It’s with a heavy heart that we’re reporting that Sean Collins, the founder of Surfline, passed away from a heart attack on Monday. He was 59.
Arguably one of the most influential surfers of his era, Collins reshaped the way surfers from across the world track swells and storms through Surfline.com, the website he founded in the 1990s. Primarily self-taught, Collins was regarded as one of the most esteemed forecasters in the industry and regularly advised the World Tour on approaching swells and weather conditions.
In its early days, Surfline was a call-in forecasting service, but with Collins’ foresight and business savvy, the company grew into a forecasting and media hub when it became a digital entity. In 2000, Collins sold the company but stayed on as President and Chief Forecaster. In 2008, he was inducted into the Surfer’s Hall of Fame.
“I founded the site [Surfline] because I saw a need, but primarily because I wanted to follow my passions and wanted to control my own future. I believe the real secret of my success was to surround myself with really good people who could help to build our business,” he told the OC Register. “The personal payoff is the lifestyle of continuing to be able to chase great surf around the world while getting paid for it, and I couldn’t do that without my great team of people.”
Collins leaves behind a loving family and an endless list of people proud to call him a friend. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family. We’ll miss you, Sean.