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 Surfing Walk of Fame Huntington Beach  Kim Mearig
Photos and Information  

Copyright Debbie Stock
Kim Mearig was chosen Woman of the Year 2002 for the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame.

Kimberly Irene Mearig was born in Apple Valley, California but grew up in Santa Barbara, moving there as an infant in 1963. She learned to surf by riding air mats; then she took up skateboarding and developed her style while still in elementary school. As a Santa Barbara Skateboards team rider, she performed exhibitions and competed in both freestyle and pool events.

At age 12 she began surfing and by 14 was competing at the amateur level, often with schoolmate Curren. Mearig graduated from high school in Santa Barbara and competed, plus appeared in a segment of the Mickey/Natal video Off the Wall 2 filmed in 1983.

After that she competed and won second place in OP East in Atlantic City, then returned to California to win the OP Pro competition at Huntington Beach in 1983. She rose through the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) ranks to turn professional and became the 1983 ASP Women's World Champion. Kim spent the next eight (8) years in the ASP Women's Top 8.

She signed a lucrative deal with Ocean Pacific that made her the highest paid female professional on record. She won three events overall and became the 1983-'84 ASP champion. Her popularity inspired other girls and women to compete.

Mearig married Brian Gruetzmacher, a custom homebuilder she met while surfing, and managed to stay in the Top 10. She lost to Frieda Zamba in 1985 and in 1988 to Wendy Botha. Shortly thereafter, she and Brian had their first child, Justin. Three years into retirement, Mearig returned to Huntington Beach in 1993 to reclaim the OP title before abandoning competition in favor of motherhood. She had a second child, Kaitlyn, in 1994. Mearig continues to surf in her spare time and says she is always learning something new.

Beginning in 1994, the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame marked an historic addition to Surf City in California. The walk extends along the sidewalks of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, leading to California's longest municipal pier, across the street. There's a  Walk of Fame selection committee which conducts ongoing research through surf associations, museums and media venues around the world to compile a comprehensive ballot of  qualified candidates. An annual induction ceremony takes place at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street. Each inductee receives a granite stone placed in the sidewalk in front of Jack's Surfboards, the Walk of  Fame sponsor. The Walk pays tribute to those individuals who have contributed to surfing and its culture and are deserving of recognition. Listed below are a few of the recipients along with some of their credits.

Back to Surfing Walk of Fame Page

Some Surfing Walk of Fame recipients:

Corky Carroll is a legend in the sport of surfing. He was United States overall champion five times, International  Professional Champion three times, winner of the World small wave Championship, and the International Big Wave Championship, and was named the "Best  Surfer in the World" By Surfer Magazine. He is a renowned designer of surfboards and equipment, and director of surfing  at the Corky Carroll Surf Camp in Huntington Beach, California. He also writes a weekly surf column for a newspaper and sometimes plays in a band at Duke's Restaurant in Huntington Beach. 

Rick Griffin, cartoonist and illustrator was inducted  into the Surfing Walk of Fame in Huntington Beach (Surf City) at the US Open in 1997.   The award consisted of: a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from the US Congress, Recognition contributions to Surfing Culture from California State Assembly and an etched granite stone placed in the Surfing Walk of Fame at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street.  Rick died in a motorcycle accident in 1991.

Tom Pratte Inducted Into Surfing Walk of Fame   Protecting of the beaches and waves was Tom Pratte's obsession. He helped to create the Surfrider Foundation, serving as their first executive director and paid employee from 1985 - 1990. Pratte aided in negotiating a settlement with Chevron Oil Company in El Segundo that set a legal precedent and established a surf break as a coastal resource. He also worked to block plans for a major marina at Bolsa Chica State Beach, a massive commercial development on the wetlands of Huntington Beach, and a breakwater at Imperial Beach. A graduate of Marina High School in Huntington Beach and Humboldt State University, Pratte personally brought the concerns of the average surfer out of the water and into the political arena. Dubbed the father of modern surfing environmentalism, he passed away after a short struggle with cancer on April 6, 1994.

John Severson,  creator of  SURFER Magazine, grew up surfing off the beaches of Southern California. He began his career as a painter, selling his first works while finishing his Master's Degree at Cal State Long Beach. In the '50s he became the first person to create a large body of art relating to the Hawaii-California surf culture. In 1958, John used his art, photography, and surfing passion to create a popular surf movie series. His films included SURF SAFARI, SURF FEVER, BIG WEDNESDAY, and PACIFIC VIBRATIONS. As a surfer, Severson was known for riding big waves, and for his innovative performance style in big surf. In 1961, he won the Peru International Surfing Championships and was a finalist in the U.S. and Hawaiian Championships.

Rell Sunn was an Hawaiin surfer honored with a granite stone in the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame. The walk stretches down Main Street, which leads to the famed Huntington Beach Pier and intersects California's Pacific Coast Highway. During induction ceremonies Thursday, Sunn's stone will be etched with her accomplishments as Hawaii's first wahine lifeguard, a surfing champion, founder of the Menehune Contest and worldwide ambassador of aloha. "That's surf city, it's a special place," Sunn said of Huntington Beach. "I think it's an honor to be on the Walk of Fame with Duke Kahanamoku," the father of modern surfing and the first surfer honored with a plaque on the walk. World Champion Surfer Rell Sunn, the "Queen of Makaha", affectionately known to the children of the Wai'anae Coast as Auntie Rell passed away on Friday, January 2, 1997. Before women had their own surfing competitions, Aunty Rell beat many men in their own meets and led to the addition of women's competitions. In 1982, she was ranked ranked first in International Professional Surfing. She helped organize the Women's Surfing Hui and the Women's Professional Surfing Association and in 1975, she founded the women's professional tour. Aunty Rell was also a DJ on KCCN, a physical therapist and Cancer research counselor, Hawai'i's first woman lifeguard, and the founder of the 23 year old Menehune Surf Meet for Hawai'i's children.  At dusk on New Year's Day, she made one final visit to her favorite surf spot, Makaha Beach, carried on a stretcher by her family and laid on a bed beside the water where her final wish was fulfilled to taste the sea on her lips once again. (January 3, 1997) 

Peter "PT" Townend has long been a maverick on a mission to put surfing on a level playing field with other sports. Born in Austalia, he won the world title in 1978.  Among his many credits are performances, portraying Jack Barlow, a character based on Malibu legend Kemp Aaberg for the filming of the Hollywood film Big Wednesday. Townend immigrated to Huntington Beach, California and developed pro contests on the mainland, along with directing and promoting the NSSA . He  helped coach the US Team to prominence, mentoring Tom Curren and a host of other  NSSA stars into professional careers. He rose to the position of associate publisher Surfing magazine and worked as commentator for Bud Tour events on the Prime Network  and ESPN.  He is a founding member of  the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame, a member of the advisory boards of the ASP and Surfrider Foundation and served two years as president of the Surf Industry Manufacturers' Association (SIMA).  He has overseen numerous publications, including Surfing Girl, Surf Guide and Bodyboarding and recently launched a publication for a targeted, mature surfing audience. 

Take a Surf Walking Tour in Huntington Beach