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Severson Memorial Paddle Out

Celebrating the incredible life of SURFER founder, John Severson

John Severson was a larger-than-life figure, having founded SURFER magazine and sown the seeds of modern surf culture. But Severson was also a kind, generous and humble man who made fast friends with his fellow surfers and always made time for those around him. So it should come as no surprise that his memorial paddle out at Doheny State Beach was attended by droves of people who felt a deep connection to Severson, whether they were friends, family, or had never met him, but knew him through his incredible art, films, writing, and photography. The ceremony started with a heartfelt speech from Severson’s younger brother, Joe, followed by stories from some of Severson’s best friends, including Hyatt Moore, Jeff Girard, Steve Pezman, Corky Smith, Tom Morey and many more. After the crowd had finished sharing their memories of Severson, they took to the water, joined hands to form an enormous circle, and were led in prayer by Severson’s nephew Benji. It was a beautiful tribute to a man who lived a truly beautiful life and will continue to inspire surfers everywhere.