News is breaking from Santa Cruz that Shawn “Barney” Barron passed away Tuesday afternoon. Initial reports are that he suffered a heart attack, though details remain murky at the time of this post. Barney was part of a Santa Cruz vanguard that took the surf world by storm in the ’90s. A technicolor surfing dervish, Barney made a name for himself with his flamboyant wetsuits, rubber-limbed aerial approach, willingness to dance with Mavericks, and his vibrant art projects.
Fellow Santa Cruz icon Peter Mel posted a farewell to Barney on his Facebook page:
It’s been a few hours since I learned of the passing of my friend Shawn “Barney” Barron. I’ve been reminiscing of trips, parties and surfs we’ve shared. Each and every one of those memories brings a smile to my face. He was an innovator. In his surfing, his art and his personality. There’s nobody I could compare him to. I will never forget you Shawn. I’m sad today, but will always remember you with a grin. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You will always be in our hearts. Love you brother.
We’ll share more details when they’re made available.