When Sean Collins arrived he was able to interpret the dark arts of satellite photos, buoy reports, and how low-pressure and high-pressure systems way out at sea affected the surf. This allowed surfers to "make appointments" if you will, schedule vacation days, trips, adventures allowing surfers to have a more robust life in and out of the water.
Collins died this this week playing tennis in Orange county of a heart attack at the age of 59-years-old.
Not to get philosophical, but why not? In my view, Sean Collins, gave more than he took. I don't care how much money he made or did not make from SurfLine, he made a sport I adore much easier to participate in and for that I thank him.
From The L.A.Times:
A Southern California native and Seal Beach resident, Collins began surfing at the age of 8. After graduating from Wilson High School in Long Beach, he attended Long Beach City College and worked as a professional photographer, waiter and bartender.
Along the way, he developed a passion to complement his surfing: poring through the National Weather Service library and studying faxes from around the world to predict swells. In 1984, he joined a fledgling company called Surfline, which offered surf forecasts by phone, then left to start a rival company called Wavetrak.
Collins bought out Surfline in 1990 and, five years later, launched its online version. According to the website, nearly 1.5 million people visit it every month.