Feb 8, 2021

RIP Rob Pollard

Hi Paul,

Hope all is well with you, I’m writing to share some sad news about the passing of Rob Pollard.

He loved your surfcraft, and convinced many of us to give the mat a chance. The ocean gave him peace and hopefulness, and he always wanted to arrange a mat meet to introduce this awesome sport to people. 

I’ve attached a few of my favorite pics of Rob  - hoping to arrange a mat meet and paddle out in the future. 

Chris 


Thoughts from Dirk Brandts...

Rob loved mat riding, that thing which we all share. The ocean and the mats were a source of happiness and elation for him, and he shared it so often with us, his far-flung community of kindred spirits. We mourn his death, while at the same time remember that ecstatic quality that he experienced with his friends, in the waves, the light, the motion, and the overall atmosphere which served to give his spirit a lift.

I don’t like to introduce platitudes, but I often think of the one, "Do not cry because they are past! Smile, because they once were!” Kind of a difficult Stoic point of view, but it’s there for the pondering.

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From Jonathan Hess... 

I heard this AM. Had a surf on a morning that went from clear and blue to grey pearl overcast and heartbreakingly sad.

I kept thinking of this sweet, sweet guy who just gushed positivity, joy and gratitude.

Kept thinking the word "guileless". A lot of men keep their enthusiasms muted to seem "cool"... surfers are really hung up on "cool". Self included.

Rob didn't have that lame filter, not a bit of it. He FROTHED. He was a new surfer who I think started on Paul's mats. He was STOKED. And Grateful. He wrote to Paul it seemed like after every go out, raving with unbridled joy, emphasizing himself with capitals- "Thank You for your Vehicles of Joy". And he often signed off with "Sending Lots of Positive Vibes and Healing Energy!"

He said "Yew!" a lot in his letter, and in the water too, after a ride:

https://surfmatters.blogspot.com/2017/11/from-rob.html

He went from full beginner to a successful Tube Rider pretty damn fast. And he got to where he was going for it in pretty big surf too:

https://surfmatters.blogspot.com/2018/09/from-rob.html

He was STOKED on what he was feeling on Paul's mats and he was evangelical about sharing it. From what I can gather he bought mats just to have to share. This is all from what I've been re-reading in his posts, but he obviously cherished his friends and did dawnies all the time with his crew.

His valued friend Chris captured numerous sessions beautifully on film. Tons of little lime-green tubes. The most humble little waves, but they looked magical, partly because of Chris's skills, but certainly because of the sheer stoke emanating from them.

I just love that Rob stoked Paul to put together an appreciation of Chris:

https://surfmatters.blogspot.com/2018/03/chris-falzone.html

It says so much about what Rob thought most important: his friends. The Mat Community.

I love the photos Chris put together as a tribute, especially the one of Rob grinning at the view as he heads into the approaching closeout. Oh man. Oh Brother. Paul I hope you might find the one you labeled "Best Mat Surfing Pic, "Mystical Experience" Category" in 2017, the one with the sunrise behind the wave, and Rob trimming. (Posted below...PG)

Sending lots of Love and Healing Energy to the people Rob left behind.

Jonathan

 


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From Jonathan Steinberg...

Dang! Such a sweet guy. Every communication with him had joy. 

I know he struggled but he always managed something positive. Life is short and precious. 

Harmless Neighborhood Eccentric

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From George Leone...

I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of Rob. I mourn his loss as a teacher to me...someone who has surfed for almost 60 years. He held onto that 15 year-old's total stoke about matting and being in the surf.  He reminded us of why we started and why we should always be grateful to ride the ocean's amazing waves.

May your days be glassy, peeling and sunny, Rob.

George
 
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From Cher and Steve Pedarvis...

Chris, Thank you for sharing. We are so sorry for your loss.

We are so sorry to hear of Rob's passing. He was a genuinely nice guy and so full of stoke! We never met in person, but enjoyed commenting/conversing with him online. We are grateful to meet him via the mat surf community, and share the love of the beautiful Ocean and wave riding with him. 

Rest in Love, Rob.

Warmest Aloha,
Cher and Steve 

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