David Wood, the World Surf League’s head of security for two decades, has taken his own life, according to an Instagram post from Kelly Slater, in which he wrote:
“Unfortunately, his emotions and personal difficulties pushed him beyond his breaking point and he chose to take his own life last night.”
Here’s the full post:
You never know the state someone is in, the subconscious thoughts and harbored feelings no one else truly feels or understands. And I guess this is the end of the road. It’s terribly devastating to all of us who loved @woodysecurity to know this was him less than 24 hours ago, seemingly without a care in the world, smiling away in @peterkingphoto’s hat wig. Unfortunately, his emotions and personal difficulties pushed him beyond his breaking point and he chose to take his own life last night. It would be convenient to blame another person. I guess it’s natural to be angry at him. We’re all just in shock. I loved this man. Can’t believe we won’t be seeing you as expected at every event. I can hardly remember an event without you. Always in everyone’s corner on tour…it’s really difficult to believe you’re gone. Rest in peace, my friend and our thoughts go out to your children.
A statement issued by the WSL on their website had few details, other than the man better known as Woody was in Southern California for the Hurley Pro and Swatch Women’s Pro at Trestles and left behind four sons.
“This community, and specifically the sport, is a family and today we mourn the loss of one of our own,” said WSL CEO Paul Speaker in the statement. “David Wood was our friend and brother. He watched over us, the world’s best surfers and this community for over two decades. It is an unthinkably sad day for surfing and our thoughts and prayers are with Woody’s family and friends.” The WSL declined to comment on this story.
After his heat Thursday morning, Kanoa Igarashi described Wood fondly, a sentiment echoed on social media in posts like this from Kelly Slater’s other half, Kalani Miller:
We lost a good one and are speechless and devastated. Woody, you will be missed. You have been a permanent fixture in my life for ten years and we have shared some of the most special moments and memories. Thank you for always keeping us all safe, being there always and for your always big heart. Thoughts and prayers to your boys. You are missed and our hearts filled with sadness. ❤️ you. We are heartbroken
A photo posted by Kalani Miller (@kalanimiller) on
In Miller’s post, surfer Laura Enever responded:
“😥😥😥❤️❤️❤️ We love Ya Woody. Sending Big hugs to you guys xxxx”
Just four days ago Wood posted on his own Instagram account about a father’s love for his children:
Our thoughts are with Woody’s family and friends during this difficult time.