Surf World Mourns Japanese Pipeline Charger, Naohisa Ogawa

Naohisa Ogawa, a Japanese professional surfer, has died.

Ogawa was a Pipeline specialist, known for wearing a chrome helmet, which earned him the nickname, the “Silver Bullet.” And his friend – and former competitor out at Pipe – North Shore of Oahu’s Liam McNamara shared a tribute post to Ogawa.

McNamara wrote:

“Today I got the news that one of my true best friends for over 30 years has moved on! Naohisa Ogawa ‘Silver Bullet’ passed away!

“For everyone out there to know Nao was a part of the crew of goofy foot helmet wearing Japanese chargers in the late 80s early 90s and into the 2000s! Takayuki Wakita Atsushi Imamura and Naohisa Ogawa were the 3 samurai helmet wearing kamakaze pilots for a couple decades! They pushed each other to a crazy level!”

According to Japanese news sites, Ogawa was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2020. And ultimately, this is what led to the surfer’s untimely death.

In McNamara’s post, he continued:

“Small in stature but big balls and true honor and respect for everybody! Nao had a silver board and a silver helmet and became the ‘Silver Bullet.’

“Nao was the most genuine soft spoken respectful guy you would ever meet! He would also smile at you and say hi in or out of the water. He competed in the Pipeline Masters over a dozen times getting 10 point rides making a name out that heaviest wave on the planet! He was the Japanese champion of the JPSA and built a legacy that won’t be forgotten!”

And the surf world chimed in to honor their fallen brother:

“Nao time!” – Coco Ho

“Rest In Peace Pipe brother.” – Tom Carroll

“My deepest condolences to friends and family truly a warrior ultimate aloha ambassador.” – Gavin Beschen

RIP, Silver Bullet.


Don't miss another headline from SURFER! Subscribe to our newsletter and stay connected with the latest happenings in the world of surfing. We're always on the lookout for amusing, interesting and engaging surf-related videos to feature on our channels.

Whether you're a professional surfer or just an amateur, we want to see your best footage and help you share it with the world. Submit your video for a chance to be featured on SURFER and our social channels. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch high-quality surf videos.