About the Tourmaline Surfer Memorial,
IIn the spring of 2005, the idea for a surfer's memorial was conceived. The memorial vision was inspired by another fabulous surfer's memorial already in place at Tourmaline Canyon Surfing Park , “Skeeter's Bench”.
Several years ago, local surfers financed, constructed, and placed a memorial bench honoring popular Tourmaline surfer legend Skeeter Malcolm. Skeeter was an exceptional man and loved by all who knew him. On any given day, surfers and beach enthusiasts sit and enjoy the fabulous ocean views from his bench.
It became apparent how relevant an all-inclusive surfer's memorial would be at Tourmaline. A surfer's memorial honoring all surfers past and present, male and female, famous, and the unknown. The memorial would also include all who enjoy Tourmaline Canyon Surfing Park , the beach, or simply desire a presence at this beautiful venue. The memorial would provide a special setting where family and friends could recognize and remember their loved ones. A personally inscribed granite paver placed on the memorial decking could recognize and share their memories.
A letter was subsequently drafted explaining the memorial concept. The informative letter was personally presented to the San Diego Lifeguard Service, local businesses, surf clubs, and the surfing community. All who were made aware of the surfer's memorial embraced the vision. By then it was apparent the memorial concept something special.
In 2006, the decision was made to move forward with the surfer's memorial. The Tourmaline Tailgaters Surfing Association which has a strong presence at Tourmaline Canyon Surfing Park agreed to support the project. From within the association membership, a memorial committee was formed.
The process to actually design, develop, finance, and construct the surfer's memorial was long and arduous. Countless obstacles were overcome with the committee members' persistence and commitment to the project. The City of San Diego 's Park and Recreation Department was supportive throughout the life of the project. Each committee member contributed tremendous energy, their unique talents and expertise to the surfer's memorial.
The Tourmaline memorial committee members who made it all possible in no particular order are as follows: Glenn Paculba, John Pruitt, Tom Davis, Jeff Grant, Cheri Miller, and Greg Miller.
In October 2008, the Tourmaline Canyon Surfer's Memorial was completed. A dedication ceremony followed shortly thereafter. It was a very special day in Tourmaline Canyon history to be remembered by all who attended.
Our perception and surfing philosophy
Tourmaline Surfing Park holds a unique position in California 's surfing geography. In 1963 the City of San Diego designated Tourmaline as a “ Surfing Park ”. While similar to other popular beaches up and down the coast "Tourmo" retains a unique quality all its own. The exceptional surf has drawn scores of surfers to its shores since the 1930's.
Beyond the waves, there is a subculture of camaraderie that is not found at most other surf venues. If you drive the California coast, one sees pods of surfers at beaches from Swamis in northern San Diego to San Onofre in Orange country to Malibu in Los Angeles and onto Steamers Lane in the Santa Cruz area. Each location has their own cadre of "locals" who add character and distinction to the spot.
Likewise, Tourmaline features a constantly evolving collection of individuals' young and old, male and female who have molded the personality of the park. From famous surfers like Skip Frye to pioneering legends Skeeter Malcolm and "Hedgy" Hinds to the daily flock of students, doctors, lawyers, firemen, police officers, construction workers, teachers and business people, each adds to the mix of wisdom, humor and fellowship that the gathering seems to encourage. This egalitarian group of folks are less interested in their fellow surfer's profession, income or pedigree and are more interested in the condition of the waves, the upcoming swell or how that pin tailboard shape holds on a steep wave face.
The sense of camaraderie that Tourmaline Park has engendered should be encouraged and appreciated. It's found at few other surf locations and it's rarely found in any other sport. In fact, in a world filled with fear and suspicion we want our young surfers to realize how fortunate they are to share in the celebration of the surfing world and want both tourists and new visitors who come to Tourmaline to gain a better understanding of the significance of the park and our sport.
How better to do that then with a Memorial monument that celebrates the significance and the Aloha of Tourmaline.