REMEMBERING LOCH EGGERS
It is with profound respect and sadness that we share the news of the passing of our friend and ambassador Loch Eggers. Our aloha and support goes out to the Eggers ‘ohana and all of Loch’s friends. Loch was a legendary waterman who rose through the ranks of paddling and surfing like a solid swell from the very beginning. Revered for his devotion to the ocean, community, and our lifestyle/culture, he was one of the pioneers of the standup paddling movement in the early 2000s and the creator of an innovative foam sanding pad for surfboard glassers. Loch suffered a heart attack and died while doing something he enjoyed — hiking one of his favorite Maui trails.
His impact, especially in Hawaii, inspired many. He was known as “a charger,” which nods to his eagerness and love to tackle even the biggest, girthiest waves, as well as his willingness to help people or do whatever it takes. Loch is going to be missed by everyone here at Western Aloha.
“Loch was a true friend, always positive, generous, with the honest spirit of the original Waikiki Beach Boys,” said Western Aloha Art Director Dale Hope. “Loch had a vigorous routine to stay in shape, hiking a very vertical path on Maui, the Lahaina Pali Trail, that overlooks one of his favorite surf spots near Maalaea Harbor. Often, he would talk about his daily walks up that challenging trail. Loch was a historian. He could talk on topics that he was familiar with and that were often unknown. He had an uncommon sense of humor and could share unheard stories of his childhood, decades of unfamiliar stories, and up to what had made yesterday special and unusual.”
Born and raised on Oahu’s south shore, Loch grew up in Waikiki’s Outrigger Canoe Club. Dale first met Loch, then a young teen, his brother Hunter and his father Bill when they all lived in Kahala.
“We used to surf off the reef at Kahala with the neighborhood teenagers that lived at a single mom’s beach house with her two sons and their friends, right in front of a great right-hander that broke over a shallow reef. The waves were really only good when the winds were light, Kona, or blowing offshore out of the North. We would all surf there. When it was windy, we also surfed a sailing canoe around Diamond Head together,” Dale said. “During his college years, Loch lived in Southern California, where he also excelled as a hard core bodyboarder. He would frequent his contemporaries' houses, going straight to their refrigerators, earning the name, ‘Kahala Fats,’ as he was always looking for food and he was a stocky, full-chested, always hungry, growing and active young man.”
One of Dale’s favorite memories of Loch occurred during a fishing trip with a friend on a 17-foot Boston Whaler off Laau Point on the west end of Molokai.
“We saw a color object in the distance. As we motored towards the object, we realized it was a sail. As we got closer, we could make out it was a small four-man outrigger canoe with two guys with a Sun Fish lateen sail. It was Loch on the sheet and Aka Hemming steering their canoe back across the Molokai Channel with minimal provisions,” he said.
Loch was larger than life, but also stayed down-to-earth, humble, without ego, even when earning the label of respect, “waterman.” He would quietly and often solo engage in conditions and places most surfers wanted no part of, be the first one in the ocean in the morning, as well as leave us with many gifts throughout the years.
“Loch was not a chest pounder, even with his large barrel chest. He was quiet, and rarely shared the stories of his wave exploits.Carefully watching the surf and weather reports, he often was early and alone to get the first waves at many out-of-the-way Maui surf spots. Surfing his four-man outrigger canoe solo or with Maui watermen or with his girlfriend, they would be the only people in the water for miles,” Dale said. “He also was often early to catch waves at sunrise, usually a fast wave outside Maalaea harbor on his Naish yellow standup gun. He used a mounted GoPro on the back and front of his board that would capture shots of him deep in the fast barrels. He often shared these shots with Western Aloha wearing our long sleeve shirts while canoe surfing and riding waves at Maalaea. He was also on the early crew, paddling standup boards down the coast off Paia, from the Maliko Gulch to Kahului Harbor with Dave Kalama and Laird Hamilton. SUP racing is an international sport today for both men and women athletes, thanks to these watermen.”
It was the uncrowded ocean life on the North Shore of Maui that first attracted Loch to the Paia area.
“Loch had an old Cadillac that he would strap an old, large pop-out windsurfer or old large Mickey Munoz surfboard to his car’s roof. With his large old boards, he introduced standup paddling to Laird Hamilton and many others. They made outrigger canoe paddles with extended shafts to accommodate them standing on their boards,” Dale said. “They started surfing all size waves up and down the coast on the North Shore of Maui on their adopted standup boards. Today the sport has gone around the world.”
Loch eventually started escaping from the crowds around Maui’s coasts finding spots to surf in Mexico. According to Dale, “His dream was to get a four-man surfing canoe there so he could ride many of the unridden spots lining miles of their shorelines. For decades, while the masses all followed the pack, he chose to be a loaner and go off on his own and carve out his own passionate, quiet accomplished lifestyle. He quietly charged big waves and was usually on his own with little concern for the social norm and the masses.”
While his spots remain secret with a few close friends, the stories, memories, contributions of Loch, a truly exceptional person, will continue to be shared and never forgotten.