Buran also left his handprints on the concrete, and he engraved, “Be Inspired. God Bless. Joey Buran.”
Late in his surfing career, Buran’s life transformed. After winning the Pipe in 1984, Buran battled depression and attempted suicide, reactions from experiencing emptiness after achieving what had been his lifelong goal. But Buran became a Christian and later became a pastor. Most people started calling him, “The Surfing Preacher.”
He’s now the pastor of Worship Generation in Fountain Valley. During his induction speech, Buran reminded people to be inspired and expressed that he hoped to be an inspiration.
Buran has apparently inspired several surfers. He was bombarded by many autograph-seekers after the event. They were all there to hear his accomplishments while he was honored.
Buran’s family was also there, his wife, Jennifer, their two daughters, Hannah and Leah, and two sons, Tim and Luke.
“I’m just really proud of him,” Jennifer said. “I kept looking at our family and thinking, ‘Wow, what a neat thing that he can sit there and have all of us there at the ceremony.’ ”
Buran’s mother, Diane, and father, Phil, were also there.
During the ceremony, Corky Carroll, also a Surfers’ Hall of Famer, asked Buran’s mother to say a few words.
“It was fun raising him, but a challenge,” Diane said of her son.
Buran’s parents weren’t the only important people Buran thanked during his speech. Buran also gave great credit to the late Jeffrey “Midget” Smith, who was Buran’s first sponsor.
Surfers O’Connell and Hakman, who both once called Newport Beach their home, were also inducted and made their marks into the concrete, as well as Brown, the renowned filmmaker who produced Endless Summer.
The ceremony was part of the festivities tied to the U.S. Open of Surfing, which continues today and ends Sunday, featuring the men’s final.