Every year on May 5th, local surfers in Santa Cruz, California gather at Steamer Lane to celebrate and honor the life of Shawn "Barney" Barron, a legendary surfer and artist who passed away in 2015. This year, the celebration was especially spirited, with surfers participating in push-up contests, handstands, paddle races, and big air competitions, all in the name of Barney.
At this year's celebration, the groms (young surfers) were awarded with prizes and cash for their performances. And, as always, MERGE4 socks were representing Barney, who was a big fan of the company's products. It was a day filled with surfing, BBQing, and camaraderie, as everyone came together to honor a true Santa Cruz legend.
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Local ripper Adam Barlett wowed the crowd with an unforgettable backside air, securing him the win and earning him the admiration of the cheering fans in attendance. His impressive feat was a highlight of the day and showcased the incredible talent and skill of the Santa Cruz surfing community. It was a fitting tribute to Barney, who was known for his innovative and boundary-pushing approach to surfing, and a reminder of the lasting impact he has had on the sport and the local community.
Barney was known for his colorful and flamboyant wetsuits, innovative surfing style, and artwork. He was a member of the Santa Cruz "vermin" crew in the 1990s, and his surfing was featured in videos like The Kill 4 and Westsiders. In 1996, he won the first aerials-only contest held in Santa Cruz, cementing his reputation as one of the world's most talented and innovative surfers. But Barney was more than just a surfing icon. He was also known for his generosity and his commitment to helping others. He gifted countless personalized paintings and volunteered for years with the Mauli Ola Foundation and Operation Surf. His death in 2015 was a shock to the Santa Cruz surfing community, but his legacy lives on through events like Cinco De Barney.
MERGE4 is proud to sponsor the Cinco de Barney event and honored to produce socks representing Shawn "Barney" Barron. Shawn was a true artist, aerialist, adventurer, anarchist, and friend to many, and his spirit lives on through the surfers who continue to be inspired by his legacy.