar of the globe’s surfing elite. The company and its iconic brand remain synonymous with Virginia Beach surfing.
- Todd Spencer
- (media) – For nearly 20 years, Spencer’s surfing photographs have appeared in the pages of the Virginian-Pilot newspaper often illustrating articles penned by ECSC Legend Lee Tolliver. His photojournalism has won multiple award, and he continues to “shoot ECSC” each year. Spencer’s artistic approach and journalistic eye helped advance the sport of surfing beyond a mere curiosity and portrayed surfers, the surfing community and ECSC in a positive light.
- Jodie Woodward
- (VB industry/sponsors/supporters) – For nearly 20 years, Woodward and her company, Sponsorships Unlimited, contributed greatly to the financial viability and infused marketing professionalism into ECSC’s business practices. She remains instrumental in promoting the Steel Pier Classic and the VB Surf Art Expo.