Body Found Below Douglas Preserve Identified as Local Surfer
Former professional surfer Chris Brown (courtesy photo)
By edhat staff
The body of a man found below the Douglas Preserve on January 19 has been identified as local fisherman and former professional surfer Chris Brown. He was 48 years old.
Edhat's Roger the Scanner Guy first reported emergency personnel was on the scene around noon near Hendry's Beach after the body was discovered with unknown circumstances.
The Santa Barbara Police Department is investigating the cause of death and no further information is available at this time.
Brown was born and raised in Santa Barbara and quickly became well-known in the surfing community by winning the juniors division of the 1988 World Amateur Surfing Championships at just 17-years-old, reports Surfline.
After going professional in the 1990s, Brown won the Professional Surfing Association of America Championship in 1994.
Brown is survived by his wife and 22-year-old daughter Chloe. A GoFundMe donation page has been created to support Chloe who just graduated from USC with a degree in Neuroscience and Art.
“[He] had the biggest smile you will ever see which was infections. He was well accredited pro smiling surfer with many accolades, the most important being a father to his beautiful daughter,” the page reads.
Fellow surfers and locals have posted tributes to Brown on social media.
View this post on Instagram
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. He introduced me to #AlMerrick and @cisurfboards. My brother and I stayed with Chris and his family on the Mesa in SB a couple summers and traveled to Mexico, Australia, England, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and beyond with Chris and his dad, Dave. We used to sit in his house and just goof off all day listening to his brother play every heavy metal song we knew on his guitar. The day I got my first Al shape when I was 16, Chris and I drove back and forth twice in the same day to Lompoc to surf cause SB had no waves. We’d listen to GnR in his brown truck. He used to mess with #JoshBradury when Josh would follow us in his car by waiting at a turn signal, pretending his car had something wrong with it, even getting out to check the engine, until the light was very yellow and then jump in and take off, leaving Josh stuck for another light! Haha. Chris and I shaped a board together in his parent’s backyard, each shaping a rail. Being from the east coast and riding @matt_kechele shapes, I had thick, rounded rails while Chris had been schooled on the finer, precision rails that worked well at Rincon. When we finally felt the board we laughed and decided we had to have Chris reshape mine down to feel like his rail. He actually won a #PSAA event on that board cause Al was gone for a month somewhere and he had broken his favorite board. I felt a huge sense of pride that he had competed on that thing. Chris, Sean, and I made ourselves wooden boards to ride the ice plant down the Mesa in front of his house. I guess the waves were so flat all summer we had no better ideas. We would skate down the steep hills to the Channel Islands shop to pass time when there was nothing else to do. It was so exciting being from the east coast, knowing Chris, and then getting to know the Channel Islands family. It was truly life changing for me. Chris surfed like Tom Curren (@curfuffle). You would see the lineage in every wave he rode and being around that style as a kid was so inspiring.... #YeahChris!
View this post on Instagram
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. He went on to charge Mavericks and become a Commercial fishermen... what a legend. Thanks for your friendship over the years Brahda. Ps. I have no details on what happened.
A memorial service and paddle out will be held at 10 a.m. Feb. 16 at Calvary Chapel, 1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez in Santa Barbara. A paddle out will be held at the end of the sandpit at the Santa Barbara Harbor following the memorial service.