Among the first group of surfers to be inducted into the East Coast Surf Legends Hall of Fame in 1996, Holland was elected to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, the only surfer to be inducted. “His pleasantry was only matched by his humility,” friend and surfer Butch Maloney told The Pilot. “He was a man of great integrity.
The East Coast has lost its second surf patriarch in as many months on Monday, as Virginia Beach’s Bob Holland, founder of Smith and Holland Surf Shop and the first east coast surfer to win a national title, passed away in an assisted living home after suffering from Alzheimer’s. He was 88 years old.
Holland spent much of his adulthood campaigning for Virginia’s status as a legitimate surf hotspot, starting with the opening of the state’s first shop, Holland Surf Shop, in 1960. (He would later co-found Smith and Holland Surf Shop in 1962 with fellow Virginia Beach surfer Pete Smith).
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