2020 Chris Brown Eternal Stoke Award : Tony Luna
The Chris Brown Eternal Stoke award was founded in 2019 as a way to recognize our dearly departed friend Chris Brown, and his ever present positive energy that can only be described as stoke. The CB Eternal Stoke award recognizes those in our community who embody his passion, positive energy and dedication to sharing that with others.
In 2019 Chris Brown passed and the community gathered to celebrate his life as a tribe as thousands converged on the Santa Barbara breakwater and paddled out in his honor. Within days of his passing friends of Brownie reached out and asked how we could honor him and keep his legacy going.
Long time friend of Chris and myself Tony Luna called me and we talked about creating a perpetual trophy that was specific to who Chris was and how he approached life and made others feel. Stoked. Thus, the Chris Brown Eternal Stoke award was founded with the first inductee going to his father Dave Brown who ran the WSA for years, assisted with the Christian Surfers and running bible studies, and acted as an incredible ambassador for the spirit of stoke and positive energy.
While discussing potential inductees for future years in 2019, Tony Luna remarked about how he would never be on the award because he gets crabby sometimes. A pretty classic analogy considering he has been a commercial fisherman since 89 and he is always giving 100 percent to anything he does.
The definition of stoke is, to fire up, to feed abundantly, to supply with fuel. Tony is pretty much the definition of stoke, not only for how he approaches life and his zest for surfing and the ocean, but also how he shares that passion by firing up others. He doesn’t ask or need affirmation for what he does, or how he makes others feel, the stoke is just a part of who he is and how he approaches life.
Tony first surfed Rincon in 1977 and has been a fixture in the water out there ever since. He has spent more time out there than just about anyone, married his wife Lisa on the point, and together they have raised their daughter Zoey there. Now almost 60 years old, Tony surfs like he is in his twenties, fast, precise, and vertical. Always stoked and looking at the buoys, eyeing the next swell like it was the first one he ever saw. He is the only surfer that we know who has surfed in every year of the Rincon Classic from 1979-1996 when Roger Nance and Jeff White ran it, and from 2001- 2020, the 20 year history that Chris Keet and the Surf Happens team has spear headed the event. Thats 38 years.
Tony helped to run the Western Surfing Association in the 80’s helping to mentor and grow the next generation of California surfers, and then began applying that knowledge as Beach Marshall and Water Patrol at the Rincon Classic starting in 2011. Over the last ten years he has shared his insights and expertise directly with contest director Chris Keet and is one of the behind the scenes decision makers and a part of the support team that makes the call on when to run, special awards, and more.
He has also helped administer Surf Happens events as Beach Marshall including the Coffin Brothers Surf Out, Lakey Peterson Keiki Bowl, and the Surf Happens summer Board Riders surf and skate events and at the St. Jude’s Surf Challenge raising money for kids surviving cancer.
Tony’s passion also led him to coaching and supporting local Carpinteria kids as stoked them up as their coach and mentor for the Carp Valley Girls Softball League, and the Golf and Softball clubs at Carpinteria High School. He also has an eye for art and a degree in photography from Brooks Institute that he has used as a freelance and advertising photographer for over 30 years.
He is a devoted father, husband, fisherman, surfer, and all around one of the most stoked people that you will ever meet. When he is 80 you will most likely see Tony at the Con, maybe on a slightly bigger board, and just as inspired and ripping the bags off a set wave as back in 1977 when he caught his first wave out there. Chris Brown often refereed to Tony as Ton Loke, or Big T, and loved him and often spoke of his stoke. It is with great honor that we induct Tony in 2020 as a part of Chris Browns positive legacy through the Eternal Stoke award.