Big-Wave Surfer Noel Robinson Passes Away

| posted on May 07, 2010


We have the unfortunate news of reporting that big-wave surfer and filmer Noel Robinson passed away surfing in Puerto Escondido this weekend. A friend and inspiration to surfers the world over, the news of Noel’s passing is a somber blow to the surf community. Splitting time between Puerto and Northern California, Noel recently took home an award for filming Twiggy’s Ride of the Year at Mavs. SURFER staff photographer, Todd Glaser, was  a close friend to Noel and had the following to say about his passing.

“My thoughts about Noel and his existence in my life is too great for words. Putting this together is beyond difficult, but I can only try to remember the great- hearted guy who would always be willing to take an adventure on a whim or help someone in need. He always had a smile on his face and was the first one up every morning checking the waves and excited to get tubed. His smile was contagious.

“Noel loved his life, his friends, and his annual pilgramige to Puerto Escondido every summer.  I feel so lucky to have been in the presence of such a great man, we shared some exciting adventures together chasing waves and documenting some amazing rides, both of him riding and side by side when he videod from the land. He was a true legend and a standup guy both in and out of the water, from the first minute I talked to him, to the last time we spoke, which was a day before he left us. Noel is greatly missed, but will never be forgotten.”

Photo: Todd Glaser

  • gIB

    Noel was a true inspiration to watch in the water. I will miss seeing him get shacked. I will miss seeing his face in the line up and getting heckled by him for pulling back on a head high mushburger….Peace out Noel…

  • Retta

    My heart goes out to Noel’s family and community. I probably wouldn’t have responded to this news a few months ago, just felt sad for the loss and left it at that. But my nephew, an extreme back-country skier, and inspiration to his community, was killed in an avalanche on March 31st, and I feel a kinship between these two men who never met each other. Noel sounds extraordinary. Yes, they were doing what they loved best when they left us – just wish they could have done it a while longer.


  • Tom Kendrick

    Not only was Noel an incredible surfer and talented videographer, he was one of those unique human beings – so full of live, with a gusto for charging full-on, no matter what he was doing. An amazing guy on many levels.


  • Jimmy C EFX performance

    Very sad news to hear i my self have never met him however my heart goes out to anyone who loved the ocean the way he did….
    Todd that was very well put My Heart goes out to all that had a special place in their heart for “Noel Robinson

    Peace to all and keep doing the things that make you smile !!!!

  • kEVIN

    R.I.P. Noel. I didn’t know you, however, my heart goes out to your family and friends. Mabye they will find some comfort in the fact that you passed while doing what is so precious to all of us-surfing.

  • Allan Jensen

    I have breakfast with Noel’s Father, Phil, quite often. Our small group has been sharing Phil’s sorrow. I wrote the following as my small condolance:


    MAY 10, 2010

    It is perhaps an unfortunate
    Miracle of life
    That it must end.
    Our friend and brother Noel has fallen.
    And we weep.

    But as we rush to his side,
    Reminded and in fear of our own Mortality,
    We recall that even in his dying he was Strong.
    And we weep.

    Stilled are his heart and voice,
    Which taught us to love the sea, even in These last days, we remember him.
    And we weep.

    “Do not mourn for long,” he would say.
    For I have left you well prepared to Follow my wake.
    Take up your board as I have shown You and fly with me
    Down the wave’s face
    And do not weep.

    “Carry my memory with the clan,
    Put your thoughts of me in a
    Place of honor. Put your memories of Me with those of our family
    And others I now join atop the biggest Wave…
    And do not weep.

    “Rejoice that we have been brother and Sons and friends together.
    Rejoice that we are fine family.
    Do not weep for me.
    But just keep me in your memory.”

  • Becky Milanio

    I remember babysitting Noel and my mother and Noel’s mother were best friends (until she passed a few years ago). Noel is with his Mom now and my Mother and I feel such a loss. Our heartfelt sympathies are with Noel’s family during this difficult time.

  • Miguel Angel Pacheco

    Noel was a good friend with the guys in Salina Cruz. We remember him like a great man and surfer… thanks Noel for everithing in the community surfing from Oaxaca. I wish the best for you, wherever.

  • whamo

    Cowards die a thousand deaths. Brave men die but once. — Julius Caesar —

    I offer my respect for a charger, and sympathy to his family and friends.

  • Larry Laverty

    I’ll miss you bigtime, Cousin Noel. I always loved your laugh and just hearing the sound of your voice.
    You had a one-of-a-kind way of looking at life and lived bigger than most folks ever dream of.
    I admired you for all you did in surfing and am so envious of all the folks you surfed with and
    communed with. Here’s to ya Noel! You lived huge!

  • Water

    peace to you brother. may you be with Him in Heaven, and your friends and family and all of us here reading these words that were written by the one’s who knew you, and those who have been touched by the life you lived. what an example for us all. thank you thank you. surf this wave and share and learn by Noel’s example

  • East Coast Lifeguard

    My heart goes out to Noel and his family and friends. It sounds like he was one hell of a great guy. Let us all be kinder and more loving to each other in Noel’s example. Bet he’s up in heaven getting shacked silly on one of those storm-over-the-mountain super-offshore green-hued Puerto late afternoons.