Howard Lyon*

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Howard “Howie” Lyon was born in 1923 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and discovered surfing after he joined the Army Medical Corps, where he served until 1946. Following his military service, Lyon pursued a master’s degree in Education, which led to a 40-year career as a coach and director of athletics for The Phelps School in Malvern, Pennsylvania. 

In the 1960s, Lyon, along with his brother Dick, became members of the nascent Eastern Surfing Association — and never looked back. Year after year, Lyon and Dick were regulars at the ESA Championship, held in the hallowed shadow of Buxton, NC light. Both brothers competed clear through the Legends Division, always providing inspiration to each year’s new crop of East Coast surfers.

Eventually, Lyon settled in St. Augustine, Florida, where he and Dick were staples in the local surf scene. Dick passed away in 2000, and Lyon in 2009. Each year, the Howie and Dick Lyon Memorial Contest is held in St. Augustine, and the ESA honors a deserving male and female surfer the Howie and Dick Lyon Sportsmanship Award. 

Howie Lyon was inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 2002. 

Photos by JC Calhoun and Kevin Welsh