(CNN) — John Shimooka, a former world tour surfer turned broadcaster, died Monday at the age of 51.
The announcement was made by Surfing NSW, the Australian group for which Shimooka had been general manager of partnerships since 2018.
“He will be remembered for his passion for the lifestyle as well as his energy and enthusiasm,” said a statement from Surfing NSW. “Everyone in our organization joins his son, Brandon, immediate family, and his extended worldwide network of friends, in grieving his loss. It is our saddest day.”
“We will commemorate and celebrate John’s life in the days and weeks to come.”
No cause of death has been announced.
Originally from Hawaii, Shimooka competed in the World Surf League’s men’s Championship Tour between 1989 and 1998.
John Shimooka (right) poses for a photo with Kelly Slater. Credit: CNN.
Kelly Slater, an 11-time world surfing champion, paid tribute to Shimooka on Instagram, saying: “My heart’s ripped out. I’m sorry, Shmoo. I thought we had this.”
Another former world champion, Tom Carroll, replied to Slater’s post with the words “no-sense. I thought so too. Shmoo RIP.” Four-time world champion Lisa Andersen commented on Shimooka’s most recent Instagram post: “I’m lost for words. Hope you are at peace.”
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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment