Well-known surfboard shaper Allan Byrne died Thursday at 64 years old after complications stemming from a motorbike accident in Bali, according to a statement released by his company, Byrning Spears.
"Byrne was rushed to the hospital on August 2, where he was admitted for a broken arm. Other complications arose and he fell into a coma, and after five days he lost the fight for his life," the statement reads. The company did not respond to questions regarding the complications stemming from his broken arm.
Originally from New Zealand, Byrne first began shaping surfboards in 1969 while on the North Shore of Oahu. Eventually he would base himself out of Australia's Gold Coast, and in his 40 years of shaping, he was renowned for developing the six-channel bottom. A surfer to the core, for his 60th birthday he was towed into some huge outer reef surf in Hawaii.
"I have the good fortune of watching him surf Pipe in the early '80s, he was so good on those channel bottoms," says photographer Jeff Divine. "But what really stands out is how happy he was when he came in. He just had this big smile on his face and you could tell how pure his love for surfing was."
The outpouring of love and support for Byrne and his family has been immediate and heartfelt. Two-time world champion Mick Fanning posted a photo of Byrne on his Instagram feed with a caption that read, "Al Byrne you will be missed!! Thoughts and Prayers go out to Al's family and friends. Was such an honor to meet this man and for him to always be such an uplifting bright person every time we chatted. Will miss seeing you fly down the line on your 6 Deep channel bottoms."
The ASP tweeted, "Our thoughts and condolences are with the Byrne family right now. Al was an icon within our culture."