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The Surf World Loses a Legend, Pipeline King Derek Ho Dies at 55

The Surf World Loses a Legend, Pipeline King Derek Ho Dies at 55

The surfing world is in deep mourning after learning of the sudden death of Pipeline legend Derek Ho who died July 17th, 2020, in Honolulu.

Hawaii’s first ever world champion, four-time Triple CrownChampion and two-time winner of the prestigious Pipe Masters, passed away at the age of 55 after suffering a heart attack and slipping into a coma.

Family, friends and fans around the world took to social media expressing their grief and reminiscing about surf legend.

Photo: Brian Bielmann

Ho was regarded as one of the best to ever dominate Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu, and we spoke to 90265 Magazine contributor and iconic surf photographer Brian Bielmann after Ho’s passing who elaborated on his presence at the one of the world’s renowned surf spots.

“Everyone that thinks of Derek, thinks of Pipeline… He’s been around so long, he got all the respect and any wave he wanted, deservingly so.” Bielmann continues. “He was so stylish and smooth, and because he’s been around all of these decades, he had that sort of style you know, from that era and he brought it into now.”

Photo: Brian Bielmann

Bielmann reminisced about Ho winning the world championship in 1993 “Everyone was ecstatic and we were so proud because we all know the best surfers in the world are from Hawaii, simply because we have the best waves in the world.” said Bielmann who has been shooting the most celebrated surfers in the industry since the 70’s. “For someone (Ho), to get that, have that… and hold that trophy up for high for Hawaii was really cool.”

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In April, Ho was out at Pipeline charging in his usual fashion  “Derek caught probably the best wave and the best photo I got of the whole session. Just a beautiful, beautiful wave.” said Bielmann.

Photography by Brian Bielmann Portraits
Photography by Brian Bielmann 

I think the surfing community lost a world champ, and the north shore lost a brother, but Pipeline lost a king“.

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