Local Legend Johnson Inducted To Hall

Local Legend Johnson Inducted To Hall
Skill Johnson

OCEAN CITY – Local surfing legend and pioneer Skill Johnson last weekend was inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in Floriday, joining an illustrious field of 10 other inductees.

Johnson was one of 11 new members inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame last Friday evening at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

The East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation of the history and heritage of East Coast Surfing and to enshrine forever the people who have been responsible for its development and growth, and to preserve, protect and record the legacy and historically valuable lore of East Coast Surfing.

Johnson, a Stephen Decatur graduate, began surfing in Ocean City in 1963 along with his brothers, Al and Carl, and founded the original Ocean City Surf Club the same year.

Johnson and his brothers helped introduce surfing in Ocean City and on the East Coast at a time when it was largely a California and West Coast craze.

Johnson was nominated for the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame this summer and the class of 2018 was announced in September at the Surf Expo in Florida. Johnson was one of 11 new inductees from a field of 50 nominations for the class of 2018.

Johnson was a standout Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) competitor throughout the mid-Atlantic region in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In 1967, he reached the semifinals in the Atlantic States championships. In 1968 and 1970, Johnson was the men’s champ at the Middle Atlantic Surfing Championship and master’s champion in the ESA championships in 1973.

Johnson moved to Hawaii in 1974 and quickly became involved in the surfing scene there.

Over the last few decades, Johnson has taught surfing, directed and produced surf contests and emceed many of the major surfing events in Hawaii. He currently lives in Florida and returns a few times a year to his native Ocean City where family members still live.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.