With the tragic and unexpected loss of Blowsion founder John Dady last month, this year’s Blowsion Surf Slam (happening this weekend, September 9-through-11th), in Pacific City, Oregon, will be missing quite a large piece of its soul. To honor the man who brought freeride so prominently into the spotlight, all jet skiers and persons willing to participate, have been invited to a special Memorial Paddle Out on Saturday afternoon, September 10th at 4pm.
To quote the IFWA Facebook page announcement, “We will take this time to honor our friend and fellow Freerider, John Dady. This will be a casual time to share stories and memories among friends. At the conclusion of the open mic session, we will join in the water just beyond the surf break and participate in a memorial “paddle out” on skis, boards, and kayaks. Those gathered on the beach can join in the celebration of life by throwing flowers in the Oregon surf and honoring this surfers tradition. We hope you will be able to join us in this time to celebrate the life of a man who meant so much to so many.”
The announcement also included a bit of history as to the tradition of the “surfer’s paddle out,” stating, “The paddle out is the way surfers around the world honor those who have passed on. Gathering on the beach to honor their friend – often at sunrise or sunset – surfers take to the water, paddling out beyond the break. They form a floating circle and hold hands in union with one another and their fallen fellow. Someone speaks words of remembrance, then the surfers send up hoots, whistles or chants. Clasped hands are raised, then lowered to splash the surrounding waters and/or boards. Leis, wreaths or loose flowers are thrown into the center of the circle, followed by a few moments of silence. Finally, pointing their boards to the sky the surfers turn slowly toward shore, flowers swirling in the wakes left behind them.”