Stab Magazine | Iconic Santa Barbaran Chris Brown Has Died

Iconic Santa Barbaran Chris Brown Has Died

The surf world mourns the loss of one of California’s most well-liked, underground ’90s stylists

news // Jan 22, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It is with heavy hearts that Stab reports that California original Chris Brown has passed away.

Details of the circumstances surrounding his death remain unknown at this time. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends at this most difficult time.

According to sources close to Brown, he was found at Henry’s Beach in Santa Barbara Saturday night, with reports of head trauma (Stab is told he was not surfing). Early reports claim he may have fallen off the cliffs above. 

Born in Los Angeles, raised on the right-points of Santa Barbara, from an early age “Brownie,” as he was known by friends, developed a flowing style that caught the attention of the surfing establishment, which went so far as to garner comparisons to Tom Curren.

You’ll recall Brown’s sage-like approach at Rincon in …Lost Across America VII, The Decline of Surfing Civilization (1:09:00).


In his prime in the mid ‘90s, Brown stood in as one of Kelly Slater’s fiercest rivals (Slater beat Brown at Lowers in 1990 at the Body Glove Surfabout, as seen in Kelly Slater in Black and White.) A star on the Bud Pro Tour, which launched the careers of many a pro surfer of the era, Brown was a fierce competitor with one of the most dominant rail games. Peter “PT” Townend immortalized him on TV broadcasts with his commentary on the “Chris Brown wrap-around.”

Later in his career, Brown turned his attention to towing really big waves along the West Coast and became one of the hardcore Santa Barbara Channel sea urchin divers. 

“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,” wrote Keith Malloy on Instagram.

Stab will continue to follow this story as details emerge.



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