Since then, Surfline has exploded into an international forecasting machine, with the Web site attracting about 1.3 million unique visitors per month ? more than any other surfing Web site.
Collins sees the future of the sport becoming more mainstream, and he expects to see more women dropping in, as well as big wave riders chasing more monstrous waves than ever before.
He is striving to continue improving Surfline's technology and is working on forecasting swells three to five minutes before they hit the surf zone using a Scripps Institute buoy beyond the Huntington Beach Pier.
The Surfline office is located on Main Street, so don't be surprised to see Collins and Surfline employees running to the pier to catch a wave they saw coming with the technology. He said this kind of forecasting is not that far out and is working on a way to get it to the public.
"I knew from forecasting and reporting everywhere ? one of the most consistent surf spots on the coast is the Huntington Pier," he said. "It's basically guaranteed there's always something to surf, and having the office on the beach is pretty fun."
2. Aaron Pai, 51, owner of Huntington Beach Surf & Sport store
Favorite surf spots: Costa Rica and Fiji
Influenced by: Bob Hurley, David Nuuhiwa, Laird Hamilton and Kelly Slater
For Aaron Pai, owner of Huntington Surf and Sport, surfing is a way of life.
"I just love surfing with my sons wherever I am," Pai said.
He caught his first wave off the north side of Huntington Beach Pier and later learned to surf in Waikiki. Although he hasn't been surfing as much as he would like, "It's one of the major passions and forces in my life," he said.
In 2001, the City Council unanimously approved installing a Surfer's Hall of Fame in front of Pai's Huntington Beach Surf & Sport shop at 300 Pacific Coast Highway on Main Street to honor surf legends.