Dozens paddle out for longboard surfing champion - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Dozens paddle out for longboard surfing champion

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OCEANSIDE (NEWS 8) — The North County surf community came together to honor one of their own. 

Pro longboard-surfing champion Chris Olivas was killed in a car crash in June and Sunday dozens celebrated his life. 

In Oceanside, the crowd gathered to honor Olivas. 

"We're here to say 'goodbye' to not just one of the best surfers in the world, but an amazing person," said one friend. 

Another longtime friend led a prayer. 

"He's taken a journey before us," said Chris Aarons, a friend of Olivas. 

It was on June 19, when Olivas, was driving from Fallbrook around 4 p.m., when another driver on the opposite side crossed the center divide, crashing head-on into Olivas' car.  

He died on scene at 55 years old. 

"I loved Chris. I'm going to miss him so much," said another friend. 

Some friends spoke of Olivas' future plans. 

"He was telling everybody he was going to come live on the land with me and the next week, of course, he gets killed," said longtime friend Art Comito. 

"He wasn't just a friend or an employee," said coach Pat Weber. "He worked for me as a surf instructor at the San Diego Surfing Academy and he was adored." 

Growing up in Newport Beach, Olivas' sister says her family won't be the same. 

"He loved life and I think he's looking down on us and he's very thankful for everyone here," said Delia Olivas-Comito.  

There was a sign at the tribute saying "Chris Olivas forever." 

"He was comfortable in any crowd," said an old roommate Greg Thompson. "Chris was also quite the ladies' man and would always introduce himself and kiss their hand."  

To best honor Olivas, the band of friends then grabbed their boards and took to the beach. 

The surfers lined up on the sand; some placed flowers on their boards, others threw petals off the pier. 

Then off they went, paddling out in unison. 

In the water, the 55 surfers formed a circle. 

Coming together on the waves as Olivas would've wanted. 

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