Jeff 'Mana' Walthall on his last wave floating off into uncertain existence. Photo: Harry Greenspan
Surfer takes one last nose ride before death
Words by Morgan Williamson
When faced with the prospect of death an array of possibilities rattle the skull. We think on how we’d like to go; painless, asleep, unknowing? Or conscious with time to say proper goodbye’s, come to acceptance and go in peace? Either way suffering's inevitable, friends and family will mourn and we hope to be remembered in positive light. Last Tuesday, Jeff “Mana” Walthall, 47 was surfing with his friend Harry Greenspan when he collapsed after riding a wave at Mahaka beach in Oahu.
“You know, when he came up, he kind of just… Something happened and that was his last wave,” said his cousin Dave Kuwada. “It was like a storybook finish in a way. I mean, I couldn’t imagine a better way to depart from this world. You know? It’s sad but he went out like a hero.” His last wave his was captured by his pal Harry. He’s perched up on the nose, weightless screaming down the line. When he kicked out he collapsed, went unconscious and was later pronounced dead. There’s peace in the tragedy, beauty's not possible without pain. “Everybody has heavy hearts right now, but Mana lived the life he wanted to live.” The cause of death is yet to be determined.
It’s just the black and white nature of death. It’s one of those inevitable things that we try to not think too much on. Nothing good comes from over-analyzing and over worrying.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” - Hunter S. Thompson.