June 16, 1978|
|Died||June 15, 2001
Indian Ocean, off the Maldives coast
|Residence||Santa Cruz, California|
|Stance||Regular (natural) foot|
|Favorite waves||Mavericks (Half Moon Bay, California), Pleasure Point, (Santa Cruz, California)|
Jay Moriarity (June 16, 1978 – June 15, 2001) was a surfer from Santa Cruz, California. He was an accomplished surfer, waterman, and adventurer. As a surfer, he made his reputation surfing Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, California. At age 16, he was made internationally famous when his wipeout at Mavericks was caught on film and made the cover of Surfer magazine. Although a successful competitor, Jay is remembered as a soul surfer, winning many sportsmanship awards throughout his career. A biopic of his life, Chasing Mavericks, was released in 2012.
Born in Georgia in 1978, Jay Moriarity and his family moved to Santa Cruz, California, soon after his birth. His father was a Green Beret and traveling most of the time, and Jay immediately took to surfing and quickly became a respected surfer in Santa Cruz. Not limited to either a shortboard or a longboard, he was known as a versatile surfer who appreciated all aspects of surfing. This appreciation was rooted in an overall love for the ocean, seen in his accomplishments as a swimmer, paddler, diver, and fisherman. Achieving success in surfing as a youngster, he became increasingly interested in surfing Mavericks, north of Santa Cruz in Half Moon Bay. After intense physical and mental training with his master and close friend and Mavericks regular Frosty Hesson, he began surfing Mavericks at 15 years of age, and soon became a respected regular in the line-up. In 2001, Moriarity co-authored a book with Chris Gallagher entitled, The Ultimate Guide to Surfing. A film, Chasing Mavericks, directed by Curtis Hanson, chronicling the life of Moriarity was released on October 26, 2012, with Jonny Weston playing the role of Moriarity.
Moriarity died a day before his 23rd birthday on Friday, June 15, 2001, in the Indian Ocean off the coast of the island Lohifushi in the Maldives, drowning in an apparent diving accident. In Lohifushi for an O'Neill photo shoot, he went free-diving alone but was not seen after. A search party recovered his body late Friday night. Moriarity left behind his wife Kim Moriarity.
Memorial Paddleboard Race
Moriarity has an annual paddleboard race in his memory, the annual Jay Moriarity Paddleboard Race aka "The Jay Race" is held in Capitola. After his death a memorial was held for him at Pleasure Point. All of Jay's family, friends, his wife, Kim, and mentor Frosty, attended.
- Andy Martin (28 July 2001). "Jay Moriarity - Obituaries, News - The Independent". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 7 September 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
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