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Surf board auctioned for $60K, surfer donates proceeds to fight cancer

A local big wave surfer put a surfboard for auction that raised over $60,000 in the fight against cancer.

SAN DIEGO — A local big wave surfer in San Diego put a surfboard for auction that raised over $60,000 in the fight against cancer. The Luau and Legends of Surfing Invitational held their big fundraiser down at La Jolla Shores in late August and 

JoJo Roper is one of the Legends that surfed in the event. Now, at 33-years- old he's known for riding wave taller than five-story buildings. Roper put one of those surfboards up for auction, but what made this board so special is who helped with the artwork.

"We just painted everybody's hands to be part of it, and to surf with all these Patients, Doctors, and Nurses... To be part of the Big Wave journey. Going to this event since I was a little kid and knowing it benefits Cancer research, it's been something special to me since I was a little kid," Roper said. 

And like the patients, the surfboard and Roper have been tested.

"The board survived one of the worst wipeouts of my life at the JAWS event Maui two to three years ago. I fell down a 50' wave and came up expecting the worst possible outcome and the board was right there."

It's also been there for the best at Maverick at Half Moon Bay.

"I got a wave off the 2nd reef on the outside that came through the main bowl at Maverick, probably one of the top 2 biggest waves I've surfed out there," Roper said.

After three years of riding the board in giant waves, having it get lost at sea, Roper retired the board to fight Cancer.

"It started auctioning off at $10,000, $12k, $15k, I'm in tears. That board raised $61,000 for cancer research, I was in tears, I was so happy, it was amazing."

Roper believes the Surfboard symbolizes so much more than just riding big waves.

"It's touched by so many; it's survived horrible wipeouts, lost at sea for 3 days at Mavericks. Like the fighters of Cancer, it's a survivor, it's a fighter, its gone through it all," Roper said.

And if the name Roper sounds familiar JoJo's Dad is Joe Roper, Pipeline specialist and Big Rock rider. JoJo says the next challenge is to ride bigger waves on a board for a bigger payback.

WATCH RELATED: California surf culture: New book looks at the life of early 1900s legend George Freeth


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