It’s been a sad and costly few days for the surfing community. Shortly after the disappearance of North Shore big wave legend Alec Cooke aka Ace Cool, who didn’t return from a surf at Waimea Bay on Wednesday last week, another tragedy of a similar nature unfolded in California, when a body was found washed up on the beach at Swamis, San Diego, a broken surfboard still attached to its ankle.
That body has now been identified as belonging to local shaper and well-known Swamis local Kenny Mann, who entered the water at sundown for a moonlit session the evening before he was found. The cause of death has yet to be determined. Fox News reports:
“Kenny’s been surfing that area since he was about 10. He even made his own boards before he could drive. Swami’s was his spot. A lot of people even called that inside section ‘Kenny’s,’” lifelong friend J.P. St. Pierre said of 61-year-old Kenneth “Kenny” Mann of Encinitas.
Mann was found lying face-down in a wetsuit next to a broken surfboard at Swami’s Beach Friday morning. The cause of Mann’s death is still unknown.
St. Pierre said Mann had no medical condition and was in great shape. Mann was believed to have been night surfing Thursday night, which friends said he did often.
During the week, the National Weather Service put out a coastal flood advisory due to high tides and strong rip currents.
Mann and St. Pierre’s father were founding members of the surfboard company Moonlight Glassing. Now a staple among surfers around the world, the company opened in 1979.
“In the surfboard industry, [Kenny’s] a legend. I don’t think anyone has sanded more surfboards than him. He’s made surfboards for some of the biggest surfers in the world,” St. Pierre said.