Just a block away from the Vans US Open, former World Champion and current Championship Tour (CT) competitor C.J. Hobgood (USA) planted his hands and feet in soft concrete Friday as he was formally inducted into the Surfers' Hall of Fame. Hobgood was joined by fellow inductees Gordon "Grubby" Clark, whose Clark Foam was the leading producer of polyurethane foam blanks from the early 60s through 2005, and John Davis, the first captain of the Huntington Beach High School surf team in 1967.
"C.J. Hobgood has been on the World Tour for nearly two decades and has brought endless amounts of pure stoke to the fans and to the surfing world," said Surfers' Hall of Fame founder Aaron Pai. "He's an amazing surfer and amazing waterman along with being a great ambassador."
Hobgood burst onto the surfing scene when he won the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) national juniors' championship in 1995 and in 1997 he became the NSSA East Coast men's champion. In 1998 he was selected as the model for the new NSSA logo. He turned pro in 1998 and earned the Rookie of the Year award. Two years later he was named the "Breakthrough Surfer of the Year" at the Surfer Magazine Awards. He received surfing's highest honor the next year, becoming World Champion at the age of 22.
Extracurriculars include Camp Hobgood, a roving international surf retreat for rising young pros, which he started in 2003 with twin brother Damien. He's has appeared in dozens of surf videos including Triple C(1996), Sacred Water (1999), Campaign (2003), A Brokedown Melody (2004), and Year Zero (2011).
Earlier this year, Hobgood announced he will retire at the end of the 2015 season.
"Space Coast here I come," he said shortly after the announcement. "It's always about giving back and finding those opportunities to give the gift I've been given to the next generation, and others who are stoked on surfing. I get to spend more time in the place I love that laid the foundation of who I am and all the friends I have."