Stab Magazine | Olympic Snowboarder And Avid Surfer, Alex Pullin, Found Dead In Freediving Incident

Olympic Snowboarder And Avid Surfer, Alex Pullin, Found Dead In Freediving Incident

Mick Fanning and Paul Fisher give touching tributes. 

Words by stab

Olympic snowboarder and 2x boardercross world champion Alex Pullin died yesterday while freediving on Australia’s Gold Coast.

This from CNN:

Pullin, 32, was the Australian flag bearer at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and competed in three Olympics in total.

He was known as an experienced diver and had previously posted about his passion for spearfishing on social media.”Paramedics were called to a post-immersion incident off Nineteenth Avenue at Palm Beach just after 10.30am,” said the Queensland Ambulance Service in a statement Wednesday. “One patient was treated at the scene.”

Pullin was known to frequent the popular swimming spot, reports CNN affiliate 9 News, and had previously gone spearfishing at an artificial reef located around 270 meters from shore.

Another diver found Pullin unconscious without an oxygen mask, Gold Coast Police District Duty Officer Chris Tritton told 9 News.

Pullin appeared to be diving alone at the time, he added.”We understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef,” said Tritton.

Pullin was unconscious when he was brought to shore, reports 9 News. Emergency services performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation for 45 minutes but couldn’t save his life.

The connection to surf, as our readers so often demand, is that Pullin was both an avid (and talented) waverider and good friends with some of the Gold Coast’s most revered sliders, such as 3x World Champion Mick Fanning and ex-pro surfer/absurdly famous DJ/all-around good guy Paul Fisher.

In a touching tribute, Mick wrote [sic]

@alexchumpypullin was full of life! Always smiling and full of energy. He accomplished so much in his sport but the work that he put in and the dedication to his craft was second to none. I’ve never seen someone work as hard as Chumpy. In saying that his humbleness and joy for life was inspiring. Am honoured to have known him. Sending love to his family and his beautiful girlfriend @ellidy_ 

Where ever you are mate I know you’re making it better place. Much love

Paul Fisher had this to say [sic]:

It was this time last night us 4 were having fish tacos ( that you caught!!) and you were telling me how much you were loving life on the Gold Coast with Ellidy and Rumi…I’m so glad chloe and I got to give you a big hug last night and say we love ya!!! Mate you were an absolute gem of a human full of energy love and passion for everything you did, you couldn’t meet a nicer more caring person if ya tried. I would always go home and feel so much more positive about the world after hanging with ya and I loved that about you!!! You were just an amazing human mate, not one bad bone in your body always smiling and ready for the next adventure!!! We will take care of Ellidy and rum dog mate and just know you were loved by so many !!! We love you Chumpy

Fellow surfers and presumed friends of Alex—like Steph Gilmore, Mark Mathews, Sally Fitzgibbons Matt Wilko, Cooper Chapman, and Ross Clarke-Jones—left their condolences in the comments. 

Our thoughts are with Alex’s friends and family at this time. 


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Skegss Are Not A Surf Band

The remarkable musical ascention of three boys from unremarkable coastal towns.

Taj Burrow’s Stab in the Dark (Arts) Shaper Reveal

Plus, an official premiere date!

Influential Hawaiian Icon Ben Aipa Has Passed Away

Rest In Power

If you’re an A-list surfer, there’s a good chance you’ve invested in booze

From hard seltzer to hard kombucha to new beer brands and even non-alcoholic beverages, see why big name surfers are…

John Florence’s Last Sessions of 2020

Come see the Hi-Pro Flo-Bros inside.

The Fwd: What’s The Most Questionable Surfboard Trend You’ve Followed?

Let's cringe together.

Rage Crew In Need of Jetski


Reef Heazlewood Wants To Teach You How To Do Airs

Go big and bend ze knees!

First & Last: How Many Boards Does Yago Dora Bring on a 7-Day Surf Trip?

The answer might surprise you.

Lessons Learned: Selema Masekela

On surfing, growing up, and difficult conversations. This voice of action sports shares his path to self actualization.

Two Hyper-Critical Minds Discuss Their Favorite Surfers of 2020

Some of these names might surprise you.

The Pick-Up: Surfing, Science, and Skateparks

Won't find treats this sweet anywhere else.

Underground Tube Addict Scores Hobby-Defining Session At Greenbush

Meet South African-gone-Indonesian charger Shawn Dennis. He's your new hero.

Eithan Osborne Rips a Pumping Point on the French Riviera

Cannes, super yachts and a peeling right pointbreak.

Hossegor = Hollow

How much is a trip to France again? Asking for a friend.

Do Surf-Skate Hybrid Boards Belong In The Trash?

Depends who you ask.

Long Read: A Firsthand Account From The Mav’s Lineup

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes and in the water at Maverick's? Taylor Paul kicks brevity in the…

An Inside Take From The Rescue In Santa Cruz

“I was helping a little girl, and she started screaming, ‘I can't breathe. I can't breathe. Am I going to…