He was born in 1959 as Montgomery Ernest Thomas Kaluhiokalani, but we knew him as “Buttons.” And we knew that grin. That afro. That flare in the water that inspired us to go switch, carve 360s, be spontaneous and most importantly, to lighten the f–k up. Because surfing, and life, is about having fun. Today we mourn the loss of a legend, who passed this morning at the age of 54 after a battle with lung cancer. If you’re young, too young to have Buttons inspire you directly, rest assured he influenced your heroes. Below are a few videos to remember the good times, and we hope that during your next surf you’ll be wearing a smile and going switch in Buttons’ honor.
Check back in the coming days as SURFING remembers one of the most influential surfers of all time.