On Saturday, January 13, 2018, Florida surf museum and the local surf community held a memorial paddle out for Pat O’Hare on Cocoa Beach. Pat was well known from coast to coast, having started surfing in California in the late 50s and relocating to Cocoa Beach in 1963. Pat began his career as a surfboard shaper which brought him to Cocoa Beach, but his talents as a surfer were quickly noticed and he began to surf professionally and then shape boards.
In the early days he made surfboards with his friend, Rick James, under the name James in O’Hare. In fact, my first board was a 9′ 6″ James and O’Hare longboard.
Soon after that he started O’Hare Surfboards. Most locals like myself owned one or more of Pat’s boards. Many still do.
A Paddleout is a Hawaiian born surfer tradition and memorializes surfers and brings their ashes to the sea. Numerous surfers gathered on the beach and then paddled out into the Atlantic Ocean. Once out they formed a huge circle. After a few words were spoken on Pats behalf, Rose petals were tossed in the air, water was splashed up, and his ashes were put into the water.
Pat, with a bigger than life personalty and his suffering & shaping skills will be missed by his family & extensive friendship network.