They walked silently to the water, holding flowers in tribute to a friend who loved to surf.
Led by Alex Capozza's father and closest friends, the paddlers chanted his name five times.
The 17-year-old Torrey Pines High School student was killed in a crash on Sunday, October 4 when the Mazda he was riding in rolled over several times. The 17-year-old driver was arrested for felony DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter.
“I was so proud of these kids for coming together as a community and honoring this boy the way that they did, it was really a beautiful thing,” he said. “Obviously this was a tragic, horrible thing that happened, and it does happen, but there’s so many young people here who want to step up and understand, and have some responsibility.”
The surfers formed a circle where they had a chance to share their memories before throwing flowers into the middle of the circle. Britt Galland, who has experience in the tradition led the group.
“It’s an age-old tradition in Hawaii for departed Polynesian kings, Alex’s effect on this community and all of his friends and the students was apparent and we decided he deserved nothing less than a king’s send off” he explained.
Not everyone got in the cold water, but fellow students, friends and community members lined the beach to watch the paddle out.
“It takes a full community to put something like this on as a tribute to someone that was as loved in the community as Alex,” Jen Grove said.
A memorial service is going to be held on Monday, October 12, after school at Powerhouse Park.