How did Dane Kealoha die? Hawaiian Surfing Icon cause of death Explained

How did Dane Kealoha die? Hawaiian Surfing Icon cause of death Explained

Dane Kealoha, a pioneering surf icon with a distinctive stance, passed away on Wednesday. Let’s see more details about Dane and his cause of death in detail.

How did Dane Kealoha die?

Dane Kealoha, a surfing legend and pioneer of the sport, has died. He was 64. The news was confirmed by his family members, reporting that “he passed away peacefully after battling cancer.” His family told local media that he died peacefully after fighting the good fight.

Shaun Tomson wrote on his social media page that he was unwell and fighting in hospital. 

How did Dane Kealoha die? Hawaiian Surfing Icon cause of death Explained

Cause of death

Dane Kealoha, a pioneering surf icon with a distinctive stance, passed away on Wednesday, his family confirmed. Family members said he passed away peacefully after battling cancerHe is survived by his mother, two brothers, four sons, three daughters, and two grandchildren.

The pig-dog-pioneering power surfer from Honolulu battled cancer till the very end.

Tomson wrote:

“When I first met Dane back in 1976, he immediately became one of my favorite surfers – absolute raw power and foot-to-the-floor attitude. No close-together ballerina feet softness, but a powerful and beautiful classically pure Hawaiian style, charting back to the great Eddie Aikau.

“Dane was on the cutting edge of progression – inventing the backside pig dog technique at Pipe and winning the Masters in 1983, and carving up Backdoor and Sunset with creativity and ferocity.

“He was a truly gifted tube-rider, attacking the spinning tunnels with machismo, commitment, and an attacking rhythm like a Hawaiian warrior going into battle.” Kealoha’s tube riding innovation is often mentioned when describing the Hawaiian surfer’s impact on the sport. Like, as Tomson wrote, the pigdog stance at Pipeline. Look at any surfer today going backside at Pipe – or any tube wave, really – and they’re all doing it.

Dane Kealoha and his career Journey

Among his many accolades, Kealoha was best known for developing the “pig-dog style in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, a distinctive surfing style that became his signature stance. This technique allowed him to ride deep inside the tube of the wave while maintaining balance and stability.

Kealoha grew up surfing on the world-famous shores of Waikiki, showcasing his natural talent. He even secured surfing titles at the young age of 15. During the peak of his surfing career in 1983, Kealoha embarked on a global surfing tour. That year, he triumphed at the Duke, claiming first place after already securing the championship trophy at the Pipeline Masters earlier in the same month. Kealoha also had a significant partnership with Quicksilver, where he managed a store in Ward Village and opened two Roxy stores in Oahu and Maui. He also established a surf school at the Hyatt Regency in Waikiki.

“Widely regarded as a legendary waterman, Dane’s legacy and surfing style continues to inspire many young and aspiring surfers, including notable figures such as Sunny Garcia and Johnny Boy Gomez,” his family said.

How did Dane Kealoha die? Hawaiian Surfing Icon cause of death Explained
Source: Instagram(Artbrewer Photography)

Dane Surfing Icon

As per some highlights from Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing:

“Glowering power surfer from Honolulu, Hawaii; world-ranked #2 in 1980, remembered as the best tube rider of his generation, and often credited as the inventor of the ‘pigdog’ tube riding stance. Kealoha was born (1958) and raised in Honolulu, the son of a pure-blooded Hawaiian carpenter father. He tried surfing for the first time at age ten at Waikiki, accompanied by his father; after wiping out on his opening wave, Kealoha swam for shore crying, ran across the street, and threw his arms around a tree. He didn’t surf again until age 14.

“At 5’9″, 185 pounds, with thighs like a fullback, Kealoha was a born power surfer. He rode in a wide stance, slightly hunkered over, pressing his board into deeply chiseled turns and cutbacks. Kealoha also had an infallible sense of where to find speed on any given wave and Zen-like composure while inside the tube. South African surfer Shaun Tomson had in the mid-’70s invented a weaving method for tube riding, allowing him to ride deeper and more creatively than any surfer before him; Kealoha improved on Tomson’s technique and by the late ’70s had taken over as the world’s best tube rider, able to find his way out of the deepest caverns, especially at Backdoor Pipeline in Hawaii.

Dane-drop-knee technique

Early in the 1980s, Kealoha created a little drop-knee technique for riding the tube (initially termed the “lay-forward,” later called the “tripod” or “pigdog”) that finally allowed backsides to ride almost as far inside the wave as frontside. In the meantime, the gloomy Kealoha scowl scared off the majority of surf journalists and persuaded almost all other surfers, including his world tour contemporaries, to give him a wide berth. Tim Baker, an Australian surfer, said Kealoha was “solitary and strangely quiet” as he was waiting for a wave. ‘He seems virtually anchored, not bobbing around like the rest of us at the mercy of the erratic Hawaiian waters, but somehow rooted to the spot,’ the captain said.

How did Dane Kealoha die? Hawaiian Surfing Icon cause of death Explained
T&C Surf, Dane Kealoha, Larry Bertlemann

Competitive Career by Dane

“He should’ve been World Champ,” wrote Sunny Garcia for SURFER magazine in 2010. “He finished second in 1980 and third in ’81. In 1983, going into Hawaii for the last three events, the ASP had a run-in with the people organizing the Hawaii contests and decided that anyone who surfed the North Shore events would have their points stripped. Dane said, ‘F-ck that.’ He surfed all three events and won two, and would have won the title if they hadn’t screwed him. I think that killed him. He was only 25 when he retired.”

His competitive career may have faded way too early, but his respect among that generation’s legends never diminished.

Social Media Condolence

Kaehi Tucker Posted

Legendary Hawaiian power surfer Dane Kealoha died this morning in Honolulu after a battle with colon cancer, according to his family. He is remembered for winning the Pipe Masters and Duke Kahanamoku Invitational in 1983 and pioneering the ‘pig dog’ style of tube riding. Funeral services are pending. Kealoha was 64 years old.

Paul Ruth Posted

My favorite Hawaiian surfer Dane Kealoha has passed away peacefully today. This is a huge loss for the surfing community!

DXB Media Posted’

Dane Kealoha, a surfing icon dies a distinctive stance surfer, death cause is shocking. Dane Kealoha, a pioneering surf icon with a distinctive stance, passed away on Wednesday, his family confirmed.

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