Skip Frye

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Harry "Skip" Frye
Personal information
BornHarry Richard Frye
(1941-09-07) September 7, 1941 (age 77)
San Diego, California, U.S.
ResidenceSan Diego, California
Surfing career
Years active1958-present
Best year1968
Major achievements1963 Aquarium win, 1968 U.S. Invitational
Surfing specifications
QuiverEagles, Fish, Eggs
Favorite wavesThe Ranch, Rincon
Favorite maneuversBeing "In Trim"

Skip Frye (born Harry Richard Frye; September 7, 1941 in San Diego, California) is an American surfer, surfboard designer and shaper, and environmental activist and legend.

Skip Frye in his element 2007. Photo: Bengt Nyman


Skip attended Mission Bay High School and began his professional surfing career in 1958, his first board was a balsa board shaped by legend Mike Diffenderfer. Skip rode professionally for G&S surfboards and eventually created his own model for them in 1967. Skip captured national titles and represented the United States team internationally in 1966. Frye has appeared on many magazine covers including Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (1969, with model Jamee Becker), The Surfer's Journal, Surfing, and Surfer Magazine.

Skip is known for his gliding, fluid style as well as some of the most in-demand surfboards in the world, he is perhaps, best recognized by his iconic logo, a set of wings commonly referred to as "Frye Wings." Though once he was in a rough patch in the 70s and couldn't even afford to buy laminates so he started signing his wings in pencil. This is referred to as his "ghetto days", when he shaped surfboards behind Select Surf Shop in Pacific Beach. Iconic images of him surfing with his dog, silhouetted against a setting sun, and paddling alone into "The Ranch" have appeared in books and magazines and have been printed on clothing and surfboards.[1] Skip is also known for his innovation with foiled surfboard fins. After a surfing trip to Australia in 1969, he developed his trademark board shapes: the Egg, Fish, and specialized longboard shapes, he has developed a moderate temperature surf wax ("Man Wax"), ideal for his native San Diego waters.

Skip still surfs daily and shapes in the San Diego area, his attention to detail and careful hand-shaping practices have created high demand and long wait-lists. His boards have slowly become collector's pieces often passed down through generations.

Frye is a 2011 inductee into the Surfing Walk of Fame in Huntington Beach, California in the surf pioneer category.[2]

In May, 2017 Frye was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Diego Surf Film Festival.[3]


Frye married his first wife, Marcia Metcalf in 1963. Together they raised their three children (Lauren - from a previous marriage, Donald - from a previous marriage, and Braden), before divorcing. Following his divorce, Frye experienced a period of personal struggle but submerged himself in his sport and his faith.

In 1990, Frye married his long-time girlfriend, Donna Frye (née Sarvis) and they started Harrys' Surf Shop with Harry "Hank" Warner, his wife was elected as a San Diego City Councilmember in 2001 and narrowly lost the San Diego mayoral election in 2005. Her term ended on December 6, 2010, they founded Surfers Tired of Pollution in the mid 1990s and are both public supporters of clean water and the environment.


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  2. ^ Carroll, Corky (June 9, 2011). "Walk of Fame inductee list one of the best ever". The Orange County Register.
  3. ^ Lewis, Ken. "Why Surfing Needs More Heroes Just Like Skip Frye". The Inertia. Retrieved 2018-05-22.

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