Sud­den death of surf­ing pioneer

The Chronicle - - Front Page - By SO­NIA SHARMA Reporter so­nia.sharma@trin­i­tymir­

LOV­ING trib­utes have been paid to surf­ing king Stephen Hud­son who has died sud­denly.

Known to many as Hur­ri­cane Hud­son, he was piv­otal in help­ing to boost the pop­u­lar­ity of the sport along the Ty­ne­side coast.

Now, trib­utes have been paid to the lov­ing dad af­ter he died at the age of 51.

On Mon­day evening, a spe­cial pad­dle out was held at Longsands beach, where fam­ily and friends formed a cir­cle of re­mem­brance and held a minute’s si­lence in his mem­ory.

Mr Hud­son was well-re­spected and loved by peo­ple in the North East as well as other parts of the coun­try.

He and his friend Mark Ward es­tab­lished the Tynemouth Surf Co, on Grand Pa­rade, in 1995 which went on to be­come one of the big­gest

surf schools in the UK. As well as teach­ing the sport to scores of young­sters, Mr Hud­son passed on his tal­ent to his son Louis.

The 20-year-old, who cap­tained a Great Bri­tain team at the World Ju­nior Surf­ing Cham­pi­onships two years ago, said: “My dad was a surf­ing leg­end and the epit­ome of cool.”

And Louis’s mum, Me­lanie Thomas, said: “Stephen was a very good surfer. He had a nat­u­ral abil­ity and was par­tic­u­larly known for his style and grace on long­boards.

“He came fourth in the Bri­tish Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in Corn­wall, in the long­board sec­tion, when he was 28 years old.

“He ac­tu­ally learned how to surf from his own fa­ther Ron­nie Hud­son, who was the first surfer in Tynemouth. Ron­nie was in the navy and he had trav­elled to var­i­ous places, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia where he saw peo­ple surf­ing. He then started it over here.

“Stephen grew up with surf­ing all

around him. At the time, there were only a hand­ful of surfers in Tynemouth but that num­ber grew sig­nif­i­cantly – and Stephen played a piv­otal part in that. He en­cour­aged and taught so many peo­ple how to surf.

“I have had so many mes­sages from peo­ple telling me how in­cred­i­ble and self­less he was.”

Scores of trib­utes and mes­sages have been left on so­cial me­dia de­scrib­ing Mr Hud­son as “a truly out­stand­ing hu­man be­ing” and a “leg­end”.

Ms Thomas added: “Stephen was very kind, very gen­er­ous and sin­cere.

“He was very well loved and re­spected.”

Stephen Hud­son surf­ing with his son Louis Thomas-Hud­son

Stephen Hud­son, who set up Tynemouth Surf Co

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