The body of former pro surfer Chris Brown was found washed ashore on a California beach during the weekend, police said.
Brown’s body was discovered Saturday on Hendry Beach in Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Independent reported. It’s unclear how Brown died and his death remains under investigation, police said. Investigators haven’t ruled out foul play.
Kelly Slater, one of the sport’s most well-known athletes, posted a tribute to the 48-year-old surfer on Instagram after learning about his death.
“It’s taken me a couple days to even want to think about it. Chris Brown and I were nearly inseparable as teenagers. This guy was just such an excited, happy light in my childhood,” Slater wrote as part of a long message.
Keith Malloy, another fellow surfer, also posted about Brown.
“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,” Malloy wrote. “He went on to charge Mavericks and become a Commercial fishermen… what a legend.”
Brown hit the surfing scene as a teenager in Santa Barbara and went on to compete in professional surfing competitions around the world, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
He won the amateur surfing title in 1988 and the Professional Surfing Association of America championship in 1994.