A.J. Collins told The Orange County Register his father died Monday afternoon at a tennis club in Newport, Calif. Collins was 59.
Collins, a surfer, had no formal training in meteorology or the study of ocean currents and wave patterns. He became an expert observer while sailing with his father.
At first, Collins gave advice to his friends on which beaches to hit for the best waves. When he realized he was getting phone calls from strangers in the early 1980s, he founded Surfline as a telephone service, working with Southern California businessmen.
Peter "P.T." Townsend, the first world champion surfer, told the Register the staff at Surfing Magazine were not sure what to think when Collins first pitched his idea.
"We were all going, 'We don't know if that will ever work.' And now look at us. It's the No. 1 communication to our world," he said.
"We've all ridden more waves because of Sean Collins. It's that simple."
Collins was inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame in 2008.
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