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Shawn Barney
Artist, aerialist, adventurer, anarchist and pioneering member of the Santa Cruz “vermin” crew of the 1990s, Shawn “Barney” Barron was a classic Santa Cruz guy, versatile from two-foot off the Point at Steamer Lane, to 20-foot-plus at Mavericks. His wetsuits were colorful and flamboyant, his surfing was colorful and flamboyant, his artwork was colorful and flamboyant. At 18 Barney won the first aerials-only contest held in Santa Cruz in 1996, and through the 1990s he was one of the most innovative surfers in Santa Cruz and the world. His surfing was featured in videos like The Kill 4 and Westsiders. Barney lived for helping others. He gifted countless personalized paintings, and volunteered for years with the Mauli Ola Fountation and Operation Surf. Barney was all heart, but his family had a history of heart problems and in May of 2015, Barney died of a heart attack. The mayor of Santa Cruz proclaimed May 5 as Shawn “Barney” Barron day, or "Cinco de Barney."