Derek Ho, 1993 World Champ and 4x Triple Crown winner, reportedly passed away yesterday afternoon, on July 17th. According to KHON News, the 55-year-old Pipe legend and uncle to pro surfers Mason and Coco Ho, had suffered a heart attack.
The stylish goofyfoot leaves behind a legacy of incredible Pipe feats and a community of friends and loved ones on the North Shore. Ho became a standout at Pipeline as a teenager, alongside his older brother Michael Ho, and by his early 20s, he had already charged his way to a Pipe Masters win. At 29, he became Hawaii’s first male world champ and solidified himself as one of the most talented and respected surfers along the Seven Mile Miracle. Up until this last winter, Ho was regularly seen packing some of the heaviest waves during the season’s best swells.
“…Ho was quick-footed, with a sharp, angular, slightly formulated attack,” writes Matt Warshaw in the “Encyclopedia of Surfing“. “Tuberiding was his strength, and in hollow waves, especially at Pipeline, he rode with sublime precision and elegance. Two-time world champion Tom Carroll was Ho’s equal at Pipeline, but the Australian’s approach was rougher and more power-driven, whereas Ho time and again drew perfect lines through the deepest part of the wave—updating the approach invented by ’70s Pipeline ace Gerry Lopez.”
Friends and family have begun expressing their condolences for the Ho family and honoring Derek’s legacy via Instagram. Our thoughts go out to the Ho family and everyone in the North Shore community.