I first met Ted in France, in the late 1980s. He was competing at the Quiksilver Pro surf contest in Lacanau, on the wild Atlantic coast of France, north of Bordeaux, and I was a surfing correspondent. The last time I saw him, nearly ten years later, was in Hawaii, where he was still in search of the perfect wave and, in his phrase, “the perfect woman” – and where he died too young, on the North Shore of Oahu, aged 40.But how did he die exactly? I wrote his obituary for The Independent, but it was another 20 years before I could cut through the typically Hawaiian mix of myth, omertà, and mystification, and get close to the truth. To solve the mystery of his death I needed to reconstruct his life. To do that I had to retrace Ted’s steps around the world.

See the article here.

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