Chris Brown Memorial
On February 16th, last Saturday, stories were shared and tears were shed at the memorial for local idol, Chris Brown. A professional surfer, Chris Brown died January 19 at age 48. A funeral was held at Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara followed by a widely attended paddle-out located in the Santa Barbara Harbor.
A well known surfer within the surfing community, Chris “Brownie” Brown was a professional surfer for about 15 years in the 80s and ’90s. He competed in the professional surfing circuit. After retiring, he was a commercial urchin diver while still sharing his love for the sport in his free time. He touched the hearts of hundreds of people throughout his life.
Friends and family were alarmed by the news of Brown’s passing.While it is still under investigation, it is suspected he fell off the cliffs surrounding Hendry’s beach and drowned. His life was celebrated by the community as a whole for a man who changed the lives of those around him. He was a role model for everyone in the surfing community as well as a local idol and hero.
Almost 1,400 people showed up to the paddle-out. Attended by many famous influencers in the surfing community, including 11 time world champion Kelly Slater and Britt Merrick of Channel Islands Surfboards.
“Celebrating #ChrisBrown’s life today.” posted Kelly Slater on his instagram, “Ran into so many old names. A beautiful send off for a one-of-a-kind friend of ours.”
The paddle-out was held at the popular surf spot off the breakwater outside the Santa Barbara harbor known as Sandspit. The group formed a giant ring off the coast, surrounded by many diving boats and harbor patrol, while many more viewed from the nearby pier of Stearns Wharf. They honored Brown’s life and memory.
“We are going to miss your big smile and enthusiasm CB,” Keith Malloy, pro surfer, posted on Instagram. “I really looked up to Chris Brown as a youngster, he was one of the only guys that could beat Kelly Slater in the late ’80s and early ’90s. He went on to charge Maverick’s and become a commercial fishermen…what a legend. Thanks for your friendship over the years Brahda.”
Brown’s daughter Chloë, age 22, his wife Jane and his father Dave, helped to run the service and spread Brown’s ashes surrounded by people who loved him, returning him to the ocean, which he loved.