Kirk Passmore’s Final Wave

A photo sequence of the missing surfer's fatal wipeout on the North Shore

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| posted on November 14, 2013


February 11, 1981 to November 13, 2013

Kirk was born February 11, 1981 in Orem, Utah. He grew up in Carlsbad, California and graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1999 where he was a member of the school’s surf team for four years. As a youth, he was active in Pop Warner football, little league baseball, and basketball, but his love was in surfing.

He started coming to Hawaii when he was 14 and was an experienced and expert surfer. He was not new to big wave surfing, having surfed most of the well-known big wave locations, including Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, Pipeline, and outer reefs on the north shores of Hawaii. He was a familiar face at Todos Santos off Baja California. He also surfed Maverick’s in Northern California and Puerto Escondido in Mainland Mexico. He spent 3 years in the southern coast of France. He moved to the north shore of Hawaii full-time in the spring of 2012.

Kirk was a part owner of Third Stone Surfboards in Wailua, Hawaii, and a Manager at Banzai Sushi in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

He is survived by his mother, Diane Passmore (Orem, Utah), father and step-mother, David and Karey Passmore (Sunset Beach, Hawaii), siblings, Alyson Adams (Highland, Utah); Merrily Roberts (Encinitas, California) and Matthew Passmore (serving an LDS mission in New York, New York).

The family wishes to thank the Coast Guard, the City and County of Honolulu Lifeguards and Fire Department, who continue the search.

  • dylan

    we love you kirk, see you on the other side brother

  • Marc Halikas

    Courageous effort. Valient death.

  • Mike Work

    RIP Senor Passmore, May you ride the eternal barrel in the heavens. God bless you and your family.

    Das Worker

  • angel

    Why don’t you guys take out the advertisement that pops up before this article?

    • joshtsaunders

      Thanks for being patient as we figured out how to remove the ad. All of us at SURFER agreed it should be taken out, it just took some effort to engineer how to block it.

      • knox

        thank you, Surfer.

  • Michael Olds

    Wow, goes to show you the power of Mother Nature…i was held down at Halama Bay north of Santa Barbara after catching my first 15 ft wave caught a edge and ended up tossing like a washing machine. i got tossed with no control and learned respect for Mother Nature…My heart goes out anyone who was taken by unknown forces of nature that can take us at any moment! I have also endured a top Mountain Avalanche in 1998 in Aspen Co. Skiing and Snowmobiling in the back country…we always need to be prepared and read up on the dangers of nature, we are a spec in the reality of things…that said…RESPECT! My love goes out to anyone who is taken in tragic circumstances!! one love

    • bg

      halama bay? really bro? don’t make this story about you barney, have some respect and get a clue. And don’t come back to “halama”

      • rspkt

        Not really the place for this kind of attitude especially considering the tone of the article. Show some respect bg.

        • The Mayor

          Dude are you serious? bg did the right thing. He merely brought to light that the guy was making it about himself. If anything, that dude was being disrespectful. If you don’t even know the name of where he claimed he was surfing 15 foot waves, he deserves to be called a Barney

      • defaultuser

        Um, speaking of Barneys.

      • arlen

        who the f— are you ! your a Barney son ! you aint no bro of anybody …get a life

    • Hoyt Hottel

      kook! Shut it! bg is right. Avalanche? Go back to the valley!

      • one hawaiian

        hawaii has no room for people like you. You’re a haole at heart.

    • jj

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and respect Michael.

    • The Mayor

      Dude are you serious? Halama Bay? I think you mean Jalama, without the bay. I agree with bg. The first thing I thought when I read this was, “WTF, this kook is making it all about himself. And I doubt you were out at Tarantula’s when it was 15 feet.

  • Ken Compton

    All the best to his Family & Friends, Went doing what he loved, we should all be so lucky.

  • Payam Larijani

    This is not right, he had the skills and experience! so sad to lose a true warrior and waterman.

  • BT

    Aloha in Heaven Kirk

  • Guest123

    Am I the only one disturbed by the slide show of his moments just before death? Don’t like the fact that it was published

    • TCTS

      Then why did you click on the link that clearly states that it is a sequence of the fatal wipeout? I like to believe that most surfers can look at this sequence of his final wave and really stand behind what this man loved to do without feeling “disturbed”. We all know the risks in surfing big waves and admire those who can conquer their fears and challenge themselves. May these photos show what the true meaning of passion and fulfillment is all about. Rest in peace Kirk.

