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Old 12-18-2011, 12:04 AM
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Default Jay Moriarity - The Way of The Surfer

Live Like Jay!
Beyond the Lineup

Waiting for his rotation


A story that continues onward....Jay personifies the often abused phrase 'soul surfer'.

I have that black and white stick pin hanging in my truck above my head emblazoned with that phrase 'Live Like Jay'. I glance at it each time I am driving off to teach a class. Kimerz 'Pixie' as I affectionally call her gave it to me. When I think of Pixie I think of her radiant smile and mane of hair, a surfing fairy, cute and nimble.

Jay Moriarity was a friend and a one of my K38 students. Jay was a solid friend to a few close souls in his inner circle, of which I was not one, and beloved by anyone who simply met him and many more who wonder what made him so unique? He has left a spiritual legacy.

Why is that? Because he didn't hold the negative attitude of egocentricity and selfishness that was so pervasive in the early days of exposure at Mavericks from many of the big wave surfers. He had a fantastic mentor in his beloved Frosty.

Frosty (Mr. Hesson) was a stalwart equalizer and a formidable individual with a vast world of insight you cannot fathom unless you walked his timeline and understood his perceptions related to the sport of surfing. Frosty was teaching him about 'selection'. That encompassing ability to mature in any given situation and choose your moment with dedicated focus and commitment. This alone is something to understand, how effective leadership is in our lives.

Frosty delivered this, personally with an understanding that Jay's spirit was unique along with his talent, the elder surfer was not only giving back to Jay but to an entire community through his actions supporting one individual. This is how many men strike a home run in their right of passage. Few young men and even fewer of age understand the relationship value that is exchanged when you mentor youth for empowering the next generation.

Every young man needs a 'right of passage' into manhood, this I believe from observation in my work and life. Sometimes a lifetime is spent dodging it, or trying to comprehend what that means towards masculine completion in our specie, a few seek it instinctively. There are many paths to discovery for this, some are through climbing liquid mountains and falling into it's sloping and steep ferocious abyss, 'the pit', and for others that fall and recovery are never dared. One needs a true moment of glory to eclipse this innate transformance. Others become trapped in its seduction and never make safety to the other side, in essence they fail or falter in their maturation process.

Jay practices his Wet Rock Pick Up in our class

Jay was on a path of creative accountability. He was eager, forthright, forgiving and very good at observations. He never placed himself in the line of someone else's conflict, nor would he be drawn into it, despite some naysers of the time. At an early adult stage he managed to separate himself from politics of the big wave arena with his enthusiastic drive and commitment of earning his namesake in the lineup. His potential was unknown.

He was young enough not to be contaminated by those around him over many seasons and smart enough to focus on himself without vibing anyone. Jay came off as being shy. Everyone liked him because he was neutral, he didn't swagger or draw attention to himself, he wanted to learn and test his skills.

He was not complicated, while many around him were mired in their complications and setbacks, he strove diligently to aspire for the long enduring ride. His vitality is something many people including myself have difficulty defining, it was a way of being that was his greatest asset as a human.

I sponsored him and Jeff Clark behind the curtain, Jeff is known as the modern founding father of Mavericks located in Pillar Point. CA. With my Kawasaki connections, training programs and other equipment donations, many benefited. I was often despised if that is a strong enough word, and loved by a few. Many things were in transition in these days, personal relationships, the integration of surfers into a boating community they weren't aware of (and reluctant to embrace), increasing global awareness of tow surfing, possible sponsorship deals, big wave contest formats, the migration of a sport with its negative footprint and the Internet exposure put it all in viral mode.

The harbormaster at Pillar Point had been requesting me since 1995 when he took a class from me hosted by the California Department of Boating and Waterways to come up and help out the surfers after Mark Foo had drowned. He had a lot of professional concerns about the water safety and associated risks. He wanted to see Jetskis put in use for water rescue but with a level of professionalism that kept people safe and not contributing to secondary problems that would occur from ineffective boat operations.

I give him a lot of credit for his insight. He wanted me to work with Jeff Clark and Frank Quirarte to support creating what was going to become a loosely formed and managed 'Mavericks Water Patrol'. This proved to be a difficult and challenging task with the type of mindset and personalities involved.

