Community News

A Celebration of Life and Paddleout for Surfer Chris Cattel

by: HB News staff writer
Posted: May 20, 2019


HB pioneer surfer Chris Cattel


HUNTINGTON BEACH...Last Saturday, May 18th., the local surfing community, friends, and relatives gathers together at Pier Plaza to remember longtime surfer Chris Cattel in a celebration of life and paddleout.

Orginally from across the pond in Great Britain, Cattel came to the United States in 1957 and at 16-years-old arrived in Huntington Beach. Almost from the first Cattel fell in love with surfing and its surfing culture and started surfing our waves by 1959.

L-R: Pastor Jason with Master of Ceremony Rick "Fig" Fignetti


Local Main Street surf shop owner and friend Rick "Fig" Fignetti acted as Master of Ceremony who gave a history of Cattel's life in surf city and introduced several friends who remembered Cattel along with his Cattel's sister Fiona.

L-R: Rick "Fig" Fignetti with Cattel's sister Fiona


Cattel became a member of the city's Hole in the Wall gang, a group of fun-loving surfers and shapers who enjoyed the sport, its lifestyle, and had the talent and competitive spirit of the 1960s and 70s.

Cattel competed in several United States Surfing Championships, notably the 1960, '61, '65 and '71 contests.

He even modeled for Hang Ten Surfing Magazine.

Pioneer surfer Chuck Linnen


Surfer and surf shop owner Randy Lewis


Surfer John "Frog" Van Oeffelen


Speaking on Cattel's surfing career included Chuck Linnen, Bob "The Greek" Bolan, Gary Sahagen, Randy Lewis, Jericho Poppler, and John "Frog" Van Oeffelen.

Chris Cattel passed away on January 10, 2019.

"He should be given a spot on the Walk of Fame sidewalk as a local surf hero," said a close friend.

Pastor Jason cave a closing prayer before several surfers entered the water the closing paddleout to Cattel's life.

Author Mark Zambrano of Surfing in Huntington Beach


Cattel is remembered in a new book about the surfing history in Huntington Beach by author Mark Zambrano called Surfing in Huntington Beach from Arcadia Publishing.

Huntington Beach News 18582 Beach Blvd. #236 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 Ph. (657) 845-7475  Email:

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