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Nov. 4 – 15th Annual Gala Fundraiser

It is time for our 15th Annual Gala Fundraiser honoring this year’s CSM Silver Surfer honorees!

Supporting CSM’s Annual Gala makes possible our continuation of building upon more than 35 years of service in collecting, preserving, sharing, and celebrating a surfing heritage that belongs to us all. It is through your support that we can continue to expand our educational offerings, special exhibits and museum-hosted special events.

The California Surf Museum is proud to announce that the four surfing greats named in 1965 by Duke Kahanamoku as charter members of his now famous surf team, created to assist him as ambassadors of surfing and spreading the spirit of Aloha around the world – Joey Cabell, Fred Hemmings, Paul Strauch Jr. and Butch Van Artsdalen – have been named 2023 recipients of the Museum’s “Silver Surfer Award,” a lifetime achievement award presented annually to surfers who have made significant contributions to the culture and lifestyle of the surfing community. The announcement was made by Jim Kempton, President of the California Surf Museum Board of Directors.

photo: 1965 Duke Kahanamoku surf team. From left: Paul Strauch, Joey Cabell, Duke Kahanamoku, Fred Hemmings, Butch Van Artsdalen. Photo credit: Produced by Kimo McVay for press use.

“Duke Kahanamoku was not only celebrated as the father of modern surfing but is recognized as one of the greatest sports figures of the 20th Century,” said Kempton in making the announcement. “He was also Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha spreading its message of peace, unity, humility, and kindness around the world. In the latter part of his life, he decided to enlist a select group of four top surfers to join him in touring the world promoting surfing and the spirit of Aloha. Three of the surviving members of that team will be presented their awards at the Museum’s annual gala in November. Butch Van Artsdalen, who passed away in 1979, will be awarded posthumously.”

Marge Calhoun to be Honored as 2023 Silver Surfer
In addition to these four surfing greats, we are proud to announce the addition to this illustrious group of 2023 Silver Surfer Award-winners, 20th Century surfing icon and women’s world champion at the 1958 Makaha International surfing contest, Marge Calhoun. Marge passed away in 2017 at the age of 93. Her award will be presented retrospectively in honor of her ground-breaking contribution to the advancement of women’s surfing.

In making the announcement Jim Kempton, President of the California Surf Museum Board of Directors said: “As a pioneer of women’s big wave riding, Marge Calhoun’s impact on the midcentury culture of surfing cannot be overstated.

photo: Calhoun family collection – Graciegirl LLC/Heather Hudson @2020

Beyond her skill in the water, she was a towering charismatic presence and a fixture at popular surf sites and contests from California to Hawaii. Her contribution to women’s surfing will forever be deserving of being honored and remembered.”

We are sold out. If you would like a ticket, please call CSM at 760-721-6876 to be put on the waitlist.

The California Surf Museum invites you to attend the 15th Annual Gala Fundraiser as it celebrates its 37th anniversary. Since 1986, CSM has been collecting and preserving the surfing history and artifacts of this popular lifestyle sport and culture as well as producing fascinating exhibits and dynamic educational programs. The funds generated from the Gala help the museum continue these efforts.

The 15th Annual Gala will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2023 from 4-10 pm at the oceanfront Cape Rey Hilton, 1 Ponto Road, Carlsbad, California. Just a stone’s throw from the beach, with a spectacular sunset view overlooking the Ponto surf break and the Pacific Ocean.

The evening begins with a 4 pm cocktail hour on the outdoor patio adjacent to our silent auction room with dinner service in the main ballroom following at 7pm. Once meal service is completed, the excitement begins with a live auction of surfboards made specifically for this event. Our evening is then completed with the presentation of the Silver Surfer award to this year’s honorees.


Joey Cabell

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Hawaii’s Joey Cabell, cofounder of the Chart House restaurant chain, is recognized as one of the finest all-around surfers of the ’60s and one of the decade’s best and most accomplished competitors, be it the biggest of waves or small, hotdogging surf. He captured numerous surfing titles, the 1969 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational among them. He also has appeared in more than a dozen surf movies including Bruce Brown’s classic “The Endless Summer. The ultimate renaissance man, he is an expert canoe sailor, open-ocean catamaran racer, sailor, and skier. In 1985, Surfer magazine named him as one of “25 Surfers Whose Surfing Changed the Sport.”


Fred Hemmings

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Fred Hemmings was born and raised in Honolulu and has enjoyed a long career as an award-winning surfer, event promoter, and Hawaiian political figure. Hemmings is a four-time winner of the Makaha International Surfing Championships and, in 1968, a winner of the World Surfing Championships held in Rincon, Puerto Rico. Among his many honors is his induction into the International Surfing Hall of Fame in 1991. As a promoter, he founded the Pipeline Masters in 1971 and, in 1983, created Hawaii’s Triple Crown of Surfing. Beginning in 1984, Hemmings has held various Hawaii state elected positions, including serving as Senate Minority Leader from 2002 to 2010.