The ISA Reef@Todos went off successfully in the 1998/99 winter big wave season as I worked the water safety at that event, it generated a tremendous amount of professional interest on the scope of that event from the media. Taylor Knox won the Katin K2 Challenge at that event on a 52' face wave he paddled into. The big wave surge was peaking interest with sponsors and the general public. New heroes were being created overnight withing the surfing arena. Only this time on waves of greater risk significance. The global hunt for bigger waves had begun. There was a lot of heated interest in an upcoming Mavericks contest at the same time that was forumulating.

Quicksilver was negotiating with Jeff Clark for the Men Who Ride Mountains Contest. I agreed to the request from the harbor department and that is how I came to Mavericks, to eventually meet Jay. The Harbor required that K38 provide the training so the permit for the contest would be allocated to the organizers. I began preparing a plan and organizing the contest needs and training, of which I donated all the resources for the inaugural event.

K38 Gear Pre-Checks for the Quiksilver Men Who Ride Mountains Contest. I'm doing my inventory before I hand off all my equipment to Jeff Clark.

Jay was from Santa Cruz and his wife is Kimberly Moriarity, Kim is also a student of mine, my Pixie friend, an inside endearment. The Newlyweds were investing in their future dreams and goals. Jay told me he wanted to focus on his family and his professional life, and he was doing that fastidiously.

He wanted a career that was solid and fed his love of service towards others. He said he was going to become a fireman so that he could still surf the big wave venues as a competitor but also have his foundation for medical and retirement and a grounding place in Santa Cruz to raise his family with Kim. He had been planning his future path early on. He wanted to get all this in line for hiring, his EMT training was set at Cabrillo College, he wanted to become a certified rescue boat operator. Hoping to add to his arsenal of skills for hire and credentials. He and his wife wanted to focus on helping children through surfing and they were planning similar EMS careers. I believe Jay was driving that platform so all would be a consistent flow to his talent and family. Family was important to Jay.

His approach in class was different than other surfers mentality. Jay's minset was firm and professional in his conduct and manner at all times. He took steadfast notes. He asked questions constantly and applied himself to perfect each skill with concentration and precise movements. His face would become serious and concentrated and as soon as he completed a task, his trademark 'rising son' smile would illuminate our scope. His was a contagious spirit. Everyone felt good to be around him, but did they understand why? Kindness, pure kindness.

Passed! K38 Alumni now!

Jay's eyes spoke a language without the expression of words. People remember him for his clear blue eyes, not to mention his contagious smile, a combo of warmth. That was a typical comment made by people who just met him; 'did you notice how blue his eyes are?' His face shone openess, he had a non threatening disposition where everyone felt safe. He was different from the curt edge and vibe usually attached to the hard core chargers of the larger frame lineups. Jay was enthusiastic, reliable and private. It wasn't an easy community to embrace, the best of nature and the hard edges of the human condition were often at war against self. The pack mentality of the lineup was a place a man had to earn his position in those days. It seemed nobody was welcome if you weren't already somebody. Jay was hungry and willing. He kept the fun mischievious.

Giving Jay constructive advice, the focused student.

His father Doug was a Green Beret earlier in his life. After Jay passed I asked Doug to come and be with his brothers if he felt so obliged. He came down to Coronado to the Naval Amphibious Base and took a class with my USMC Recon instructors. We had a good time, to reminisce about life, brotherhood and his son who was loved dearly by many. Doug has many of the innante characteristics that personify his son's ways, its simply in their DNA. In training I watched the same mannerisms in both men, it was awesome to see the family flow.

Likewise his mother I believe encompasses his creative understanding of life, interpreted in Jay's gentle approach towards others. He didn't judge outwardly, he observed and was cautious about controversey. Those are the subtle whispers that are never given credit to our whole as we piece together our ties and come out ahead one step closer to refining our family heritage through our actions and ways. His family had a private journey to navigate his loss, while the public took a different route. Jay and his immediate family are always close in my thoughts.

Doug during a K38 training set in one of my USMC Recon Courses at Coronado

I carved a stone for Jay at Mavericks after waiting for years for 'friends' to symbolize their love and respect for our fallen. When I made the first cut into the stone, water became to tear and roll down it's sharp face. A dark moist streak against a stark gray background emerged. I sat with my friend Joy Portelli and we talked about Jay for a long while before I made another cut to finish the letter 'J', a long sweeping arc. The water streamed out of the rock. I felt good.

