Brown, Chris


Mild-mannered pro surfer from Santa Barbara; described as a preadolescent "surfing genius," and winner of the juniors division in the 1988 World Amateur Surfing Championships. Brown was born (1970) in Los Angeles, raised in Santa Barbara, and began riding waves at age 10, taught by his father, a Santa Barbara–area surfer since the late '50s.

The smooth and flowing surf style Brown developed resembled that of three-time world champion Tom Curren, who also grew up in Santa Barbara. Raised in what Surfer magazine described as a "fervently born-again family," Brown was unhappy as a world tour rookie in 1988, and went into semiretirement at the end of the following season. He returned to the circuit in 1992 and finished the 1993 season ranked 23rd, then drifted down in the ratings and off the world tour in 1995.

Meanwhile, Brown won the Professional Surfing Association of America tour in 1994, and took individual honors in the 1996 Katin Team Challenge, held at the Huntington Pier, California. In the early-00s, Brown reinvented himself as a big-wave surfer, taking on California and Mexico's biggest, most dangerous breaks.

Brown was featured in more than two dozen surf videos, including In the Wind (1990), Cyclone Fever (1994), Bliss (1996), and Shark Park: The Heaviest Wave in California (2006).