Stab Magazine | Tragic: David “Woody” Wood, Head Of WSL Security Found Dead In Hotel Room

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Tragic: David “Woody” Wood, Head Of WSL Security Found Dead In Hotel Room

“We are all in shock. I loved this man. I can hardly remember an event without him.” – Kelly Slater 

news // Sep 9, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The trials and tribulations of one’s mental health are easy to dismiss. The state of depression is a terrible thing. And, it’s easy to forget what a short time we’re alive when days, weeks and years seem to last so long.

As day two of the waiting period rolls into gear and the top 34 take to shoulder-high onshore Lowers, the event at Trestles is missing one of its favourite characters, David “Woody” Wood. It’s suspected that the 52-year-old Head of WSL security took his life last night. He leaves behind four children, broken hearts, and cherished memories. He worked as ASP/WSL security for over 20 years. Today’s event is held in celebration of his life and the lives he touched. 

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, “David Wood, 52-year-old resident of Australia, was found dead last night at the Holiday Inn in San Clemente. The cause of death is uncertain, and the autopsy is pending.” 

Woody PK

Woody taken by Peter King. Photo pulled from Kelly Slater’s Instagram.

“You never know the state someone is in, the subconscious thoughts and harbored feelings no one else truly feels or understands,” said Kelly Slater on Instagram this morning. “And I guess this is the end of the road. It’s terribly devastating to all of us who loved @woodysecurity to know this was him less than 24 hours ago, seemingly without a care in the world, smiling away in @peterkingphoto’s hat wig. Unfortunately, his emotions and personal difficulties pushed him beyond his breaking point, and he chose to take his own life last night. It would be convenient to blame another person. I guess it’s natural to be angry at him. We’re all just in shock. I loved this man. Can’t believe we won’t be seeing you as expected at every event. I can hardly remember an event without you. Always in everyone’s corner on tour…it’s really difficult to believe you’re gone. Rest in peace, my friend and our thoughts go out to your children.”

Kanoa Igarashi after defeating Julian Wilson and Ryan Callinan told a story about Woody. “A few years ago me and Leo (Fioravanti) were begging to get a competitor’s pass,” he said. “Woody wouldn’t let us in, he smiled and said, ‘not until you’re on tour.’ Then he turned around, walked up the scaffolding and dropped two passes behind him. I know he’s looking down on us today and smiling. He is missed.” 

To contact the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia call their national helpline: 1-800-985-944.

To reach SANE, a national charity helping Aussies affected by mental illness lead a better life, call their helpline on 1-800-187-263.

For the US contact The Treatment Advocacy Center, Crisis Services / National Hopeline Network: 1–800–784–2433


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