My Nephew Gordon Mathis Riley wasn't a big name Surfer he didn't have his Photo in a magazine or have a rep asa board builder. Nevertheless like so many Surfers he was true original.
He started Surfing in Hong Kong at a break known as Big Wave Bay. His Father had taken a job there and so most of his formative years were in Hong Kong. he did take the Hong Kong Jr Surf Championship and went on to Represent Hong Kong in an international competition in Bali.
The Family then moved to Brisbane Australia where he furthered his skills in the water. Like most of us he was competent and had moments when he shined. As he matured his confidence grow, he was fearless in just about everything he did.
all The years that the Family lived overseas they maintained a family home in Park City Utah. It's there that he honed more skills as skier and board rider. He was a very skilled and competent skier. He loved the mountains as much as he loved the ocean. He seemed to drew energy from both. in skiing he was also fearless dropping cliffs and skiing tight steep shuts with abandon.
He was talented athlete but as a scholar he had a talent for writing. He went to UC Santa Barbra for College. was co chair of The local Surf Rider Foundation. An editor for Surfer magazine saw an article that he wrote for the Campus newspaper and Ask Gordon brought him into the Surfer Magazine staff as an apprentice. he was soon bored with writing up contest results and left the Magazine.
While in Santa Barbra he decided to try something a little different. He combined his love for waves with his love for skiing. he had a shaper make two short narrow boards and mounted them with ski bindings. . The idea was to slalom ski down the face of a large wave. His test were successful however before getting into large surf his jet ski was swamped. it's my understanding that others are now working on this idea.
At some point in his Jr year of College he started acting strange and after a few events he was diagnosed as being Bipolar. It took some time but it was looking like he was getting his life back on Track. He was in Law School and was thinking of a career in Environmental law.
We have no idea what happened or what triggered his collapse into utter chaos. He was back in Park City for Christmas break. he then spent 3 days self medicating with booze and dope. at the end he took his own life.
These words don't say how talented and truly unique Gordon was. He really was one of a kind.
Aloha my Nephew may you forever journey in Peace.