Humanitarian Awards


Donna Frye and Skip Frye

Co-Founders of Surfers Tired of Pollution ~ S.T.O.P.

"Advocates for pristine water, clean beaches and education for children
and adults through surfing and other water sports."

Donna and Skip Frye

He'e nalu in the Hawaiian language means wave gliding or surf rider. Surfing, the sport of ancient Hawaiian kings, was a central part of Polynesian culture that predates European contact. The chief (Kahuna) was always the most skilled wave rider with the best boards made from the finest woods. Duke Kahanamoku, Olympic gold medalist and State of Hawai'i Ambassador of Aloha, is considered the father of modern surfing. In 1916 he appeared with George Freeth at a Hawaiian Exhibition in Coronado where together they promoted the sport of surfing to Southern California, Australia and the world. The Hawaiian Community in San Diego County acknowledges Donna Frye and Skip Frye for their continued support and appearances at Pacific Islander cultural events sponsored by the Hui O Hawaii San Diego, Ahahui Kiwila O San Diego, and the Pacific Islander Festival San Diego.

Donna Frye met her husband, surfing legend Skip Frye, in 1980. They married and together, with their partner Hank Warner, opened a surf shop in Pacific Beach called Harrys'. A longtime environmental activist, Donna became increasingly concerned with coastal water pollution problems when her husband and friends repeatedly became sick after surfing. The couple founded Surfers Tired of Pollution (S.T.O.P.) and Donna focused her attention on cleaning up the ocean and educating the public and elected officials about the serious health risks and financial costs associated with coastal water pollution. She made progress, but more needed to be done so in 2001 Donna ran and was elected to the San Diego City Council. For more than nine years, she worked tirelessly for an open and honest government accountable to the public and to bring local and international awareness for clean beaches, pristine coastal waters, and educational programs for children and adults through surfing and other water sports. When Donna left office in December 2010, due to term limits, a local news reporter asked how she wanted to be remembered. She stated, "That what I originally said I would do, I did, including open government, treating people with courtesy and respect, doing my homework, listening to both sides of an issue, being responsive, accessible and honest. It's just the kind of basic stuff that a human being should do anyway." Today, Donna is co-owner of Skip Frye Surfboards and continues her work for open government and environmental issues on local, state and national levels.

Skip Frye is one of the most respected individuals in the surfing world. He started his surfing career in 1958 and began shaping and designing surfboards in 1963. Skip worked for many years for Gordon & Smith Surfboards and competed in numerous surfing contests during that time, including the First Annual Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championships in Oahu, Hawaii. His surfing career has enabled him to surf all over the world including Peru, Tahiti, Fiji, France, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Skip has also appeared on magazine covers and in articles including Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue , Surfer's Journal and Surfer Magazine. Skip is known for his smooth, fluid style as featured in many classic surf films from the '50s and '60s riding some of the most in-demand surfboards in the world with his iconic logo, a set of wings commonly referred to as "Frye Wings." Skip personally shapes each and every board by hand, and they have slowly become collector's pieces, often passed down through generations. He has his own brand of surf wax, Man Wax, a moderate temperature surf wax ideal for San Diego waters. He is a legendary member of the Surfing Hall of Fame, former Patagonia Ambassador and 2006 Inductee into the International Surfboard Builders Hall of Fame. Skip was most recently recognized by the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach with a Walk of Fame brick as a Surf Pioneer. Skip still shapes surfboards and surfs almost every day. He sums up his love of surfing: "Ponce DeLeon sailed the ocean searching for The Fountain of Youth when all he had to do was jump over the side of his ship."

Donna and Skip have longtime affiliations with the following organizations and non-profits:

  • WindanSea Surf Club, La Jolla
  • California Surf Museum, Oceanside
  • UCSD Cancer Center Longboard Invitational
  • Californians Aware
  • Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation
  • Environmental Health Coalition
  • Surfrider Foundation
  • San Diego Coastkeeper
  • San Diego League of Women Voters

"The richest heritage that you can have is a surfing heritage"
Rell Kapolioka'ehukai Sunn, The Queen of Makaha

Donna Frye and Skip Frye were nominated by:

Tula Mapuana Striffler
Past President of the Hui O Hawaii San Diego
2009 JTF Humanitarian Award Recipient

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