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Kelly Slater Leads Tributes As Surfing World Mourns Loss Of Aussie Great John Shimooka

Max Sherry

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Kelly Slater Leads Tributes As Surfing World Mourns Loss Of Aussie Great John Shimooka

Featured Image Credit: Instagram

Tributes have come flooding in for John Shimooka who was found dead in his Sutherland Shire home earlier this week.

The Aussie surfing great, who recently turned 51, leaves behind his 21-year-old son Brandon following his wife's passing back in 2019.


His sudden death has sent shockwaves through the surfing community with many high-profile athletes paying tribute to the former world No. 19.

Kelly Slater being one of them.

The legendary American surfer took to Instagram to post a picture of the two with the caption: "My heart's ripped out. I'm sorry, Shmoo. I thought we had this."

Slater's post via social media was met with other touching messages of support and love for Shimooka.

Australian surf legend Tom Carroll replied: "No sense. I thought so too. Shmoo RIP."

While four-time world champion Lisa Anderson posted: "I'm lost for words. Hope you are at peace."

And famous surfing photographer Clark Little said: "Jeez... Frick. love u shmoo."

Other fellow surfers such as Mark Mathews, Jamie O'Brien, Ronnie Blakey and Cory Lopez also showed love to the Surfing NSW general manager of partnerships.

It's understood Shimooka had been in the role since 2018 as Surfing NSW released a statement following his passing.

"The team at Surfing NSW is deeply distressed at the passing of one of our own, John Shimooka, in the early hours of Monday morning,'' the statement said.

"A talented former world tour surfer, commentator and Jiu Jitsu black belt, 'Shmoo' was a much loved member of the global surfing community and the Surfing NSW family.

"He will be remembered for his passion for the lifestyle as well as his energy and enthusiasm.

"Everyone in our organisation joins his son, Brandon, immediate family, and his extended worldwide network of friends, in grieving his loss.

"It is our saddest day.

"We will commemorate and celebrate John's life in the days and weeks to come."

If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Topics: Surfing, Aussie, Australia

Max Sherry
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