East Coast Influencers
East Coast Influencers
Celebrating the history, heritage and contributions of East Coast surf culture, SHACC is honored to be able to share the stories and honor the legacies of some of its most revered pioneers.
The first nine are now prominently displayed in SHACC’S permanent surfing history exhibit. Legendary Surfers like Florida’s Dick Catri and New Jersey’s Cecil Lear along with Mike Tabeling, Rick Rasmussen, Mimi Munro, Jeff Crawford, Greg Loehr, Gary Propper and Linda Davoli. Each of “The Nine” will have the spotlight shone on their lifetime accomplishments both at the museum and on SHACC’S digital platforms.
The exhibit will continue to grow over time as we add more of the brilliant East Coast surfers that contributed so much to surfing, not only at home, but all over the world.
Stay tuned as we add to the stories of East Coast Influence
Cecil Lear was born in New Jersey in 1930. Growing up in the coastal town of Belmar, Cecil immersed himself in the beach culture of the times. Lifeguarding, bodysurfing and mat riding all precursors to finding his eventual passion surfing in his early 30s.
In 1963, Cecil founded the New Jersey Surfing Association and then in 1967 co-founded the Eastern Surfing Association. The ESA would eventually become the largest and longest running amateur surfing organization in America. Most of the top East Coast surf pros, world champs included, learned the in’s and outs of competition while surfing in ESA contests.
Cecil was the first President of the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame holding that position for twenty years.
Mimi Munro, from Ormond Beach, Florida, started surfing at 10 years old. By the time she was 13, Dick Catri had asked her to join the legendary Hobie East Coast Surf Team.
In 1966, after winning the East Coast Surfing Championship at the age of 14, Mimi went on to compete in the World Championships finishing 3rd behind Joyce Hoffman and Joey Hamasaki.
Munro is a Member of the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame and the Huntington Beach Walk of Fame.
Dick Catri — the Godfather of East Coast Surfing — was born in New Jersey and moved to Miami as a youngster.
In 1957 a chance meeting with the infamous Jack “Murf the Surf” Murphy led him down the path of surfer for life. Moving to Hawaii a few years later Catri ended up working with Dick Brewer at Surfboards Hawaii fixing dings and learning to shape.
He was the first East Coaster to surf Pipeline and Waimea Bay and was invited to the Duke Classic in ’67. Back in Florida, Catri settled in Satellite Beach where he opened his first surf shop. It was there he assembled a stellar surf team with the likes of legendary surfers Propper, Tabeling, Codgen and Munro and years later a young Kelly Slater.
Catri is credited with starting pro surfing on the East Coast in 1972. He was an inductee into the International Surfing Hall of Fame in 66 and was in the first class of the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 98. He passed away in 2017.
Hailing from Brigantine, New Jersey, Linda Davoli began surfing in 1967 when she was 11 years old. A quick learner, by ’73 she won the girls division of the U.S. Championships—the first East Coaster to accomplish the feat.
By the mid ‘70s she Linda chased her dream to Hawaii, where her prowess in the water continued to shatter barriers. She was featured in 1975’s Super Sessions, as well as Bali High in 1981. She was also the first woman to tempt fate at G-Land in Java.
In 1980 she defeated several men in man-on-man competition at the Bali OM Pro and finished the year rated third in the world.
Linda was inducted into the East Coast Surf Legends Hall of Fame in 2002 and the New Jersey Surfing Hall Of Fame in 2015.