Imagen de tributo a Chris Brown
Una de las imágenes publicadas por el legendario Kelly Slater para rendir tributo a su amigo. Instagram @kellyslater

El mundo del surf llora la pérdida de una de sus mayores leyendas. El estadounidense Chris Brown, conocido por ser un icono de las olas en las últimas décadas, murió a finales de enero a los 48 años tras caerse por un acantilado cuando estaba drogado.

Su pérdida consternó a profesionales y aficionados por igual. Uno de los mensajes más emotivos fue el del 11 veces campeón del mundo Kelly Slater, que publicó de varias fotos de su infancia junto a Brown y un vídeo en blanco y negro que rinde tributo a su amigo, a quien se ve sonriendo en un primer plano y surcando una ola.

“Me tomó un par de días poder siquiera pensar en ello. Chris Brown y yo éramos casi inseparables desde adolescentes”, asegura Slater, que rememora sus aventuras juntos en México, Australia, Inglaterra, Puerto Rico, Hawai “y más allá con Chris y su padre”.

También recuerda que “fue muy emocionante ser de la costa este, conocer a Chris y luego conocer a la familia de las Islas del Canal. Fue realmente un cambio de vida para mí. Chris surfeaba como Tom Curren. Verías el linaje en cada ola que montó y estar alrededor de ese estilo cuando era niño fue muy inspirador”.

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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. He introduced me to #AlMerrick and @cisurfboards. My brother and I stayed with Chris and his family on the Mesa in SB a couple summers and traveled to Mexico, Australia, England, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and beyond with Chris and his dad, Dave. We used to sit in his house and just goof off all day listening to his brother play every heavy metal song we knew on his guitar. The day I got my first Al shape when I was 16, Chris and I drove back and forth twice in the same day to Lompoc to surf cause SB had no waves. We’d listen to GnR in his brown truck. He used to mess with #JoshBradury when Josh would follow us in his car by waiting at a turn signal, pretending his car had something wrong with it, even getting out to check the engine, until the light was very yellow and then jump in and take off, leaving Josh stuck for another light! Haha. Chris and I shaped a board together in his parent’s backyard, each shaping a rail. Being from the east coast and riding @matt_kechele shapes, I had thick, rounded rails while Chris had been schooled on the finer, precision rails that worked well at Rincon. When we finally felt the board we laughed and decided we had to have Chris reshape mine down to feel like his rail. He actually won a #PSAA event on that board cause Al was gone for a month somewhere and he had broken his favorite board. I felt a huge sense of pride that he had competed on that thing. Chris, Sean, and I made ourselves wooden boards to ride the ice plant down the Mesa in front of his house. I guess the waves were so flat all summer we had no better ideas. We would skate down the steep hills to the Channel Islands shop to pass time when there was nothing else to do. It was so exciting being from the east coast, knowing Chris, and then getting to know the Channel Islands family. It was truly life changing for me. Chris surfed like Tom Curren (@curfuffle). You would see the lineage in every wave he rode and being around that style as a kid was so inspiring.... #YeahChris!

Una publicación compartida de Kelly Slater (@kellyslater) el22 Ene, 2019 a las 11:00 PST

La Policía de Santa Bárbara afirmó que "Chris Brown murió ahogado tras sufrir un fuerte golpe contra las rocas al precipitarse desde un acantilado" y descartó que pudiera haber otra persona implicada en el accidente. También confirmó que el surfista se encontraba bajo los efectos de las drogas cuando cayó: "Los informes de toxicología muestran que en el momento del accidente estaba bajo los efectos de un alto nivel de metanfetamina".