International Surfboard Builders Hall Of Fame Inductee Details
For: Gene Belshe
Inductee Name
Gene Belshe
Event Year
2016
Inductee Location
Deceased
Inductee Contact
Inductee Brand
Inductee Boardshop
Boardshop Link
Inductee Bio

Gene Belshe (lifeguard chief from 1928 to 1931) and Higgins, the city's first full-time lifeguards, emerged as lifesaving and surfing pioneers and together built HB's first surfboards. Higgins would later recall when he and Belshe invited the "Father of Surfing," Duke Kahanamoku, to surf the HB Pier, as well as when "the Duke" made a heroic 1925 rescue, reported by the Newport police chief as "the most superhuman surfboard rescue act the world has ever seen." Lifeguard chief Higgins watched the city reorganize the police and fire departments in 1934, separating the lifeguards and establishing their own department. The years to follow were full of change and innovation, including the relocation of the municipal lifeguard headquarters from the beach onto the pier; the acquisition of four-wheel-drive vehicles with sirens, radio, and telephone communications; and the joint effort with Newport Beach lifeguard chief Frank Crocker to produce the first lifeguard training and general orders manuals.

For the complete biography, go to: Huntington Beach Lifeguards - Kai Weisser - Google Books

Thanks to: An Early History of Surfing in Huntington Beach - Delbert G. Higgins for the photo

Links

An Early History of Surfing in Huntington Beach - Delbert G. Higgins

Huntington Beach Lifeguards - Kai Weisser - Google Books