Robert "Chuy" 2023 Local Hero

Dedicated to the surf and skate culture for almost his entire life

An underground surf and skate legend, a talented writer, artist, event promotor, businessman and entrepreneur Robert “Chuy” Madrigal is a true Huntington Beach original.

PHOTO: Courtesy Bobby Zee Image.

Madrigal was born on the beach in the Mexican state of Colima in 1949 before him and his family eventually settled in Lakewood when he was in sixth grade. He not only made friends quickly but was also voted the student body president. An industrious youngster, Madrigal and some friends started making skateboards in shop class and selling them in the Sunset Beach area. From there it was on.

In Seal Beach he was taken under the wing of legends like Rich Chew and Tom Morey, where he learned to surf, before eventually falling into the Surf City scene during the heady 1970s.

Professionally, Madrigal has spent nearly 40 years in the international business arena. He’s worked for the Department of Commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Embassy, and many more. His true passion has been building and developing business ties between the United State and Mexico.

One Madrigal’s big claims to fame is that in 2005 he was contracted to produce the Rip Curl Search contest in Mexico. Scoring all-time conditions with pumping surf, the event still stands as one of the most historic professional surf contests ever held.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Robert “Chuy“ Madrigal


Beyond the surf and business worlds, Madrigal is also an exceptionally talented writer and artist. Creating beautiful, dreamy lineups and scenic paintings, his work transports the viewer to a more exotic, peaceful place.

Dedicated to the surf and skate culture for almost his entire life, the multi-talent force of nature this Madrigal remains as stoked and committed as ever.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Robert “Chuy“ Madrigal
PHOTO: Courtesy of Robert “Chuy“ Madrigal
PHOTO: Outside the Rocking Fig Surf Headquarters. Courtesy of Robert “Chuy“ Madrigal
PHOTO: Signing another original painting. Courtesy Bobby Zee Image.