7 August, 2015 7 August, 2015

Rest In Peace, Peter Daniels – Saffa Shaping Legend

It comes as a great loss to the international surfing community to hear of the passing of Saffa shaping legend, Peter Daniels, who passed away in Spain yesterday (aged 66).

curren on a peter
Tom Curren carving hard on one of P.D’s magic sticks.

Having landed the cover of Surfer magazine in 1976, Peter was a top class surfer in his own right. But it was his shaping for top pros such as Tom Curren, Frankie Oberholzer, Adriano de Souza and King Kelly himself (just to name a few) that earned him world-renown. P.D grew up surfing the beach breaks of Durban, but his shaping and surfing soon took him all around the world, where he became revered by peers and colleagues alike.

We chatted to P.D’s close friend, Marc Hyman, who shared the following with us:

“Pete was staying with me for the past two months and flew back to Europe on Sunday. I phoned to check that he’d arrived safely and Miguel Azpiroz from Pukas told me that Pete had passed away. We’re not sure exactly how it happened yet, but by the sounds of things it looks like he may have passed away in his sleep. He’s had two hip replacements and a back operation, but other than that he was pretty healthy. He was a healthy eater.”

Peter Daniels has been one of South Africa’s most renowned shapers for over 30 years.

“After working with Erroll Hickman in Richards Bay, I met Peter through a mutual friend of ours and began handling all his orders for Southern Africa. Pete was one of the head designers for Pukas, so it’s a big loss for the company. He was a difficult cat you know, always right, but a pleasure to be around and a super cool guy. He had a lot of love for everybody and helped all of us out with surfing and boards.”

“Just before he passed, we were actually working on re-launching a brand he used to do in the 90’s called Surf Toy. He wanted us to carry on with the boards and all the royalties that we would have paid to him, were to be paid to one of his daughters. That’s what he wanted. I’d love to do it for Pete, I just want to get everybody’s feel and make sure everyone is happy with that.”

PD 3
P.D doing what he does best.

“I’d also like to give a shout out to the guys in Brazil; Sandra who did Surf Toy and Pukas over there, as well as the guys from Japan who were doing a brand called CHP, which is pretty huge over there.”

Social media has been flooded with messages of condolences (and gratitude) by friends and customers of Peter’s, who were saddened to hear of his sudden passing:

“So sorry to hear about the passing of the legendary Peter Daniels – we enjoyed some long walls together at Bay of Plenty and J-Bay. I’m sure he’s on one of those long walls right now, speeding through time and space. Condolences to friends and family.” – Shaun Tomson.

“So bummed to hear of the passing of Peter Daniels. I spoke to him this week which makes it even harder to comprehend… Fly with the Angels Pete… #surftoy #legend #livedlife” – Lee Van Vuuren

Durban ripper, Lee Van Vuuren flying through the 90s on his Surf Toy shaped by PD.

“Pete – aka the best shaper in the world (just ask him) – there are too many memories I have of you. From the days when I used to light firecrackers under your feet when you were looking at the surf, or when you used to write secret codes on my boards so shapers couldn’t copy the dimensions, you were the most truest person I know and I like to think I got some of my bravado from you. You weren’t the most emotional or approachable human out there, but you would always give me a hug when you saw me. Thank you for making me the best boards that I used to whip all the juniors on and letting me steal all your Nike shoes from Spain. Sad I didn’t get to see you two weeks back, but I’ll miss you.” – Warwick Wright

Zag extends their condolences to friends and family. May PD be remembered for the influential surfer and shaper that he was.

Inside Pete’s shaping bay in Basque country.

1 Comment

  1. Trevor Viljoen
    8 August, 2015 at 6:02 pm · Reply

    Thank you very much ZigZag, We the family Appreciates it.

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