Mickey McCarthy: a prolific surfboard shaper and photographer | Photo: Matt Walker

Legendary surf photographer Mickey McCarthy has passed away. The East Coast has lost one of the most loved members of the surfing scene.

The iconic lensman from North Carolina died from complications after a heart attack. McCarthy was a key figure in the Outer Banks surfing community.

Mickey McCarthy was born in Norfolk, Virginia. He started riding waves in 1966, but his passion for surf photography only emerged a decade later.

"I seriously started shooting surfing to see how my boards looked in the water. In 1979, I got one shot published in Surfer Magazine of a wave off Duck Research Pier — an ancient picture of a big old barrel," Mickey McCarthy once revealed.

"That was a great feeling because I really didn't have the equipment to compete with the big guys. Then photographers like Dick Meseroll gave me a lot of great professional hints. ESM started in 1991, and they used my shots from the start. From that point on it was fairly steady."

Surfing: Mickey McCarthy was an incredible photographer | Photo: Mickey McCarthy

He started taking his first pictures in the 1960s, but he was also a passionate surfer. Mickey helped boost the Eastern Surfing Association, and he was often seen on the beach capturing the best rides for Eastern Surf Magazine (ESM).

"To say that Mickey will be missed doesn't even come close to expressing the love and sorrow his many, many friends in surfing have for him right now. Condolences to his family and all who knew 2M — truly, truly another one of the good guys gone," expressed Dick "Mez" Meseroll, co-founder of the ESM.

Mickey "2M" McCarthy was also a prolific surfboard shaper. He built thousands of innovative boards under the New Sun Surfboards insignia, and his name became an instantly recognized brand.

McCarthy's positive vibes will inspire many generations of surfers. He was one of the most important voices of the East Coast surf community and represented the local surf culture like no other.

Mickey "2M" McCarthy will not be forgotten. His infectious smile, photos, and boards, will forever live in the hearts and minds of thousands of OBX surfers.