Florida's Beloved Jonny "Bucky" Barclay Has Passed Away - Stab Mag

Florida’s Beloved Jonny “Bucky” Barclay Has Passed Away

Our thoughts and condolences go out to Jonny’s loved ones.

elsewhere // Jan 29, 2021
Words by Jack Mutschler
Reading Time: 2 minutes

St. Augustine surfer and local legend Jonny “Bucky” Barclay passed away last week after a car accident. Bucky was a gem in the tight-knit North Florida community.

Renown surf photographer and childhood friend Jimmy Wilson had these words to share about Mr. Barclay:

In the early 2000s, east coast surfing hit its stride. Kelly already dominated, retired, then eventually came back to dominate again. The Hobgood and Lopez brothers were slaying on tour, and there seemed like endless waves of talent coming up through the amateur farm leagues. One of those talents was Jonny “Bucky” Barclay.

Bucky didn’t shine in a jersey but looked primed to follow the path of the east coast free surfer, paved by people like Aaron Cormican and Peter Mendia. He was sticking Gorkin Flips around his hometown before he could apply for his learner’s permit. Jonny had a natural flow on waves that looked like he was bred at six-foot points, not two-foot beach breaks.

He was also gifted out of the water, and instantly made friends with everyone he met while traveling, or at surf contests. I never once saw another grom bond with people of all ages like Jonny did, including Geoff Brack in his prime. Jonny did.

Unfortunately, in 2006 on a trip to California, his leash snapped back during a rodeo attempt. The tail of Jonny’s surfboard slammed into his face, bursting his right eye completely out of the socket. Jonny’s vision was almost 50% gone, and so was his vision of becoming the next great east coast free surfer.

Regardless, he’ll be remembered for years by surfers all around North Florida as that little blonde kid who launched rodeos and got drained on anything that remotely resembled a tube.

Ross Howatt added:

Jonny Barclay was your textbook- long blonde hair, sun freckled, little beach rat, that loved everyone. Naturally he became everyone’s little brother, and our parent’s adopted son.

His talent in the water was raw, un-coachable, stylish, and progressive. He was beyond his time.

His energy, antics, laugh, and smile were contagious. “Bucky” will forever be a surf legend in St. Augustine and the greater Florida surf community and even more so a genuine heart that will truly be missed.

Bucky is loved by many and will be dearly missed.


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