On December 23, 1994, Foo died in a surfing accident at Mavericks, a big wave surf location in Half Moon Bay, Northern California. Surfer magazine wrote that Foo was sleep deprived after arriving in California on an overnight flight for the swell. During take-off on a wave estimated at 18–20 feet (Hawaiian scale), Foo experienced a seemingly innocuous wipeout which resulted in his drowning. The fateful wipeout was photographed from at least two angles, and shows him falling forward near the bottom of the wave. The most popular presumption is that Foo's surf leash had become entangled on the rocks, with the rushing currents of a second wave passing overhead preventing him disengaging his ankle strap and getting to the surface. This theory was further validated when professional surfer Mike Parsons, who wiped out on the following wave, said that he came into contact with something, possibly Foo, as he was tumbled around underwater. His body was discovered still tied to the broken tail section of his board, inside Pillar Point lagoon, over two hours later. Foo's death shook the big wave surfing community. On December 30, over 700 people arrived at Waimea Bay in Hawaii for his funeral. Approximately 150 surfers paddled into the Bay and formed a large circle. One of the participants, who was carrying a container with Foo's ashes, paddled into the center of the circle and placed the ashes into the ocean. A segment of the film Riding Giants documented Foo's death at Mavericks.