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Aloha PD, gone but not forgotten

PD     pd surfer cover

It saddens me greatly to write another goodbye message to another great personality who made an indelible stamp on the South African and International surfscape.
Peter Daniels as most of you already know by now passed away in Spain yesterday (6 August 2015).

PD, the surfer and the shaper was a larger-than-life character who grew up in Durban surfing longboards in the mid sixties and went on to be a world renowned shaper. He fell into the Max Wetteland school of shaping excellence early and along with Errol Hickman became a shaper that a multitude of dedicated followers revered. Right up until his last days Peter had scores of surfers frothing over his shapes. Never influenced by trends and always expounding originality, PD’s boards were ‘alive’, sophisticated craft that somehow always found the sweet spot in the surfers that rode them. Among them count Sunny, Slater, Curren and Frankie.

His travels from as early as the late sixties took him everywhere. Hawaii, Australia, Europe, Brazil but he first made his mark in those helicon days of the mid seventies in Jbay when he put his skills in the shaping bay to the test in the water at Supers. Art Brewer was around to snap the first Surfer Magazine cover featuring a Saffa. Never a shrinking violet, PD was as brash as the iconic photo of himself smoking a cigar in a black tee shirt with ‘Bad Company’ in big bold letters that featured in the same issue.

You always had the impression, right up to the end that Peter had it all covered, every time. I remember showing him a Surfer Magazine in about 1975 that featured both Shaun Tomson and his cousin Michael. “How good are these guys.” I said. “I taught those kids how to surf.” was his outrageous reply.  Typical of a man who always had a retort that was usually followed by a gruff giggle. Despite years of health problems, right up to the last time I saw him at Max Wettleand’s memorial, less than a month ago, he was at his impenetrable best.

IMG_6928amigos

Like his great lifelong friends and master shapers, Errol Hickman and Max Wettland, his presence will be sorely missed by many, many people all around the surfing world.

The controversies for which he so renowned, along with his amazing stories of a very full life, painted with the broadest of strokes, will be told over and over again.

The purity of his designs will be forever remembered.

Aloha PD, gone but not forgotten.

By Patrick Flanagan

Words from lifelong friend Michael Ginsberg

11796429_1044541065580380_9094495037051407149_nMy best buddy, surfing partner and world travelling compadre for 55 years passed away yesterday in Spain.

This is a shot of Peter and myself in 1971 standing at South Beach with my new 7 0′ Diffenderfer before we embarked on our second escapade around the world.

Peter was my Butch Cassidy and I only wish i could write a book about our experiences we encountered and all the soon to be famous surfers we met and became friends with.


If you knew PD you will know what a fucking classic this man was, without doubt one of the best shapers on the planet, ripped the shit out of Jefferys Bay, always scooped the best girls and was a self marketing genius.

Surfers around the world have lost a top surfboard designer as he referred to himself in later years the fact is that his boards really were great.

Myself and thousands of others have been honored to know you, will seriously miss your knowledge, character and antics.

God has surely thrown away your mould.

Love you my brother say Hi to Max ,Errol and Tony Van – miss you always.

 

12 Responses to Aloha PD, gone but not forgotten

  1. Lovely words Pat and Ginz such a sad time he was larger than life cannot believe it! So happy I saw him before he left us.

  2. Wow, so very sad, as we watch a generation of legends slip away! More meaningful to us who knew these great men. I must make mention here of Mike Briscoe, who passed on in not so pleasant circumstances, but we remember Michael in better times! Max, not only a legend, but gentleman. Cheers Peter!

  3. Pepsi was a “Rock Star”. A generous, exciting, friendly person with an uninhibited personality. Treated me like a brother when I was in JBay.
    Aloha my Friend,
    Stricko

  4. Sorry about PD. Everyday he would invite me to his parents house for a peanut butter sandwich lunch near Glenwood High. Also many memories of “leaving” early from school with PD when the surf was “up”.

    RIP

    Stuart Freedman

  5. My memories of PD are endless! it was a priviledge to know that crazy surfboard shaper! I think what was more scary was to find out he was aquainted with my biological father!! PD, did of course, fill me in on numerous stories!! True or not, i clearly have an interesting history! Thank you PD for being my friend, you are a legend of note, it was a priviledge to have spent time with you, nothing can replace the stories of old!! your legend lives on!!! will miss you forever, im sorry this message is so late! just found the web when searching for info on Mickey (if anyone sees this and can send me info on Michael Briscoe)
    memories forever indelible
    Cheryl

  6. I have only just come across this while doing a search for my biological father, Michael (Mickey) Briscoe, anyway, PD was always a great friend to me, even given the age gap, on reflection its probably why he was so good to me!!! just kidding! anyway! our paths crossed numerous times over the years from my tender age of 16 until about 47!What was amazing is that on the quest to find my father, PD knew him all along! maybe its what drew us together, I am forever grateful for having known such a character, the last time I saw PD was in Westville hospital!! needless to say he was as full of s***t as ever! I will forever treasure that memory! Thank you for always making me feel like a Rock Star Peter Daniels, you were a Rock Star, till we meet again

  7. Lovef PD, he did it his way. Whenever I saw him, even at the race course, I would shout out PD!!!! He got so embarrassed, I was that excited to see him. Last time we spoke, he was on his back in hospital. But I was still stoked to chat to him. I wil really miss him but the fond memories, will never die. RIP big guy PD

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