Jean da Silva, a 32-year-old Brazilian surf champion and regular on the WQS for the last decade, is dead. Although not confirmed, initial reports from Rico Surf state that he took his own life.
Da Silva lived in Santa Catarina, Brazil and was ranked 137th on the QS. In 2010, he won the Brazilian Championship, and in 2012 he won The East Coast Surfing Championships. He was loved by many in the surf community and the outpouring of grief in following the news of his death has been huge.
“Jean, I do not know what to say at this moment of pain, you were one of the guys that most drew my evolution in the amateur phase. A surfer of body and soul,” wrote Adriano de Souza on Instagram. “Rest in peace.”
Jean was born in Joinville, Santa Catarina. When he was seven-years-old, his father gave him a surfboard. By the time he was 13, he was competing. It was clear, even at a young age, that da Silva was something special. In 2006, he placed third in the Pro Junior Worlds in Australia, and quickly made his mark on the QS.
“It’s so easy to forget why we are really here,” wrote Yago Dora. “Nothing is more valuable than a true friendship in this world, go in peace. We love you.”
Gabriel Medina is among those who are heartbroken. “Without words,” he wrote. “My feelings to Jean’s family and friends. God comfort the heart of each one.”
Our thoughts go out to the friends, family, and everyone affected by the loss of a great surfer and even greater person.