Jamie O’Brien, Jeff Deffenbaugh and Ilima Kalama. Photo: Surfers' Hall of Fame

Jamie O’Brien, Jeff Deffenbaugh and Ilima Kalama. Photo: Surfers’ Hall of Fame

The Inertia

Since 1997, The Surfers’ Hall of Fame has been immortalizing legendary surfers in Huntington Beach,  California. Every year, the organization chooses a few members of the surfing community to celebrate in a public ceremony outside local retailer Huntington Surf & Sport, located less than a hundred feet from the Huntington Beach Pier. On Tuesday, the Hall of Fame announced its trio of 2024 inductees: Jamie O’Brien, Jeff Deffenbaugh and Ilima Kalama.

Jamie O'Brien. Photo: Surfers' Hall of Fame

Jamie O’Brien. Photo: Surfers’ Hall of Fame

Oahu local Jamie O’Brien grew up right in front of Pipeline on the North Shore, and has since become synonymous with the famed break. In his younger years, O’Brien had a successful run as a competitive surfer, including becoming one of the youngest Pipe Masters in 2004. However, since he grew tired of the rat race and left competition for good, JOB has carved out a niche for himself as a freesurfer and social media influencer, known for his high-energy YouTube videos and unique approach to some of the world’s most critical breaks.

Jeff Deffenbaugh. Photo: Surfers' Hall of Fame

Jeff Deffenbaugh. Photo: Surfers’ Hall of Fame

Jeff Deffenbaugh grew up in Huntington Beach and very quickly made a name for himself as a competitive powerhouse. In 1989 he became US Junior Men’s Champion and went on to be part of the 1990 NSSA National team that also included Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Taylor Knox and Pat O’Connell. Eventually, Jeff would amass seven WQS wins and become the US Pro Tour Champion. Even today, at 50 years old, Deffenbaugh has been beating surfers half his age in Huntington Beach’s Retro Surf Series, including becoming a three-time Triple Crown of Retro Surf Series Champ.

Ilima Kalama. Photo: Surfers' Hall of Fame

Ilima Kalama. Photo: Surfers’ Hall of Fame

Ilima Kalama is another Hawai’i native and a certified living legend. The famed waterman was born and raised in Honolulu, but moved to Newport Beach with his family at the age of 16. There, he became a standout in the Newport/Huntington surf scene in the late 1950s, eventually becoming sponsored by classic surf brands Hobie and Hang Ten. In 1962, Kalama won the United States Surfing Championships in Huntingon Beach, one of the most prestigious surf events of the era. Ilima is also the father of renowned waterman Dave Kalama, who is co-credited with inventing tow-in surfing alongside with Laird Hamilton, Darrick Doerner and Buzzy Kerbox.

The three 2024 inductees will have their hand and footprints immortalized in cement in a public ceremony in front of Huntington Surf & Sport on Friday, August 2, 2024. More information can be found here.


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.