Doc Paskowitz, from Jeff Watson

November 19, 2014 |

 Dorian Paskowitz was the patriarch of America's first family of surfing. He died last night at age 93 as a result of complications from a broken hip. He surfed until last year. He was a Stanford educated MD who chucked it all and raised 9 kids in a succession of beat up old 24' RV's traveling to wherever the surf was good.

He did not believe in formal education for his kids, and preferred them to learn from wise people wherever they went. Money meant nothing to him. He was a health guru, and also ran the Paskowitz Surf Camp, which his kids run to this day. He did more for peace in Gaza than any politician by introducing surfing and teaching Palestinian and Israeli kids to surf, and to surf together.

I ran across him and got to know his clan over a 30 year period, and found him to be a perfect gentleman who was always willing to share a wave. Some of his kids are close friends of mine, and it looks like I might be making a quick trip to California for a paddle out in honor of Doc, whenever that happens. Doc and I fundamentally disagreed on everything political and economic, but he still had my respect.

Some notable quotes from Doc regarding health are as follows:

"Some of the most profound realizations that I came to about health did not derive from medicine, but derived from surfing."

"Health is a presence of a superior state of wellbeing, a vigor, a vitality, a pizzazz you have to work for every single day of your life."

His book Surfing and Health is one of the best books on health I have ever read.

RIP Doc.





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3 Comments so far

  1. Shane Hurren on November 12, 2014 2:57 pm


    I found your favorite documentary:–ZFtjR5c

  2. Andre Wallin on November 15, 2014 7:37 pm

    I watched surfwise and my take away is that the people who know how to live don’t know how to die and the people who know how to die don’t know how to live.

  3. Andre Wallin on November 15, 2014 7:59 pm

    His response is it’s easier to die when you’ve lived. In Buddhism if you create attachments you make more difficult to die. Buddhism also teaches time is an illusion, but if you look in mirror and see you aging time is not an illusion. This the book life against death summarizes well his psychological mechanism. Also, US and consumerism is a herd mentality and most fall for it just realize it’s social herding and avoid all herds.


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