Greg Noll, Surfing Legend, Dead at 84

Legendary surfer and big-wave pioneer Greg 'Da Bull' Noll has died aged 84, his family has confirmed.

Noll, who lived in the coastal town of Crescent City, California, died of natural causes on Monday, according to a statement shared on his son's company Noll Surfboards' Instagram page.

In it, a photo of a younger Noll was shared alongside a message that read: "This post contains sad news."

The message continued: "It is with a heavy heart the Noll family announces the death of our patriarch Greg Noll.

"Greg died of natural causes on Monday, June 28th, at the age of 84. We invite all of our friends and family to celebrate his life by sharing this post and your stories, pictures and experiences through your preferred platform. Aloha. The Noll family."

It was not clear from the post where Noll was at the time of his death.

Tributes flooded in for the surfing pioneer in the hours after his family shared the tragic news on social media.

One Instagram user said: "Da Bull will live on in spirit and in our hearts and souls. May God bless you and keep you Greg Noll."

RIP Greg Noll 1937 - 2021

Another legend has paddled into the beyond.... pic.twitter.com/4P2wZaZVYX

— Surfing.com (@surfingcomtweet) June 28, 2021

Another added: "I was about to say I'm heartbroken, but Greg would probably laugh at me for saying that. I'm sad, but he also brought me a lot of laughs and joy. Hope the Salty Ol' Man is tearing his way down some huge waves with Joe Quigg right now and many others of course."

A Twitter user also posted a picture of the icon standing before a huge wave and commented: "Sad to hear this news of Greg Noll passing away.

"As a teenager finding his feet in the surf, this iconic image always inspired the imagination, especially decades before jet skis became a standard big wave surfing accessory."

Noll first gained widespread fame in the 1950s and 1960s and set out from California to Mexico, Australia and Hawaii in search of the biggest waves.

The legendary surfer was credited as being the first person to ride a wave at Oahu's Third Reef Pipeline in 1964.

He decried so-called "beach party" movies of the 1960s and blamed them for helping to bring inexperienced surfers to California who did not appreciate the sport.

Speaking to the Associated Press in 2013, Noll said: "That whole Hollywood scene at that particular time was just a mess when it came to doing anything meaningful with the surf community.

"They lived in their own little bubble and thought surfing was all about beach parties and people jumping around dancing in the moonlight to funny music."

According to the agency, his son opened Noll Surfboards in San Clemente, putting the surfing legend to work and designing custom boards for collectors that commemorated historical surfing events.

Noll told the Associated Press in 2018: "It gives me a chance to work with my son and share what I know about the ocean and the boards and the history."

Legendary surfer Greg Noll died aged 84
Legendary surfer Greg Noll died aged 84. In this photo, Greg "The Bull" Noll takes part in a question and answer session about the surfing documentary "Riding Giants" at The Coral Room June 29, 2004 in New York City. Paul Hawthorne / Staff/Getty