Rick Fignetti speaks during the 17th annual Induction Day into the Surfing Walk of Fame in 2010. (Scott Smeltzer, HB Independent / August 5, 2010)

Fignetti said the national crowns he just earned belong to all of Huntington.

"It's for all the boys of Huntington Beach," Fignetti said. "We've got a lot of good surfers in this town and a lot of them don't do the (contest) circuits but they still rip. I just wanted to bring a title to the boys.

"The boys at the pier are always pushing it, it's a great training ground surfing there every day."


Overall, there was some great surfing at the NSSA championships, most notably by Hawaiians and Californians, each state claiming eight individual national titles. Florida had two national champions and Japan had one.

Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau nabbed the top prizes of the event, winning both the Open Men's Mayors Cup (ages 16 and up) and the Explorer Men's (all ages) championships.

As for the locals, Fignetti wasn't the only one to come up big.

In the Open Boys division (12 and under), John Mel of Newport Beach finished second in the nation and Cole Houshmand of San Clemente was third. Mel also earned a national championship in the Explorer Menehuene division (12 and under).

In the Open Mini Groms (10 and under) Crosby Colapinto of San Clemente took fourth. In the Open Longboard (all ages), Troy Bartovich of Huntington Beach placed second.

In the Explorer Masters division (25 and up), Lee Toresdahl placed sixth, and he also placed fourth in the Explorer Super Seniors (45 and up).

Locals dominated the Explorer Duke division (55 and up). Besides Fignetti's national championship in the Dukes, Terry Carmadella of Huntington Beach took third and Jeremy Guilmette, also of Huntington, placed fifth.

They also gave out a number of "special awards," and among the winners was Huntington's Janice Aragon, who won the Heart and Soul award inspired by Bethany Hamilton.

JOE HAAKENSON is an Orange County-based sports writer and editor. He may be reached at joe@juvecreative.com.