This May, another handful of skateboarders will make the transition from "legendary" to actual "Hall-of-Famers." The International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) and the International Skateboarding Hall of Fame (ISHOF) will have its third induction ceremony, where Danny Bearer, Jay Adams, Mark Gonzales and Peggy Oki will join the ranks of Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, Eric Koston, and more in the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.
It may appear odd to some that skateboarding has a Hall of Fame in the first place. Skateboarding has been counter-culture almost from the start, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the idea of a Hall of Fame is occasionally met with skepticism or indifference. But ISHOF founder Todd Huber explains the Hall of Fame's role in a bigger-picture way: "For some, it's hard to imagine that skateboarding, of all things, has legends or pioneers," he says. "So it's very important for the outsider to know this is a real and serious thing and many people have dedicated their careers, and in some cases lives, to skateboarding."
IASC Director Josh Friedberg understands the legitimacy skateboarding may derive from having a Hall of Fame, but insists that it's strictly for the insiders: "I think it's easier for outsiders to understand the significance of skateboarders who have been inducted, it probably gives them some level of respect. I don't know if skateboarding gets or needs that legitimacy, though. The Skateboarding Hall of Fame exists exclusively for people who care about skateboarding."
The process for selection is fairly extensive. Friedberg and IASC, along with Huber and the ISHOF, put together a nomination committee of 25 industry veterans, media, and previous Hall-of-Famers. This year Lance Mountain was chairman of the committee, which votes on potential inductees and assembles a ballot with 10 names for each of the three eras: 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s -- and five names for the women's category. The ballot then goes out to 300 industry veterans to vote.
The Icon Award is a new category this year. "The Icon Awards recognize people other than professional skateboarders who have had a profound effect on the history of skateboarding," Friedberg says. "It gives us a chance to honor the industry pioneers -- artistic, photographic, and musical influences who have been integral to the evolution of our culture." Icon Award winners for its inaugural year are John Humphrey, who holds the first patent license for a skateboard, photographer Glen E. Friedman, iconic punk rock band Black Flag, and Frank Nasworthy, who is credited with having introduced polyurethane wheels to skateboarding.
The ceremony takes place May 10 at the Doubletree hotel in Anaheim, Calif. In addition to the ceremony, there will be an auction and fundraiser for the Go Skateboarding Foundation's "Just One Board" initiative.
2009 Hall Of Fame inductees
2010 Hall Of Fame inductees
Patti McGee (McGee is the Hall of Fame's first female inductee)
There was no Hall of Fame class of 2011
2012 Hall Of Fame inductees
Icon Award recipients:
Glen E. Friedman