Brock Little: a great surfer and a fantastic friend

Brock Little has passed away quietly amongst family and friends after a short battle against cancer. He was 48.

Little was born in Napa, California, in 1967, but at the age of three, he was already living with his family in Hawaii. At only seven, he started riding his first waves.

In 1980, Brock reached the final of the United States Surfing Championships, in the Menehune division. A new talent was emerging in Hawaii and, when he hit 19, Little placed fourth in the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau. Four years later, he was runner-up.

Brock Little's laid-back style was contagious. Even when Waimea was firing 20-foot surf. The Californian-Hawaiian gentleman traveled the world, and got his fair share of magazine covers, as well numerous appearances in surf movies and high-end surf videos.

"People ask me what I do for a living, and I do nothing. I pick up a check in the mail and go surfing. And when the waves aren't good in Hawaii, somebody pays me to surf somewhere else," he once told Interview magazine.

Brock Little: that wave at the 1990 Eddie | Photo: Scott Wiener

Brock Little wrote articles for surf magazine and inspired new generations of Hawaiian chargers, including Shane Dorian and Todd Chesser. He has been featured in "Amazing Surf Stories," "The Endless Summer II," "In God's Hands," and in many other surf films.

On December 23rd, 1994, Little was catching 15-foot bombs at Mavericks, in Northern California, alongside Mark Foo and Mark Parsons. Suddenly, Foo wipes out and drowns. Brock and Mark - not knowing what had happened - took on the following wave and also wiped out. But they survived.

"I had a great chat with him just last week over the phone about life and all the things we go through. Brock was straight down the line with everything and very honest," underlined Mick Fanning.

"A trait that I respected and admire. On top of that Brock was fearless in the water and inspired so many of the world's surfers. Love light and prayers to the Little Ohana."

Brock Little had an infectious smile with which he made many friends and fans. For him, big wave surfing was all about having fun. "My brother, my hero, the one I looked up to all my life, passed away today. Love you, Brock," expressed Clark Little.


"Brock Little... Larger than life to me. The world I know will never be the same. I love you, man. Thank you," added Kelly Slater.

The reactions to the disappearance of the Hawaiian legend rapidly invaded social media. Mark Healey says he learned a lot from Brock's experience.

"Hard to believe a person that is so much larger than life, is gone. His surfing in the 1990 Eddie was literally what made me want to be a big wave surfer as a kid. There was something so undeniably raw and true about his relationship with big water that it rang true to me even as a child," revealed Mark Healey.

"Years later, I would get to know Brock, and he helped me get into stunt work. He epitomized 'less talk, more action,' a trait that seems to have become harder and harder to come across these days. Thank you for blazing the way and taking big wave surfing a quantum leap forward. Thank you for the example and the sharing of knowledge."

Less than 24 hours before his passing, Brock Little wrote: "Lucky to be surrounded by love." Yes, that's all that matters.