Paul Strauch Jr.

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Paul Strauch Jr., a Native Hawaiian who grew up in Honolulu, is considered one of the most influential figures in the 60s era. Born and raised in Honolulu, his free surfing versatility and mastery of the waves is demonstrated by his creation of the nose-riding stance known as the “cheater five,” and being known as the first surfer to do bottom turns in big surf. He also, at the age of 16, won the juniors division of the 1959 Makaha International. For 14 years he served as president of the Hawaiian Surf Club based at San Onofre State Beach. Paul served on the Board of Directors for the San Onofre Foundation and was the Executive Director of the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Foundation.


Butch Van Artsdalen

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Butch Van Artsdalen was a uniquely gifted athlete whose skills earned him a varsity letter in baseball, basketball, football, and track at La Jolla High School. But it would be self-expression afforded by surfing that drew him to focus his talent and energies on wave-riding. He moved to Hawaii after graduation to pursue a professional career. By 1964, Van Artsdalen was ranked in a Surfer Magazine Poll as among the world’s best surfers. He was among a handful of surfers to first master the powerful, hollow waves at the Banzai Pipeline. Van Artsdalen was a charter member of the Windansea Surf Club which, since 2007, has held an annual Memorial Paddleboard Competition in his name. In 1969 he returned to California where he won the 34th Annual Stone Steps Invitational Surf Contest in Encinitas. Back in Hawaii, he became the first lifeguard assigned to Pipeline and, along with Eddie Aikau, one of the first lifeguards on the North Shore. He is credited with saving countless lives during his service. Van Artsdalen passed away on July 17, 1979, at age 38. His fellow Duke Kahanamoku Surf Teammate, Fred Hemmings, helped organize a memorial service on the beach at Pipeline in celebration of his life.


Marge Calhoun

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In an interview a year before her death, posted online by the San Onofre Surf Company, she clearly states that, though no longer able to ride the waves, she will always be a surfer in her mind. “The ocean swirls in (my) veins,” she tells the reporter.

Married at the age of 19, she was a mother of two and nearly 30 when she first paddled out at Malibu on a Joe Quigg balsa board her husband had bought for her. By then, she was already an accomplished springboard diver, swimmer, and water woman. She had even worked for a time as an aquatic showgirl at Marineland of the Pacific, an oceanarium and tourist attraction located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula; hers was a lifelong affinity for the ocean. It was once said that the sea was her “elixir.”

From the first paddle out, she immediately caught on with the tight Malibu crew. She “just had a knack for the whole thing—riding waves, showing a bit of flair on the beach, competition, all of it,” says the Encyclopedia of Surfing. In a few short years, Marge was off to Hawaii for a month-long surf safari, where she entered and won the Makaha Invitational.

She would later return with teenage daughters Candy and Robin in tow. It was a trio that could not go unnoticed, and legendary surf photographer LeRoy Grannis shot hundreds of photos of them, on the beach, surfboards under their arms, surfing, skateboarding, and collecting a contest award or two. These photographs are now entrenched in surfing lore. Speaking of the impression the three women made, master surfer Mike Doyle said: “They were like Greek goddesses, each one beautiful, and together they were just overwhelming.” In 1961, Marge was named the first secretary of the newly formed United States Surfing Association. She also became the organization’s first and only female contest judge.

A lifetime achievement honor, the “Silver Surfer Award” is presented annually by the California Surf Museum to a surfer who has made significant contributions to the culture and lifestyle of the surfing community and whose life has also inspired others to expand their awareness and continues to set a shining example of a true Silver Surfer. The recipient will be presented with a “Silver Surfer Award” inscribed with their name and year of honor; a perpetual “Silver Surfer Award” with names of the recipients will be housed at the California Surf Museum.

The past recipients of CSM’s Silver Surfer award are notable surfers and contributors to the surfing industry:Bing Copeland, Kathy Zuckerman, Yvon Chouinard, Debbie Beacham, Lynn Boyer, Kim Mearig, Tom Morey – In Memory, Donald Takayama – In Memory, Joel Tudor, Lisa Andersen, Tom Curren, Don Hansen, Fernando Aguerre, Gerry Lopez, Jericho Poppler, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, Ian “Kanga” Cairns, Dane Kealoha, Margo Godfrey Oberg, Mark “MR” Richards, Shaun Tomson, Peter “PT” Townend, Joyce Hoffman, Nat Young, Greg Noll, Skip Frye, Linda Benson and Gary Linden. View the history of the Silver Surfer Award

Stay at the Cape Rey on Gala night

If you would like to stay at the Cape Rey below is a link to reserve a room.