The sport of professional surfing is grieving today after the terrible news that one of its own has lost his life.
“The body of former pro surfer Chris Brown was found washed ashore on a California beach during the weekend, police said.” No details have been released on the 48-year-old’s cause of his death, but an investigation is underway.
Brown’s body was discovered Saturday on Hendry Beach in Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Independent reported.
“It’s unclear how Brown died and his death remains under investigation, police said. Investigators haven't ruled out foul play.”
Brown was known in the surfing world since he was a teenager when he made a splash on the shores of his home town, Santa Barbara, California. He continued to shine in surfing competitions and won the amateur surfing title in 1988.
He then moved on to the Pro tour, competing in contests all over the world. In 1994 he won the Professional Surfing Association of America championship.
KSBY reports, “Brown’s pro-surfing career peaked in the early 90s, competing at the highest level, even having a signature move. ‘It’s the Chris Brown Wrap-Around,’” friend Mike Jones said.
“It would be nice to know what happened,” Jones said. “He was real healthy and seemed happy last time I saw him and it doesn’t make sense that he’s deceased now.”
After Brown hung up his surfboard, he didn’t stray too far from his beloved Pacific Ocean. He took on a career as a Sea Urchin fisherman in Santa Barbara.
Childhood friends with some of the sport’s most well-known athletes, Brown was known for his magnetic smile and his ‘can-do’ attitude.
One megastar in the surfing world, Kelly Slater, posted a touching tribute to his fallen friend:
“It’s taken me a couple days to even want to think about it. Chris Brown and I were nearly inseparable as teenagers. This guy was just such an excited, happy light in my childhood,”
Another lifelong friend and fellow surfer Keith Malloy also had some poignant words to share about his good buddy:
“We are going to miss your big smile and enthusiasm CB. I really looked up to Chris Brown as a youngster, he was one of the only guys that could beat @kellyslater in the late 80s and early 90s,” Malloy wrote. “He went on to charge Mavericks and become a Commercial fisherman... what a legend.”
Brown leaves behind one daughter, Chloe 22, who friends say was the love of his life.
Please join us in praying for Chloe and all those who are morning this terrible loss.