On a tow surfing session with Jeff earlier that winter at Mavericks before Jay passed on, Jay took a hard hit on a wave, injuring his ankle which altered his current training regime. In towsurfing the boards have foot straps and foot entrapment is a reality for on of the possible injuries that are inherent to the risk. He made a strong commitment to cross train harder and was an avid waterman in many disciplines.

Before I left for South Africa Katherine Clark organzied a local school to experience a field trip to meet up with people who were involved at Mavericks. She asked me if I would join in and go over the water rescue aspect. The class arrived at her husbands and hers Mavericks Surf Shop after leaving from her Mavericks' Cafe and I had my boxvan and waverunners there on display. We had many good times at her cafe in those fomative years. I laid out my water rescue gear and was last in line for the field trip. Jay had just completed his session with the children. When I was finished with my presentation Jay came over and said 'Wow, you have all the good stuff, I only brought my board, the kids loved this!'. We laughed because it was an over glorified 'show and tell'. I remember watching Jay while I was interacting with the children. He was even more engrossed than they were in the equipment. He was thinking into his future, I could see that clearly.

Back in South Africa in June, I got the word from Katherine Clark that 'something horrible had happened'. She sent me an email while I was working in South Africa training the water patrol for the Red Bull Big Wave Africa event at Dungeons. Then a phone call back to her, "Oh Shawnie, it's just horrible....', we cried on the phone, still having difficulty fathoming his loss, I will never forget that phone call. I was there along with fellow American Grant Washburn another Mavericks tuner who loves the big rides. Shock is an understament of what was to come. It took me a while to open that email and read it.

I had been corresponding with Jeff Clark via email while working the RBBWA. He wanted to come to Dungeons with Jay to tow after the contest, he was starting to plan it while Jay was in the Maldives with O'Neill, but wasn't entirely sure. I began to get arrangements made to extend my waverunners and gear for them in hope of their arrival as the contest neared the end of its waiting period.

I had been chatting up with them about how Dungeons was Mavericks sister, and I am sure Grant had been doing the same, but from two different perspectives. I was excited for Jeff and Jay to come here next and experience this big ocean, he wasn't sure if Jay could break away. But it would not happen.

Jay died the day before his 23rd birthday on June 15. 2001. I immediately planned a paddle out memorial with the RBBWA athletes in Hout Bay who had remained after. Wrapping flower leis and bouquets, life suddenly gets very real in those moments. Paddling out I was obsessed not to lose the flowers, trimming the board to protect them. The news hit Jamie Sterling hard, we all grieved privately in group and shared a story about Jay with our arms interlocking.

It was our way to let Jay and his family know we appreciated and valued his life. He was supposed to be meeting his wife Kim to help children with surfing at an Academy through his sponsor O'Neill next, instead his physical remains were flying back home on an airliner.

Our South Africa paddle out after receiving the news

After Jay's death, I spoke at great length with Larry Haynes from Fluidvision who was at the Lohifushi resort on the day he died. He spoke about seeing Jay earlier and speaking to him, warning him about diving as he was pushing it. Jay said 'I have to train', with his usual smile and demeanor.

Continued Below......

Shawn Alladio-K38, 2011
2017- RWCA All rights Reserved Information submitted not to be used for training.
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:38 PM
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There were Brazilians at the resort who were free diving on a dive line they shared and Jay would sit on the bottom timing his breath holds. Jay's alarm was heard going off from his watch. He was timing his breath holds on the bottom. He was found dead later that night when the crew realized his backpack was present and unmoved in his room, but no sign of Jay. Larry told me that afternoon after his photo shoot with Cory he saw Jay walking down the beach. Larry yelled out to him and Jay waved back and smiled. Larry assumed Jay was okay. In fact Jay was already dead, and Larry believes he saw his spirit, letting him know that everything was okay. That trademark smile lingering.

The Holy Bible reminds us that our spirit stays close as it separates from our bodies, about a 3 day passage. I remember seeing my sister's image the night of her death, lingering as I tried my best to separate from her death and the reality I was interfacing wih her spirit. I do not doubt that Larry saw Jay, in fact I believe it. I had a similar experience and I find from that moment and all these years later it is comforting to me.

Mark Foo, Jay, then when Davi died, still no concrete memorials gifted. My spirit moved me to take action. I brought up the lava stones after quite a significant struggle locating the right stones (Pohakus) and carved them at my friends home in Princeton. There was never to be a fixed memorial tribute that was fitting for his presence in our lives; and a full decade had passed. Mine would not be sufficient either. Nobody organized, donated, created or supported one, from the surfing community. Which I thought was strange and rather selfish not to recognize these men whom everyone talks about with deep regards, but does not put out the effort to erect a simple memorial. Since then, I have a stone to set now for Scion, recently departed at Mav's. Another flower of the Sea.

