Uncle Dez, gone…
The great Derek Ho, brother to Michael, uncle to Mason and Coco, four-time Triple Crown winner, two-time Pipe Master and Hawaii’s first-ever men’s world champ (1993) has died, aged fifty-five.
The cause of his death is yet to be revealed.
North Shore pro surfer and friend, Jason Magallanes, wrote, “I will never forget the day you won the world title at pipe, I was walking by Tanyas moms by sunset and you were driving that lil blue hatch back thing. In your high voice he yelled “what boy where you going?” I replied “down to pipe to watch you win the title” you just have me that classic D HO smile and said “jump in I’ll take you down there. I jumped in with you and Tanya and literally watched you win the world title with all the odds against you!!! I’ll never forget when you walked into gerrys house and saw and and said “you gave me the mana saying you were gonna watch me win” and have me a big hug. Fuck man, I ant believe I was just with you and now you’re gone, legends truest never die.”
Pipe stand-out Landon McNamara posted,
View this post on Instagram
You can see at the start of this clip me pulling back, and the only reason is because I saw Uncle Derek Ho going for it, and I’m not even gonna try to say I gave him the wave because in my eyes any wave he wanted out there was his, that’s the respect I had for him and how much of an idol he was to me. Im lucky enough to have shared sessions like this with him, some good times, and inspirational one liners he’d throw my way every now and than that I’ll never forget. I love you Uncle D thank you for paving the way and being an inspiration for a GoofyFooter. The NorthShore, The surfing world, and Pipeline will never be the same again. All my love going out to all the HO Ohana, if you need anything I’ll be there! R.I.Paradise Uncle D
As Derek Hynd wrote the year before Ho’s world title season in 1993, “He’s an artist who appears loath to butcher his style for a few decimal points more on the judges’ cards.”
Get a good taste of Dez as he hits a late-season swell in April, below.