It’s with a heavy heart that we report that one of South Africa’s most influential surfers and shapers, Peter Daniels, has passed away in the Basque Country at the age of 66.
Although he was an extremely talented surfer in his own right—Peter landed the cover of SURFER in 1976—he was an absolute legend behind the planer and cut boards for a wealth of the world’s best surfers, including Curren, Slater, and most recently Adriano De Souza, Kepa Acero, and Jordy Smith to name just a few.
Peter first began shaping at just 19 years old and molded nearly 40,000 boards over the course of his illustrious career. And while he hailed from Africa, and shaped boards all over the world, it was in the Basque Country and under the Pukas label that he completed the bulk of his work.
An avid fan of competitive surfing, Peter fostered close relationships with numerous high-performance surfers to ensure that his boards were at the cutting edge of design. A signed photo of Sunny Garcia that appeared in Surfing Magazine held a memorable tribute to Peter’s prowess in the shaping bay: “To Peter, thanks for this board. It made me lots of money! —Sunny.”
Borrowing a line from Pukas, the Basque-based shaping label he worked with, Peter was “too well loved to ever be forgotten.”