Tom Warnke sent me some sad news that local surfer and pioneer Jeff Surgener has passed. I did not know Jeff but from what Tom says, he was a great guy, a surfing legend, and a great family man. I wish his family the best and strength to get through this terrible time.
Here's a note from Tom:
Jeff was a surfing pioneer and founder of Rhino Tuff surfboards, shaping some of the best local boards for a group of close-knit friends. He was especially motivated to help the groms get started on the right equipment. "Artist" certainly describes Jeff Surgener. He excelled in both ink and color paintings on a variety of surfaces. Surg won quite a few surfing contests, even up until a couple years ago, and was one of the best surfing judges in Palm Beach County. He was also a volunteer contributor to the Eastern Surfing Association, the Palm Beach County Chapter of Surfrider Foundation and the Palm Beach County Surfing History Project; with his time, remarkable artwork, his surfing memorabilia and historic boards. Jeff was more of an individual than most of us, a solid friend and a true trailblazer.
We know he is safely in Gods hands.
Funeral service for Jeff Surgener is tomorrow morning at St. Joseph's Episcopal Church, 3300 S. Seacrest Blvd., Boynton Beach, 33435, beginning at 8 AM. The service will be followed by a get together in celebration of Jeff's life at Hurricane Alley on E. Ocean Ave.
Paddleout info: This Sunday a Beach BarBQ will be at Boynton Beach Oceanfront Park at 2pm, followed by a paddleout at 4pm.
Below is a photo of a typical Friday afternoon scene at Jeff's Rhino Tuff Surfboards factory in Boynton Beach from a few years ago. He was such a positive and integral part of our local surfing culture, one that cannot be replaced. Thanks to Jeff for adding many heartfelt smiles to our lives.
(Known Names Below: Back, L to R: Carlo Nastasi, Lou Posada, Jeff Surgener, Tom Warnke, Stan Schmucker. )