Carving the Pohakus

There were memorial gestures of Jay's namesake being used throughout the years in athletic events, such as the Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Event, something I know Jay would be competing in today, but no physical memorial. His widow Kim, also started a Jay Moriarity Foundation to work with children. There was an attempt to name a contest in Jay's memory at Mavericks as well. People still feel strongly attached to him. A movie was rumored to be in the works for several years, and has now come to fruition with several name changes. Wonderful examples of how a young man made a strong impression on those still living.

For love, I set these stones with friends who cared. They were heavy and it was a long haul to the point. I hoped it made it right again, for Jay and his goodness. A reminder 'Blessed Are The Flowers Of The Sea' is inscribed.

Pohaku is my partner in Kanalu K38. Pohaku means stone in the Hawai'ian language. I called Pohaku earlier that week before inscribing the rocks and asked him for a Hawai'ian blessing and guidance on the carvings. He told me what to inscribe in Hawai'ian on the stone. He did the traditional blessing chant over my cell phone on loudspeaker at the point with Chris Bertish and my friends, Joy and her family. The ocean danced in the backgound and time receded into an eternal cadence. People walked by, curious in what we were doing. We each went to the shore and retrieved shells and placed them on the rocks. Soon, other people began to join us.

I wondered where all that love and respect was, it was easy to find in words, but not through the actions of others. Jay would have acted and his influence would have created positive changes, it was in his nature to step forward. He was a man of honor. That is what his brothers missed when he was alive, that essence, the purity of kindness. That is what was missing in the lineup at Mavericks and still is. When Jay died, it seemed that the human energy in that community had lost a compass to kindness.

I have come to know many good souls through the big wave surfing community and far unsettled ones, but their connection to enjoying and testing their spirit through nature's grasp is the great equalizer. It is a fantastic journey of self discovery. I am honored to know the good and the bad without dispute. But there will never be anyone with the character and bearing of human dignity that Jay Moriarity personifies today during his life and after his death.

Doug, Shawn and JC

I have dedicated one of our Kawasaki JETSKI training boats in Jay's memory ever since his passing. He is not forgotten in our K38 training courses and the JAY namesake allows me to share Jay's story with the newest generation of Rescue Water Craft specialists. I like to think that Jay would approve.

Never forgotten! K38's Training Boat Namesake

I often wonder what changes he would have affected in the big wave community? How his family would have grown, his life influences on his friendships and his occupational outreach for the rescue community would have summited? His legacy is one of his ongoing influences in spirit to people who did not ever meet him, but are reminded of his kind, gentle and passionate ways. He lived his life fully, he didn't wait for permission from others. He was not unjust or reckless in his pursuits or actions but was adapting a consumnate professional progression to his career. Jay gave himself permission to improve his capabilities, something we should all hold close to and continue to develop ourselves.

Through our honest connections with our loved ones, colleagues, acquaintances, strangers and friends we are surrounded by our collective. All of our shortcomings become us, dissapoint others and self, and at times shame and cloud our perspective, engaged and fully loaded we shirk often from those realities. Until we find a common ground of maturity in reality and the human condition that becomes us. We suffice with our projections. When we look outside of ourselves, for hope, for future, we look for a Champion. Jay is a Champion.

Live Like Jay is not a slogan, it's a way of being. Few will understand that and it cannot be imitated or adopted. One simply has to 'get over yourself' to realize the far outreach that kindness produces, how everything benefits.


Shawn Alladio-K38, 2011
2017- RWCA All rights Reserved Information submitted not to be used for training.
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:24 PM
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Larry's realm, sent over before Xmas 2011:

Jays last wave in the physical world...
His Spirit is flying high like the colors ur Sky...
Forever Smiling..."You know I'm gonna Go!..." ;())...

It's All J!... ;())

Melekalikimaka! Hauoli Makahiki Hou!


Last Surf Session, June 2001

Winter of 2000 at Mavericks, tow session

Spiderman Lives On

All photos are copyright imags of Larry Haynes and Fluidvision.com
2017- RWCA All rights Reserved Information submitted not to be used for training.
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jay moriarity, live like jay, mavericks

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