The raging waters that pounded Mark Foo to death had calmed as the normally carefree surfers reflected sadly on the passing of one of their best.

A skilled big-wave rider, the 36-year-old Foo had flown from his Hawaii home to ride the fabled breakers that peak in a spot known as Maverick. One of the 20-foot waves he caught Friday turned on him, shattering his board in three pieces. One piece apparently struck him in the head, and he went under."Things are kind of somber around here, as you can imagine. Everyone's down, for sure," Darin Bingham, a surfer and co-owner of the Aqua Culture surf shop, said Monday.

"We've gotten away with it for so long, four, five years with no accidents, and maybe we've gotten callous to how close the dangers are," said Jeff Clark, a friend of Foo who helped popularize Maverick as a top big-wave spot. "We don't realize it's a split second away."

Known for its annual pumpkin festival, seaside horseback riding trails and Christmas tree farms, Half Moon Bay, 22 miles south of San Francisco, has also etched its place in surfing lore over the years. Tragedy now becomes part of that myth.

"Now, this place will always be associated with Mark's death," said Clark.

"No one's ever going to forget it, at least surfers won't," said Aqua Culture co-owner Tony Canadas.

Maverick's extraordinary waves, which break just offshore, are the product of slow-moving storms and high winds that start in the open ocean and build size and strength as they roll toward shore. They can tower 40 feet to 50 feet above the water's surface.

In a related incident, waves caused by the same storm that killed Foo capsized an inflatable raft during a pleasure ride Monday, killing a woman and her 10-year-old son.

The other three people in the 10-foot raft were rescued after the accident. Two were unhurt; one man suffered mild hypothermia.