Ricardo dos Santos: a surfing star lives in heaven | Photo: Henrique Pinguim

Ricardo dos Santos lived 24 years doing what he loved most. Surfing. From Australia to the United States, surfers, friends, fans and sports enthusiasts are still recovering from a state of shock and profound sadness.

Ricardinho, the Brazilian surfer from Praia da Guarda do Embaú, was not an average surfer. He excelled in surfing, and he had his greatest professional moments inside the barrel. But he died at the hands of people who can't understand the meaning of life and health.

"Lack of education, poverty, and drugs don't make for a good mix and make life challenging in this country, one of the most beautiful and scariest places I've been," underlines Kelly Slater.

The tragic death of Ricardo dos Santos also highlights the explosive cocktail of drugs and guns which proliferate the streets of our cities and towns. A battle has been lost. Not the war.

One hundred bags of blood were not enough to save Ricardinho. Instead, three gunshot wounds were enough to kill him. In the past, he wrote about what was happening at his home break. He wasn't pleased with the local vibes.

"Today it seems that this piece of 'heaven' is losing its charm. It seems that people no longer value the fact that they are in a beautiful and pure place. It is with an immense feeling of sadness that I write this, but the Guard is being destroyed," expressed Dos Santos.

Violence kills. It kills people, but also tourism, jobs and dreams. Let's hope justice can be made. At least, if Praia da Guarda do Embaú becomes a better and safer place, Ricardo dos Santos will certainly bless us with his contagious smile.

A series of memorial paddle-outs will be held worldwide. Our thoughts are with the family of Ricardinho. Rest in peace, Ricardo dos Santos.