Mary Lou Drummy 2016 Woman of the Year
Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame
by Terry Eselun
Mary Lou Drummy will be inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame on July 28, 2016, at 10:00 am during the annual Van’s U.S. Open of Surfing.
The ceremony will take place at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street in Huntington Beach. She is receiving recognition as Woman of the Year. A personalized granite plaque will be placed in the sidewalk in front of Jack’s Surfboards commemorating her lifetime contributions to surfing.
Blonde and blue-eyed, Mary Lou began surfing in the 1950’s in Hermosa Beach, teaching herself to surf during a time when women weren’t always welcomed in the line-up. She began competing with the Malibu Surfing Association in the 60’s and surfed her way to first place in the Santa Monica Open. She found herself on the winner’s platform at the 1965 U.S. Surfing Championships in Huntington Beach, placing 5th in some of the biggest surf the contest had ever seen.
In the 60’s, when she wasn’t surfing, the talented and beautiful Mary Lou became an extra in Hollywood films including beach movies with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. She doubled for Sharon Tate surfing and performed parachute stunts in the 1967 movie “Don’t Make Waves” with Tony Curtis. And, she was the first woman to star in a feature-length surf film, “Follow Me,” surfing her way through Morocco, Spain and India.
Mary Lou has always been an advocate for women’s surfing. Riding the second wave of feminism in the 70’s she, along with several other women, co-founded the Women’s International Surfing Association (W.I.S.A.) in 1975, the very first women’s surfing association. She was elected their first president and her contributions were invaluable. Her knowledge of competition, her sense of fairness, her calm and steady hand all helped guide W.I.S.A from its inception in 1975 through 1993. In fact, in 1975, W.I.S.A produced and directed the historic first all Women’s International Professional Surfing contest at Malibu. For the first time in history women had their own professional event with a purse of $3000. (“Like” WISA on Facebook) Along with three other water women, Mary Lou was recently honored by the County of Los Angeles with a commendation for her contributions to the sport of surfing.
Mary Lou has worked tirelessly throughout her career, both behind the scenes and on the beach. She has always been the first to arrive and the last to leave. In 1994 she was elected to run the U.S.S.F Western Region competition series. In 2004 the U.S.S.F reverted back to the Western Surfing Association and up until today, she remains their executive director.
A warm and graceful roll model for women, Mary Lou also directed the Wahine Series, a women’s-only competition series and in 1991, she co-founded the Endless Summer Surf Camp.
In addition to her many contributions to surfing, Mary Lou has managed to raise four amazing children, three of whom have become competitive surfers. Saltwater still runs in her veins. On any given day, you’ll likely find Mary Lou at San Onofre State Beach or under the tent managing the W.S.A. events.
Our community is proud to acknowledge Mary Lou Drummy as Woman of the Year.
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