Philip Hoffman: big wave pioneer | Photo: Jeff Divine/The Surfer's Journal

Big wave riding pioneer Philip Hoffman has passed away aged 80. "Flippy" was one of the first riders in Hawaii, during the 1950s. Born in Glendale, California, he opened doors for the world surf trips made to the North Sore, Oahu.

When Hoffman kicked off his surfing career, there were only a few hundred surfers in California and Hawaii. The man who had no fear of giant waves was responsible for promoting the Hawaiian surf culture.

His brother and family are still linked to surfing through the Hoffman California Fabrics, a textile company working for the surf industries that have clothing businesses.

Philip worked as an abalone diver and he was one of the first surfers to live in the North Shore for the pure pleasure of surfing. In 2006, the Hoffman brothers were inducted into the "Surfing Walk of Fame" in Huntington Beach, California.

Until January, Philip neverstopped surfing.