The surfing community is in mourning following the unexpected death of legendary surf photographer Larry Haynes. On Thursday, February 9, Haynes collapsed in the parking lot during a stand-up paddleboarding session at Hawaii’s Laniakea Beach, and despite efforts to revive him, he passed away. The loss of Haynes has left a void in the surfing world, and his friends and family are still coming to terms with his sudden departure.
The Final Moments of Larry Haynes
On Sunday, February 12, Haynes’ friends and family learned of the final moments of his life, which he had documented with great joy. According to reports, lifeguards called Brian Bielmann, a friend of Haynes, to retrieve Haynes’ board and belongings so they could give them to the family. Surprisingly, Bielmann discovered a GoPro on the paddle that captured the last seconds of Haynes’ life.
Bielmann said, “Here it is. He had this incredible life right up until the end. He could not have filled any more into his life than he did. I went down and got it this morning and immediately took it home and went on the computer,” The Hill reports.
Bielmann and others viewed the footage, which showed Haynes riding a beautiful wave for an extended period of time before catching his final wave and flashing his signature Larry smile before the camera stopped recording.
The Life and Career of Larry Haynes
Larry Haynes was a renowned surf photographer who revolutionized the way the activity is filmed. He had been a surf photographer for approximately 35 years and was well-known for his bravery and agility in the face of powerful waves. He identified himself as a water cinematographer on his Instagram page.
Haynes was acknowledged as one of the top players in the industry by renowned surf photographer Rob Gilley. “To me, Larry is a precious character in the surf world and a living legend,” according to Surf News Network. “I have seen him shooting wide-angle in-water film at giant closed-out Off The Wall, Backdoor, Maverick’s, Teahupoo, and Waimea. Before GoPro existed, Larry used to surf with a 10-pound camera attached to his head—a camera that would break your neck if the lip hit you unexpectedly.”
Haynes’ colleagues admired him for his enthusiasm and energy in the water. Erik Logan, the CEO of the World Surf League, wrote, “Sharing the tragic news that we lost a member of our team, Larry Haynes. Many of our fans might not know him, but you know his work,” as reported by the Sun. Logan added, “Larry was always in the water, on the back of a ski, hooting and hollering at the surfers on every wave.”
Haynes was known for his courage and athleticism in the face of big waves. Bielmann said, “He’s the worst *** of all photographers ever of all time. He was such a bull. And, he would go anywhere and do anything and have no fear,” as reported by the Hill.
The loss of Larry Haynes has left a void in the surfing world. Many of his colleagues and fans have taken to social media to pay tribute to the late photographer. Haynes’ daughter, Lilly, is his only surviving family member.
The surfing community has lost a trailblazer, a living legend, and a great person. Haynes’ work will continue to inspire surf photographers for generations to come, and his memory will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.