Hawaii surf phenom Marvin Foster found dead - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii surf phenom Marvin Foster found dead

Randy Rarick Randy Rarick
Kerry Terukina Kerry Terukina

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

NORTH SHORE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The surf world is in mourning. Hawaiian waterman Marvin Foster has died.

Known for his style in big waves, he was a bona fide star in the 80's, blessed with talent but also tormented by personal troubles.

The 49-year-old was found dead by his brother in Haleiwa yesterday.

The medical examiner says his death was not an accident, but did not involve foul play.

Marvin Foster made his explosive debut in the 80's riding high from a reputation for attacking monster swells.

"He was a great pipeline rider, one of the best surfers here on the North Shore," said Randy Rarick, Executive Director of Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

The steep waves helped Foster fine-tune his 'pig-dog' technique for backside barrels.

Even in his late 40's, 'Carvin Marvin' was still competing in big wave tow-in contests on Oahu's outer reefs.

His longtime friend, Kerry Terukina, says he raised the bar on the North Shore.

"When surfing came out, professional surfing came out, Marvin was the dominant force out at Haleiwa in particular. He paved the way for younger surfers to break into the professional surfing arena," said Terukina.

Foster was well respected. but he was also troubled.

Those who knew him say he had a long battle with drugs.

"Unfortunately he's one of the ones who went down the dark path and paid the price spent some time in jail because of it," said Rarick.

In 1993, Foster spent 18 months in prison for weapons charges and later landed on Hawaii's Top Ten Most Wanted list.

His lifestyle on land added to his reputation.

But friends say he'll be missed most for his achievements in the ocean.

"We've lost one of our great Hawaiian surfers," said Rarick.

If you have photos or videos of Marvin that you would like to share, please upload them to Connect Now or send them to us at news@hawaiinewsnow.com

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