      • jmack

        If I die surfing wouldn’t I love my last wave to be in Surfer. I hope Kirk is looking down loving the tribute. Way to catch a big one bro!

    • knox

      If I died like this, I would want people to see my last wave.

    • Jamie

      If I die surfing waves like this, I want it published in every magazine and every website. Sure, not everyone would want it, but this guy obviously loved what he did and did it well. I’m sure he would be stoked to read the kind words everyone has left and left us the way many other legends have. RIP brother.

  • Stuart Stall

    I’m a surfer. I did not know your son, but as part of the surfing family, we all feel your pain. I’ve been out at a lot of the spots you mentioned. If I had to die at a young age this is the way I would want to go. I’m sorry for your loss. He sounds like a great guy.

  • Skyalr

    Forever in our hearts, the only way to go is doing what you love. See you on the other side brother!


  • Austin

    Kirk…you taught me everything i know about surfing. Since I met you in third grade you have been one of my best friends. I have too many memories of great times with you and our friends. You always went for it man. I can;t believe I have to say goodbye. I was looking forward to surfing with you in hawaii next year. I will miss you forever. Goodbye Sac Attack

  • Sam

    So much respect for Kirk, Pushing the limits to the end!

  • Kristen Schonfelder

    my heart aches for the passore family Kirk you were doing something that you passionately love.
    not all of us have the privilege to say that you will be seriously missed and everytime I hit the water I’ll think of you your great surfer and a good man god bless you

  • Adam Peligian

    Respect. The only way a TRUE waterman would choose to die. Welcome home, brudda, looking forward to joining you. #saltlifepepperdeath

  • Brian G

    Advertising on a page memorializing someone’s last wave. Classy move Surfer!

  • rspkt

    Hope they find Kirk safe but unfortunately after this much time and no sighting the reality is probably not good. Regardless, all my love and aloha from Kaua’i I know most of us are keeping a close watch on this and hoping for the best. Aloha ‘oe Kirk.

  • Sugarbear

    Hope I die doin’ what I love

  • bob

    kirk you are forever a legend.

    and fuck surfermag and fuck sanuk how disrespectful.

  • Wisdom

    Much love to the Passmores. So sorry for your loss.

  • JG

    We all come from the sea, but we are not all of the sea. Those of us who are, we children of the tides, must return to it again and again, until the day we don’t come back leaving only that which was touched along way. Rest in peace brotha.

  • H

    “It’s not tragic to die doing something you love” – Mark Foo.
    Rest in peace.

  • Donnie Randolph

    I am a Surfer from Hawaii and if Kirk did die surfing this wave I am sure his heart is happy and at peace for this is our true passion. I would not want to die anywhere else. Aloha Kirk see you on the other side.

  • Nathan Bruce

    Unreal. RIP Kirk we love you! Awesome wave, HEAVY!

  • Keith Edwards

    I will always remember our great times in the islands with you, and Banning Caps. I will see you two in the future. I will live for ya brother. Later Red Satchel 🙂 I will miss you,…

  • soggypilchard

    Rest in peace
    Courageous effort paddling from Waimea to get out there

  • Tyler

    R.I.P. Kirk. You left your mark on this world and those of us who were lucky enough to have shared time with you. The positive influence you had on your friends was undeniable and that part of you will live on through those you left behind. Goodbye my friend.

  • had to ask

    who burned him

    • James G


  • Ricky Bobby

    Nice, last wave of his life and some moron still burned him…

  • Wasupwithat


  • Sidhartha Bodhisattva

    401(c) 3 Religious Exemption : Bequeth, This man is a very courageous surfer, these thoughts go to the family of the loved one. This is the time for surfers to reign supreme. Do not let our lives be controlled by the factions that purview things and record for documentation of attrition. Surfers deserve the plight of renaissance, not what is left from the resevoir. If we embroil ourselves to subservience, then we have lost in vein. Therefore I am a surfer no longer.

  • sbnative

    Sorry to see you leave. God speed.

  • TPL

    I remember seeing Kirk charging the North Shore in 2001/2002. I remember him charging out of control off-the-wall by himself. My friend and I didn’t know his name so we nicknamed him Richie Cunningham. The next year I saw him out at Todos and he was charging, right off the panga and into a bomb. What a bummer to hear of his passing. RIP “Richie Cunningham”!!

