Chris Brown, 48, passes away

January 21, 2019 | Surfing
Chris Brown: a cool and talented surfer

Former pro surfer and big wave rider, Chris Brown, has passed away in Santa Barbara, California.

According to local reports, his body was found outside the shoreline, near Hendry's Beach. Brown may have fallen off the nearby cliffs.

Chris Brown was born in Los Angeles on October 12, 1970. He began to impress at Rincon when he was still a junior surfer. At the age of 15, he was already being called "the next Tom Curren."

Brown competed at the highest level between 1990 and 1995. In 1993, his best year, he finished 23rd.

"Chris Brown and I were nearly inseparable as teenagers. This guy was just such an excited, happy light in my childhood. Chris surfed like Tom Curren, and being around that style as a kid was so inspiring," revealed Kelly Slater.

A colorful, and enthusiastic character, Chris "Wraparound" Brown was a fast, innovative and creative surfer that could easily conquer a legion of young and old fans.

But he was not shaped to be a classic pro surfer. Brown didn't fit with the stereotype of the Championship Tour (CT) campaigner. He was a free-spirited athlete.

"Nobody surfed as good as him - his turns, his speed, his style, it was amazing to capture. He was such a hero to me," said filmmaker Joshua Pomer.

"He was an amazingly loving father. When Chris was teaching his daughter, he was prouder and happier than winning any surf contest or getting any surf contract."

He was crowned Professional Surfing Association of America (PSAA) champion in 1994, won the Hawaiian Pro Surf Championship, and became one of Lower Trestle's first legends.

In the early 2000s, Chris "Wraparound" Brown divided his time between tow-in surfing at Shark Park and Mavericks, and his side activity as commercial urchin diver.

"Brownie" will always be remembered for being one of the few surfers who could beat Kelly Slater in the 1990s. He is survived by his daughter and wife.

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