Gary Taylor (1957-2003)

TransWorld SURF and the surfing world as a whole have been rocked by the death of a great friend, Gary Taylor.

Gary has long been an icon and one of the best surfers in Encinitas, California, where he could usually be found ripping his homebreak Swami’s. He served as editor of The Coast News and has been published in just about every major newspaper in Southern California. Gary helped build TransWorld SURF from the beginning with his first contribution in our third issue, back in August of 1999, and he’s been an integral part of the team ever since. His last contribution, “The Wildcard Saga,” was one of TransWorld SURF’s most thought-provoking pieces ever.

On September 6, while returning from a ten-day trip to the Mentawais with a group of friends, Gary died of sudden heart failure in the Singapore airport. He was taking this dream trip just prior to starting as managing editor for TransWorld SURF Business on Monday, September 8, 2003.

I had the privilege of surfing with Gary on Thursday, August 28 at Burgerworld in the Mentawais. He was smiling, laughing, and ripping. We’ll miss you, buddy. — Chris Cote

“At Swami’s, Gary was like an angel amongst a sea of devils. I’ve never heard Gary say a bad word about anyone. He never, ever, got in hassles. I’ll truly miss his presence out there.”—Steve Sherman

“If only the world were full of people like Gary Taylor—it would be a more compassionate place, a friendlier place, and a place where people know their neighbors. If the world were full of people like Gary Taylor, surfing would be bigger than golf, basketball, and football combined. Gary was a gifted writer and a true fan of surfing and surf culture. He was also a good and decent man. Every time I walk by the desk where he would have sat, I’m saddened—not just for those who were his friends, but for the entire sport of surfing.”—Sean O’Brien, Editor In Chief, TransWorld SURF Business