Hawaiian Surf Legend Marvin Foster Passes Away

Marvin Foster at Pipeline; a break he ruled throughout the 80s.

Marvin Foster at Pipeline; a break he ruled throughout the 80s.

According to a post on Sunny Garcia’s Facebook page, Hawaiian surfing legend Marvin Foster has passed away. Foster was known as one of the heaviest chargers ever at places like Pipeline and Backdoor—where he originated the popular “pig dog” backside tube riding technique. Marvin was also famous for being the first guy to go left at Waimea Bay, a feat rarely attempted until Mark Healey did so during the 2009 Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau. Healey claimed afterward that he “did it for Uncle Marvin.”

My personal connection with Marvin Foster was short, but I did meet him once when I was a substitute teacher at Waialua High School on the North Shore of Oahu. His stepdaughter was in the class I was teaching, and one day after school he came racing up on an enduro-style motorcycle to pick her up, and gave me a quick shaka and “Thanks, eh?” before racing off. I was so psyched to get a shaka from Marvin—he was one of the few surfers that I had posters of hanging on my wall as a grom.

Both respected and feared by his fellow surfers, Marvin Foster epitomized the juxtaposition of territorial yet aloha-filled Hawaiian surfers of his day. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Marvin Foster, may he rest in peace.