Surf pioneer, Tony Hussein Hinde, passed away last week, on May 27, while surfing his beloved Pasta Point in the Maldives. Reports suggest that he suffered a heart attack after riding a wave. He was found floating face down near the end section of the reef and was administered CPR but couldn’t be revived.
Hinde is co-credited as one of the first surfers to uncover the flawless wave-potential of the Maldives. He was shipwrecked there, along with fellow Australian surfer Mark Scanlon, in 1973 during a boat crossing from Sri Lanka to Africa. After sampling the surf during his initial serendipitous (but unplanned) stay, he spent the next 20 years exploring the nation’s wavescapes, essentially surfing alone. He married a local woman, converted to Islam, became a Maldivian citizen, and opened Atoll Adventures, a surf camp located in Tari. Of his extraordinary experiences in his adopted nation, Hinde once said this:
“Hardly a sunrise goes by that I don’t thank Allah for that shipwreck. I paddle into the see-through waves. The coral bottom seems to bend up to meet me. Carving my first few waves, I have to tear my eyes away from the reef below in order to beat the curl above. Not that I’m complaining.”
Hinde is survived by his daughter, Mishal, and son, Ashley. His wife, Zulfa, passed away in January of 2008; the day Hinde died marked the couple’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. A true surf pioneer who touched the lives of wave riders the world over, Hinde will be laid to rest during a funeral service at Mollybrook cemetery in New South Wales, Australia on June 3. He will also be memorialized during a tribute paddle out at Pasta Point on June 8.