It is with heavy heart that we report Queensland, Australian surfer and shaper Wayne Deane has passed away at the age of 66. According to The Courier Mail, Deane passed away peacefully this morning after battling with stomach cancer.

Despite, in his own words, “Never really being a pro surfer in the true sense of the word,” Deane was a standout talent at Kirra, navigating its dredging sand-bottomed tubes through the shortboard revolution of the late ’60s and decades beyond. According to Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing, Deane was an informal mentor to 1978 World Champion Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew and was a successful competitive longboarder in the ’80s and ’90s. In 2003, Deane was inducted into the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.

Tracks Magazine called Deane “Australian Surfing’s Spirit Animal” in a 2015 interview. In the same interview, Deane said about shaping, “Even to this day, I still get a f–king buzz out of making a board. It doesn’t matter who it’s for or making my own board, it’s an amazing thing to buy a blank, mark it out, know the measurements and thicknesses that you need to make that board go how you want it to go.”

Wayne Deane is also the father of Noa Deane, the exceptionally talented and progressive young surfer rising through the ranks of the freesurfing world today. Noa inherited not only his father’s aptitude in the surf, but also his unbridled enthusiasm for surfboard design. Just a few months ago, we captured video of father and son discussing their mutual passion for foam and fiberglass, which you can find below.

Our hearts go out to the Deane family, who we hope may peace and comfort during this difficult time.