He and LB would come over to the mainland and hang out in Solana Beach when Ben Aipa came to shape boards at SNI. There was always a buzz in the air people talking about seeing Buttons or Larry surfing somewhere. Never saw buttons in action but did see LB one day at Blacks. It was not a great day just average California waves. It was a jaw dropping experience to see what he could do with the less then stellar surf. Those two defined an era, a time and show all of us the future of Surfing. Sharkcountry, I'm sure just competing against buttons would have made you a better surfer.
According to Mikki Dora Malibu went to the Dogs in 1964. The Chumash Indians will tell you it was 1664.
Buttons had his shortcomings, but he had a generous heaping of aloha. Early on people took advantage of this for whatever reason, and the "cool" guys introduced him to drugs; what a shame. Back in the day everone wanted to be his friend because he was the man. A few of my friends have been calling sharing their own Buttons stories, and over all, there is a deep regret and loss over such a wonderous person. Buttons defined radical surfing.
Buttons defined radical surfing.
Truer words could not be spoken.
Surfboards made by hand. Not machine.
Rest in peace Buttons...a true Hawaiian.Thanks brah, for saving my board at Rocky Pt. from imminent destruction when my leash broke. Its amazing that most of his groundbreaking surfing was done in the late 70s on single fins.
"Its not rocket science..."
wow what an amazing tallent he was
the definition of stylist - Buttons was so smooth and spontaneous, radical and so fun to watch - I like you Barry, copied him over and over again on my skatebard! - what a temendous athelete, so sorry to see him gone, our sport owes him so much - for me the best part was he always made it look so fun! - rest in peace
the progression of undefinable(at the time) high performance
Dewey Webber>Paul Strauch>Jock Sutherland>Reno Abeillera>Larry Bertlemann>Buttons>? (Dane?) (Craig Anderson?)
But for me
it was more like the speed/power/collness styles of
Phil>Joey Cabell>BK>Terry Fitzgerald
The greatest thing about buttons was that he never lost his aloha and his smile no matter what he went thru
He was never bitter
just like Rell
their smiles could kill everything bad in the world at that and that place you encountered it.
There are many more hawaiians as talented buttons out there
some get the limelight like Russ K
some don't like a little kid named Corey who surfed just as well
with anything on anything
but its the smile and the heart felt aloha
that made buttons and rell special to everyone they met
"ain't no big ting brudda"
Having been lucky enough to live across Kam Hwy from Sunset, I ran into Buttons semi-regularly. He always seemed to be going ninety miles an hour in or out of the water. In a small circle of guys I was known as the "effing redhead" from almost dropping on a certain Mr. Foster and he looked back and said it as he went by. It immediately made me laugh and became a joke with them all. Buttons never called me that though I never was offended. He called me Kimo, the Hawaiian version of my name. For some reason he treated me as an equal at the point. With friends like him I'll forever remember true Aloha. Learning of his passing takes a piece away.
Aloha, ho'opili Buttons. See you on the other side.
Foamdust, Thank you for posting that video. I watched the whole thing with tears in my eyes. It turned me into a puddle.
I wish we were all wise enough to realize the import of his words, "Life is Short". "Stay close to your loved ones".
I'm of the age that Button's was one of the guys who' pictures lined my walls in high school. A few years later, in the mid '80's, I had the good fortune to meet him in Waikiki, and watch him surf Kaiser's bowl/the long shot... He was wearing a baseball hat long before I saw anyone else do it, and he was, as they were saying, "Go fuh broke," radical moves, most of which he wasn't making, but when he did, everyone in the water was going nuts... His whole story... Ah life...