Thursday, January 8, 2009

Memorial Paddle for Duke Michael

Puerto Rico has lost a surfing legend. Duke Michael, one of the first truly hardcore surfers to call Puerto Rico home, died December 23rd after several months of failing health related to lung cancer. A native of Malibu, California, Duke immigrated to Puerto Rico in 1965.

Beyond shaping surfboards under the “Uku” label first in San Juan and then in Rincón, Duke is credited with being the first surfer to tackle the waves of Tres Palmas along with friend Dan Herlihy. He later made the first successful attempt at riding Gas Chambers, naming it as well as having named Tres Palmas, Hole In The Wall, Wilderness, and Middles.

A memorial paddle out will be held at Tres Palmas in Rincón, Puerto Rico on Sunday, January 18th at 3:00 pm, to celebrate Duke’s life and bid him farewell in the waters where many of his most significant surfing exploits took place.

More about Duke at