- Category : Surfer
- Type : GE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Eden 2
Jay Moriarity (June 16, 1978–June 15, 2001) was a surfer from Santa Cruz, California. He was an accomplished surfer, waterman, and adventurer. As a surfer, he made his reputation surfing Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, California. At age 16, he was made internationally famous when his wipeout at Mavericks was caught on film and made the cover of Surfer magazine. Although a successful competitor, Jay is remembered as a soul surfer, winning many sportsmanship awards throughout his career.
Born in Georgia in 1978, Jay Moriarity and his family moved to Santa Cruz, California, soon after his birth. His father was a Green Beret parachutist and a surfer, who introduced his son to surfing when he was 9 years old. He immediately took to surfing and quickly became a respected surfer in Santa Cruz. Not limited to either a shortboard or a longboard, he was known as a versatile surfer who appreciated all aspects of surfing. This appreciation was rooted in an overall love for the ocean, seen in his accomplishments as a swimmer, paddler, diver, and fisherman. Achieving success in surfing as a youngster, he became increasingly interested in surfing Mavericks, north of Santa Cruz in Half Moon Bay. After intense physical and mental training with his mentor and close friend and Mavericks regular Frosty Hesson, he began surfing Mavericks at 16 years of age, and soon became a respected regular in the line-up.
In 2001, Moriarity co-authored a book with Chris Gallagher entitled, The Ultimate Guide to Surfing. A film, Chasing Mavericks, directed by Curtis Hanson, chronicling the life of Moriarity was released on October 26, 2012, with Jonny Weston playing the role of Moriarity. A book called Making Mavericks authored by Moriarity's mentor, Frosty Hesson, was also published in October of 2012.
Moriarity died a day before his 23rd birthday on June 15, 2001, in the Indian Ocean off the coast of the island Lohifushi in the Maldives, drowning in an apparent diving accident. In Lohifushi for an O'Neill photo shoot, he went free-diving alone but was not seen after. A search party recovered his body late Friday night. Moriarity left behind his wife Kim Moriarity.
The Jay at Mavericks Big Wave Invitational is an annual big wave surfing event, part of the Big Wave World Tour. Held at Mavericks, it is one of the most respected big wave contests in the world. The contest is held between the months of November 1–March 1, depending on conditions. By invitation-only, the contest attracts the famous big wave surfers from all over the world. Invitees are given 48 hours notice before the contest is held. Known as "The Jay," the event's name is inspired by the famous annual Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau at Waimea Bay, commonly known as "The Eddie." Moriarity also has an annual paddleboard race in his memory, the annual Jay Moriarity Paddle Race in Santa Cruz, from New Brighton Beach to Pleasure Point and back.