President Emeritus Honored by the Pacifica Sports Hall of Fame
Jay Jansson is being honored as both a surfer and a journalist by the Pacifica Sports Hall of Fame on February 27, 2010. He started surfing and writing in the 1960’s. Jay was a pioneer surfer on the Gulf Coast. His journalism began as a sports editor for his high school’s newspaper and year book.
In 1968 he enlisted in the US Navy to “Surf the World”. That gave him the opportunity to surf the East Coast, the Caribbean, Mexico, California, Hawaii, Australia, the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf and the Far East.
After his first tour in Vietnam, he met his soul mate, Peggy Jansson, in 1971 while stationed on a destroyer out of Pearl Harbor. Her sister lived on Pedro Point, where he surfed after being transferred to a SF based ship in 1972.
From 1973 to 1980 they moved to San Luis Obispo where Jay graduated from Cal Poly. There they were blessed with a son, Jason, and daughter, Molly. Along with studies, work and surfing, Jay published articles for local newspapers, chambers of commerce, the L.A. Times and wrote his senior project, a book on Jean Lafitte the Pirate and the Battle of New Orleans.
From 1980 to 2000 the Jansson family moved back to Pacifica where Jay had a career overhauling US Navy ships until 1996 and then began a second career with Pacific Bell. Raising a family, surfing wherever the Navy took him and founding the Pedro Point Surf Club (PPSC) in 1987 with a hardy group of fellow die hard surfers all were a huge part of his life.
The PPSC became a respected community organization. Monthly Newsletters, Sufaris, Surf Expos, Fog Fest parades, being the 1st Surfrider Foundation chapter, cleaning up HWY 1, political forums, water testing, beach clean ups, Shark presentations, Ocean’s Week, planning the restoration of Pacifica State Beach, saving San Pedro Mountain and the Big Chill Out surf contest were among the many activities. Surfing with family and friends was the true impetus.
From 1988 to 2000 Jay was a volunteer journalist for the Pacifica Tribune, writing some 400 articles to document the history, personalities and current news of Pacifica surfing as well as promote the conservation of the beaches. Many articles were accompanied by photos from well known surf photographers and historical photos. Some of the articles became Pacifica Tribune cover stories as well as features in the SF Chronicle and the Surfers Journal.
Although limited by physical disabilities today, Jay still paddles with his surf buddies in calm conditions. His writing continues to be published with historical and surf articles along with a soon to be published children’s book titled “Junior, the Cat that Loves to Surf”. “Still Stoked” will be his epitaph and he plans to be late for his own funeral.