Remembering Bud Browne

posted by / News / July 30, 2008

Bud “Barracuda” Browne (1912-2008) – Perhaps the greatest pioneer and ambassador the surfing world has ever seen, Bud Browne passed away at the age of 96. Browne’s passing is tragic but his life will forever ring one of the most inspirational. Talk about living life to the fullest, Browne did it all. From gnarly wedge beat-downs to sacrificial smashings at Pipeline, Browne showed the world how to take the camera off the beach and into the water and did it with more style than Rasta on a single fin. Here are some tidbits to ease the pain and raise awareness of Browne’s bad-ass life: Bud Could: Outswim everybody, he was the captain of the USC swim team and took his talent from pool to the ocean, becoming a Venice beach lifeguard and learning to surf. Bud Could: Bodysurf the wedge. In the 60s, he was one of the best. Bud Could: Kick anyone’s ass. He spent time in the Navy following his college years at USC and came back with a new drive that would propel him through his groundbreaking career. Bud Could: Live with the crazy surfers he filmed. Bud called the shots and nobody argued. Bud Could: Introduce his first film, “Hawaiian Surfing Movies” in 1953 to the small audience at John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica and then narrate it via microphone and a taped musical soundtrack behind stage. Bud Could: Crank out quality films like nobody else. Between ’53 and ’64 Bud released a film every year. They all rocked, highlighting longboard legends Phil Edwards, Miki Dora and Dewey Webber as well as shortboard soon-to-bes, David Nuuhiwa and Gerry Lopez. Bud Could: Take heavier big wave beatings than the big wave surfers he was filming. He captured the first water shots of many of the heaviest North Shore breaks, including Pipe with homemade waterproof housings. Bud Could: Get run over by Corky Carroll in the barrel at Pipeline and live to laugh about it. Bud Could: Inspire future greats, such as Bruce Brown, Greg Noll and John Severson, setting the tempo and guaranteeing quality to come. Bud Could: Bungee jump at the age of 86 without breaking a sweat. Bud Could: Live four years shy of a century. RIP Bud.

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