Florida’s Robert Rohmann passed away yesterday, after fighting a long battle with Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH), a rare pulmonary disease. He was 30 years old.
Rohmann was a local legend in the Satellite Beach, Florida community, a family man and a second-generation Florida pro. Rohmann’s father, Bob Rohmann, is an East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame inductee, having claimed a number of professional contest victories throughout the late-’70s and early-’80s, including the prestigious National Kidney Foundation Pro-Am Surf Festival, held every Labor Day weekend in Cocoa Beach, which draws tens of thousands of spectators from around the southern United States.
As an amateur, Rohmann rose through the ranks of the NSSA and ESA, eventually turning pro in his late-teens. In 2007, at 21-years old, Rohmann reclaimed the National Kidney Foundation Pro-AM crown for the Rohmann clan.
For the last decade, Rohmann remained an avid fisherman and surfer, raising two daughters with his wife. Late last year, Rohmann began to experience health issues, complaining of “shortness of breath, getting winded easily, lightheaded, etc.” Arianne Prevost Rohmann wrote in a GoFundMe campaign started in February to help with Rohmann’s growing medical bills: “By the end of December, he decided to book a flight to Barbados. His mother is from Barbados and his aunt works for a cardiologist where he goes bi-yearly for check-ups. No one expected what they found. At his check-up two days after landing, they found multiple blood clots in Robert's lungs, a pulmonary embolism, and hypertension of the lungs. He began immediate treatment.”
The East Coast Surfing community mourns Rohmann’s loss, and friends took to social media to express their condolences and to share their remembrances. Writing to Slater on Instagram, longtime friend of Rohmann’s, CJ Hobgood, wrote, “Robert would say when he got better he was going to go to the Maldives and surf perfect waves with his dad.”
Hearing of his friend’s passing, Kelly Slater dedicated his inspired Round Four performance to Rohmann. When asked about the details of the heat, Slater paused, composed himself, and said, “You know what, put that all behind me. This is all for Robert Rohmann and his family. I’m thinking about you guys. I’m sorry for your loss. I love you guys.”