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Former pro surfer found dead at Santa Barbara beach

Posted at 1:52 PM, Jan 21, 2019

Authorities have identified the man whose body was found at a Santa Barbara beach over the weekend as former pro-surfer Chris Brown.

The 48-year-old’s body was discovered Saturday afternoon about a mile from Hendry’s Beach, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Friends say Brown was a talented surfer with a personality that outshined his skills on the water.

“Chris didn’t have any fear at all. He was always just like, ‘no we’re going out there, let’s do this,’ doesn’t matter how big it was,” recalled Mike Jones. “I know he’s been on the cover for Mavericks, surfing 50, 60-foot waves towing out at Mavs.”

Brown’s pro-surfing career peaked in the early 90s, competing at the highest level, even having a signature move.

“It’s the Chris Brown Wrap-Around,” Jones said.

Photo: Mike Jones
Photo courtesy Mike Jones


Brown was known to have a lot of flare while surfing, but that’s not the reason he was loved by so many.

“He was always stoked, his laugh and everything, it’s kind of an infectious vibe he had around people. He always had a smile on his face,” Jones remembered.

After his professional career, Brown became a sea urchin fisherman in Santa Barbara. He reportedly leaves behind a daughter.

“It would be nice to know what happened,” Jones said. “He was real healthy and seemed happy last time I saw him and it doesn’t make sense that he’s deceased now.”

The police department has said investigators are working to determine Brown’s exact cause of death and have not ruled out foul play.

Previous coverage:
Santa Barbara police release more information about body found near Hendry’s Beach
Man’s body discovered near Hendry’s Beach in Santa Barbara