NPR : News

Filed Under:

Sean Collins, Who Told Surfers Where To Go For The Best Waves, Has Died

Sean Collins created a way for surfers to learn about where the best waves are just about anywhere in the world and in the process became a legend in the surfing community. Monday, at the age of 59, he died.

According to The Orange County Register, "his youngest son, A.J., said Collins was playing tennis at his club in Newport [Calif.] at about 2 p.m. when he died suddenly from a heart attack."

As Surfer magazine writes:

"Arguably one of the most influential surfers of his era, Collins reshaped the way surfers from across the world track swells and storms through Surfline.com, the website he founded in the 1990s. Primarily self-taught, Collins was regarded as one of the most esteemed forecasters in the industry and regularly advised the World Tour on approaching swells and weather conditions."

Thanks to Collins and his website, the Register says, "surfers who once aimlessly searched for waves ... now had information readily available to predict the best windows for waves."

Peter 'P.T.' Townend, surfing's first world champion, tells the Register that "we've all ridden more waves because of Sean Collins. It's that simple."

Surfline says it now receives nearly 1.5 million "unique" page views each month.

Collins was inducted into the Surfers Hall of Fame in 2008. His webpage there reads, in part:

"Collins was the first person to accurately forecast swells on a regular basis in the '70s and early '80s. A surfer, sailor and self-taught meteorologist, he pioneered and created the first ongoing surf forecast available to the surfing public via Surfline and 976-SURF in 1985. He developed the very first live 'Surfcam' in 1996, the precedent for the worldwide camera network available on Surfline.com today. Collins was named one of the '25 Most Influential Surfers of the Century' by Surfer magazine in the summer of 1999 and the '8th Most Powerful Surfer in the Surf Industry' by Surfer magazine in the summer of 2002."

(H/T to Deborah Franklin.)

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Aug. 4, 2015

You can see two exhibits and rub elbows with the artists behind the work.
WAMU 88.5

The Surprising Roots of Barbecue

We speak with culinary historian Michael Twitty about the roots of familiar southern dishes in African and Native American food traditions.

WAMU 88.5

President Obama's Iran Speech

Veteran journalist Marvin Kalb joins us to discuss the parallels between JFK's nuclear disarmament speech fifty years ago and President Obama's speech on the nuclear deal with Iran.

NPR

Sexist Reactions To An Ad Spark #ILookLikeAnEngineer Campaign

After being surprised by online responses to her appearance in a recruiting ad, engineer Isis Wenger wanted to see if anyone else felt like they didn't fit a "cookie-cutter mold."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.