Santa Cruz surf legend Jeff Spencer dies at 49

June 16, 2012 | Surfing
Jeff Spencer: Santa Cruz surfing legend | Photo: Chris Klopf

Jeff Spencer, one of the standout surfing icons of the 1980s, has been found dead at West Cliff Drive, in Santa Cruz, California. The 49-year-old surfer known for his switch-stance skills lived a troubled life of alcohol and drug abuse and wasn't able to fully recover.

Raised by his grandmother after his father died in a car accident, Jeffrey Scott Spencer was always seen as a warm and kind man. He was born on the 8th April 1963.

The Californian rider was part of the Santa Cruz generation which included Anthony Ruffo, Richard Schmidt and Vince Collier. Spencer's ambidextrous were an advantage in all kinds of waves.

He was married for 20 years with Melissa Kreger and they had two children. Jeff Spencer reconstructed an old house in which they lived in for a long time.

In 2008, they parted ways and Spencer started living in caves near the beach at Mitchell's Cove. Unfortunately, he couldn't recover from his deep problems. Jeff Spencer will always be remembered as one of the best ever surfers coming out from Santa Cruz.