In a statement, Surfing NSW said on Facebook, “A talented former world tour surfer, commentator, jiu jitsu black belt and General Manager of Partnerships for Surfing NSW since 2018, 'Shmoo' was a much-loved member of the global surfing community and the Surfing NSW family. He will be remembered for his passion for the lifestyle as well as his energy and enthusiasm."
The statement continued, “Everyone in our organization joins his son, Brandon, immediate family, and his extended worldwide network of friends, in grieving his loss. It is our saddest day. We will commemorate and celebrate John’s life in the days and weeks to come."
While a cause of death was not revealed, a number was provided for Lifeline, a non-profit organization that focuses on crisis support and suicide prevention in Australia.
Shimooka competed in the World Surf League’s men’s championship from 1989-1998.
After hearing the news, surfing legend Kelly Slater wrote on Instagram, “My heart’s ripped out. I'm sorry, Shmoo. I thought we had this."
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Former surfer Tom Carroll added, “No-sense♥️🙏🏼♥️I thought so too.♥️Shmoo R.I.P.♥️”