Local Surfing Community Mourns Underground LegendPat Saunders was an underground surfing legend. The Eastern Suburbs and wider surf community now grieves the loss of a man who had an impact on our community like very few do. For the younger generation, his legacy will be a motivator to keep pushing boundaries and to take the drop of life head on, no sidestepping. For the older crew his memory is a never-ending reminder that the time to give up is not now, and never will be.
Pat didn’t gain his reputation through social media warfare like the rest of us. Until recently he thought Instagram was the modern day slang for ‘kilogram’. He built his reputation over an entire lifetime of putting other people first and pushing every single person he met to get that little bit more out of life, and not many could fit as much into one lifetime as he did.
When Pat wasn’t surfing his beloved Clovelly Bommie (South Coast secret spot) he was either over at G-Land in the jungles of Indonesia flying through a freight train barrel, dropping into a 15-foot Wedding Cake Island bomb, training with Kenny Stone and the Giles Gym crew, throwing bags out at the airport for QANTAS to keep the dream alive, or chewing some poor bloke’s ear off about all of the above.
Pat had time for everyone, and this is why he touched so many people’s hearts. Pat was the kind of person who would give you the shirt off his back, the shoes off his feet, and the wax off his board. The only problem with that was he very rarely wore a shirt, and if he did it was so tight that without a chest of steel like his you wouldn’t be able to breathe.
Everyone who knew Pat has their own unique story about him, but they all have the same theme – a story of a man who inspired, and exuded an intoxicating energy that left you walking off at 100 miles an hour, just like him.
For Pat, G-Land (Java, Indonesia) was a spiritual home that became his sanctuary over the years. Since his passing, countless people who only knew him for a few short days while passing through years ago have voiced how their short memory of him will live on forever.
Imagine how strong that feeling is for his closest friends and family.
It was a tragic circumstance that took away such a young spirit (in mind and body), and grieving him will take time. It is through this grief, however, that we are given Pat’s greatest blessing: the gift of his memory. The gift of every laugh, every chat, every surf, every coffee, every beer, every single encounter with this energetic soul.
Pat’s memory is proof that this life is not one to be wasted. In a world where each and every year we become more tied down by responsibility and more absorbed in our screens and devices, his spirit will live on in all of us to make sure that we are always looking out the back hoping for the next wave, and never wanting to return to the safety of shore.