While competing in a standup paddleboard race Sunday, glasser/shaper Steve Adler stopped 40 yards before the finish due to chest pains.
He got himself checked, took the doctor's advice to take it easy for awhile and then went about his business at the Westminster shaping factory he shared with Tim Stamps.
It is there 41-year-old Adler passed away Thursday of a possible heart attack.
Surfline has the details:
"He was checked out, and everyone just thought he was dehydrated and overworked," explained business partner and friend Jodie Nelson, who was also at the race.
Adler went to a doctor who told him to take it easy, which he did all week. On Thursday afternoon, he was glassing a board and called out to partner Tim Stamps in the front room before collapsing. Stamps called 911 and the paramedics administered adrenalin shots to his heart and revived him slightly, but he passed away in the ambulance.
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An autopsy is forthcoming, but it's believed to be either a heart attack or aneurism. "It was really, really unexpected," continued Nelson. "He was in the best shape of his life. He'd lost 40 pounds this year from standup paddleboard racing and was number two in the SoCal paddleboard race circuit."
Adler was 18 when he started the Surfboard Factory glassing shop in Orange County in 1989. It grew into one of the busier shops in the region, glassing more than 100 boards a week for such shapers as Rusty, JC, Stamps and others.
He later sold the business and started The Surfboard Factory clothing line, which he ran for several years before selling to his licensor in Japan. Adler went from that to glassing boards for Stamps and partnering with Nelson in The Sup Spot.
He leaves behind a 13-year-old son.
Check back with Surfline for details on a memorial paddle out being planned.