  • Families are forever

    “I am like a star shining brightly,
    Smiling for the whole world to see.
    I can do and say happy things each day,
    For I know Heav’nly Father loves me.”

    Good son, brother, uncle and friend. He’s needed elsewhere, but left his mark on the hearts of those around him. Total love goes out to his family and friends!

  • Austin Novy

    Kirk, growing up with Matt being my best friend and having you always taking us surfing and pushing me and Olin and Matt to charge as hard as we can will never be forgotten. I Love your entire family from utah to carlsbad to hawaii. To us mortals you seem invincible and super natural. I will always remember you and continue to love your family and celebrate your name.

  • Mike J. Kee

    We’ll miss you Brother! I’ll watch over your Family here in Orem!!

  • Damon

    This sucks! We live in a day and age when most of us that can afford to surf, walk around with a computer (smart phone) in our pockets every day. This computer can do amazing things including GPS. I know its not perfect, I hope we can take advantage of this technologic to save people that chose to put their lives on the line. Or at the very least bring closure to loved ones by finding their body.

  • middleWave

    went out charging! RIP to this guy who obviously had a good impact on the people around him.

  • knox

    I didn’t know you, but please rest in peace and watch over the rest of us surfers this winter. Guide us and give us strength. One.

  • Mak97

    Rest in peace Sir.

  • Hugh du toit

    So nearly made that thing. RIP bru, sounds like you were a really nice guy.

  • tiffanyedwardshunt


  • Blake Hyland


  • RWH84

    My sincerest condolences to all your family and surfing brothers and sisters. This is so tragic but we accept these consequences as watermen. I wish your soul an eternity of peace and mile long barrels.

  • Marcus B

    Deth will always be hard for those who stay. For whom goes though, it’s a new life, and this was a beatifull way of passing away! God give confort his familly. Everything passes away.

  • mirko

    the sea was the life for he ,in the sea has found peace.

    r.i.p. Kirk 🙁

  • Samara

    If only he were wearing a vest. RIP Kirk, and God ease the pain of those who loved you.

  • elle holmes

    prayers go out to the wonderful passmore family. you have been great examples of faith and family unity to me over the years. love to you and to the surfer mag fam. miss you guys!

  • Samara

    The north shore is a death trap. Too many dead from riding the deadly waves there. They need to restrict access to that area. It’s a recipe for tragedy.

  • Golden

    Kirk was a friend of mine. He was a great person and great surfer. Humble and true he was 1 we could all look up to. When I look at his final wave I see classic Kirk. Dropping in deep and late behind all the boys, fearless and balls to the wall. Unfortunately the waves got the better of him this time. So sad. It always seems that the best people die young, at least he died doing what he loved. I love u Kirk and my heart goes out to your family. I’m so sorry, I know he will b missed by many. He was 1 of those guys everybody loved and got along with. Rest in peace Kirk my friend forever.

  • ekeawe

    May god’s blessing be with you so that you may rest in peace. May Heavenly Father comfort your family at this time of mourning.

  • Frank Benedetto

    Please please please guys and gals…no matter how experienced you are use floatation vests…they are small and unobtrusive. AND!!! They save lives…..RIP KIRK

  • HiSurfer

    Aloha braddah, one surfer to another.

  • Dusty Averett

    My heart is with his fiance Taylor Moyes and Kirk’s family. Hope they can find closure and be able to lay him to rest. such a tragedy.

  • nettwench14

    Dang he is so chill in that third frame – one arm up, but the other hanging down at his side, so casual! Amazing on a wave that size, and in the middle of the drop! Too young, far too young, but at least he lived going for it! Respect.

  • RF

    Yeah Kirk!!!!

  • Jay

    R.I.P. BRADDAH! 1 <3

  • Laird the maggot

    Rest in peace sweet darling.

    I am gonna go postal tho if that worm Laird starts saying anything. Like he did about Maya. Everyone’s sic of laird and. Is jealousy crrrrraaap with Carlos and the fact Carlos completed a ride on th biggest wave in history.

    Then he goes on to say Maya don’t have the skillszzwtf!! She got more then u gaylordlaird!

    Rip kirk , your a beautiful soul who will be riding endless barrels in heaven.