Rest in Peace Derek Ho

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Bram
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Rest in Peace Derek Ho

Post by Bram » Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:07 am

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Hawaii's first World Surf Champion passed away, at the age of 55, after suffering a major heart attack and taking himself to the hospital, where he slipped into a coma and died late Friday afternoon.

Above is him surfing last year.

Derek Kaleiki Ho was born in Kailua on Oahu to Chico and Joeine Ho, first cousin to Don Ho. Chico was one of the original Waikiki beach boys, so there was no question his offspring would surf. His older brother Michael was among the first wave of professionals in the mid-’70s, finishing in the Top 16 for 10 straight years.

Derek began surfing at age three and became a fixture at wind-whipped Sandy Beach before graduating to the better spots along the South Shore. While Michael Ho was serious about competition, Derek showed promise, but instead found trouble with a rough crew from Kailua High School. He often landed in police custody for petty thievery and reached a crossroad when placed in a correctional center at age 18. It was either find direction or go to prison.

North Shore godfather Brian Suratt intervened and got Derek to Japan for the 1982 Marui Open. Derek made the semifinals and found his calling — to bring the professional world title to Hawaii.

In 1985, he joined Michael in the Top 16, the first siblings ever to do so. His mastery at the Gotcha Pro, held at his familiar Sandy Beach, wasn’t even fair to the other surfers. At Pipeline, he assumed Gerry Lopez’s lofty mantle, claiming three Pipe Masters titles and any wave he wanted. He was runner-up to Martin Potter for the world title in 1989 and finished fourth two other years.

By 1993, his career seemed to be winding down. Kelly Slater had arrived on the scene, winning the previous world title and getting better still. Ho was 29 years old and seeded 36th — his lowest ranking since joining the tour. But during the season, he hung tough, not killing it, just staying consistent.

It came down to the final event of the season, at brutal 8-foot Pipe. Seven title contenders still in the hunt — Potter, Slater, Damien Hardman, Dave Macaulay, Rob Machado, Gary Elkerton and Ho. By the semis, it was Elkerton and Ho. Thanks to Ho’s fellow Hawaiian Larry Rios, Elkerton went down, and Ho became Hawaii’s first male professional champion. A host of great Hawaiian competitors — from Larry Bertlemann to Dane Kealoha to Michael Ho — came up short and hopes were already being heaped on Sunny Garcia, Shane Dorian and Kalani Robb, but it was Ho who came through.

"If we just work hard without complaining, we can become one with Heaven and Earth." - Zen proverb

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Bram
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Re: Rest in Peace Derek Ho

Post by Bram » Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:09 am

The words above are taken from a surfing article, but I'd just like to add that to live a life where you still are doing what you love up until the end - that is a good life. Rest in peace. :heart:
"If we just work hard without complaining, we can become one with Heaven and Earth." - Zen proverb

DikTracy6000
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Re: Rest in Peace Derek Ho

Post by DikTracy6000 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:44 am

Bram wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:09 am
The words above are taken from a surfing article, but I'd just like to add that to live a life where you still are doing what you love up until the end - that is a good life. Rest in peace. :heart:
A good life indeed. RIP, Derek.

Bennyonesix1
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Re: Rest in Peace Derek Ho

Post by Bennyonesix1 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:57 pm

Awesome. Agreed peak exit.

Shapecharge
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Re: Rest in Peace Derek Ho

Post by Shapecharge » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:14 pm

Well said Bram.

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Fat Cat
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Re: Rest in Peace Derek Ho

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:28 pm

It was big news here, but he was king in the late 80s and early 90s so kinda before I was aware of names on the surf circuit. Apparently his family all got to come out to Wahiawa General Hospital to say goodbye before he passed so, I guess that's as good as you can hope for.
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Bram
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Re: Rest in Peace Derek Ho

Post by Bram » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:51 pm

I didn't know that he got to see his family, happy to hear he got to say goodbye to them.
"If we just work hard without complaining, we can become one with Heaven and Earth." - Zen proverb

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Re: Rest in Peace Derek Ho

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:10 pm

Bram wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:51 pm
I didn't know that he got to see his family, happy to hear he got to say goodbye to them.
Well, the way I saw it written, it could have been that he got to say goodbye, or that his family got to say goodbye before he passed. Either way, better than nothing, although it's still awfully young to die.
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Bram
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Re: Rest in Peace Derek Ho

Post by Bram » Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:18 am

Evidently he was in a coma, but his family managed to say goodbye before he passed.

Too young.
"If we just work hard without complaining, we can become one with Heaven and Earth." - Zen proverb

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