Words and Photos Mez @mezapixels
In heartbreaking news last week, we were shocked and saddened to report the death of Jeff Hambrecht, in his early 40’s, who left his family, the surfing world and his many, many friends at way too young an age. Passing in his sleep, no cause of death has yet been determined.
Jeff Hambrecht and one his favorite pastimes next to gator hunting and surfing. “I just can’t say enough that Burger was a one of a kind person and there will never be another not even close in my life. His sense of humor was just so dang good you just loved it and we’ll never forgot that part of him. I know that impacted us all positively coupled with how much he did for others. He was our best friend as kids growing up surfing everything together and then he was our team guy at Rusty getting stuff done for us all the time and making sure we were covered so we could concentrate on surfing and winning heats.He will be missed terribly in all our lives”. CJ Hobgood
A bona fide, hardcore ripper himself from Central Florida, Jeff dusted a possible pro career in favor of taking on two highly successful stints with both Billabong before moving on to Rusty in team management and promotions and was a highly respected asset to both company’s as well as the many surfers under his care.
The guy could totally bring it. Hard. Jeff Hambrecht, Sebastian Inlet. “When I first met Jeff I remember it was at the ESM office on Ocean Ave. in Melbourne Beach. I think the Hobgoods brought him by and told us about how good a surfer he was. They said that he ripped and we should keep an eye on him…and we did. All the staff photographers at the time were always keen for new talent and Jeff was a fresh face who was absolutely in sync with the waves. He held his own at RC’s and Sebastian which is not an easy task. On land he was up-beat and always fun to be around. He in turn introduced us to more new talent as his job required him to do as a team manger for Rusty. Passing the torch from a new kid on the block, to seasoned ripper, to leading by example, is what stands out to me about Jeff. The surf world has lost a great person”. Tom Dugan – ESM / www.easternsurf.com Publisher / Co-Owner –
Maybe most importantly to his surfing legacy is that the smiling, good natured Hambrecht always had the backs of promising East Coast surfer’s ( and a Right Coast magazine / website ) in his heart and helped and nurtured too many careers to list here. We’ve lost another one of the good guys and our sincere, deep condolences to his family and friends and we hope this photo gallery remembrance will do his legacy as one damn good surfer and a human being proper justice. And to all those interested parties who would like to pay their respects the following is a Facebook post from Gina Hambrecht.
“Hi everyone. Thanks so much for all of the kind words and stories. We are reading them as we get through this and they help so much. It’s taken so much for me to post this but here goes…
The Celebration of Life will be 11:45am Saturday, August 7th at Discover Life Church in Melbourne, FL. It will be about an hour and a half long. It’s casual, flip flops and all. My mom doesn’t want people to wear black. There will be an opportunity for people to speak if anyone wants to just let us know. There will be a slide show if anyone wants any pictures on there please send them. We want a ballpark of how many people are coming. There will be a paddle out that weekend but his friends are planning that and we will post that info later. Love you all” – Gina Hambrecht –
Blessed with power and a great air game, the photogenic Burger was always watched closely by the photogs on the beach for moves like this and he rarely disappointed. “Jeff was another Inlet regular that stood out with powerful punctuated turns and a great style. Seems as though he could have been right in the mix making a living at just surfing like many of his close friends did had he chose. I always admired his work ethic and he was able to bridge surfing and other opportunities that came his way. Honored I got to know him better through a number of surf events we worked together. He will be dearly missed. – Matt Kechele / East Coast Surfing Hall Of Fame class of 2006 –
Like most all surfers, behind that smile lurked a merry prankster who had the gift of making people laugh and engendered a good time, especially on surf trips. “Jeff was such a dear friend and incredible host during my winter jaunts for months on end in sunny Florida. I ended up returning the favor hosting him and the boys when the Banks would turn on in fall throughout our youth! He was one of the funniest and fun humans I have ever met. One time he offered to make me a sandwich and bring it up to the surf shop. Oddly enough I accepted but, unbeknownst to me, he had crushed up 4 laxatives in it and I shit for a week. Each wipe was worth every second of hearing that distinctive chuckle from the boy. I will miss him infinitely and what an absolute LEGEND! – Jeff Myers –
Power shifting at Sebastian Inlet. “I remember that late 80’s, early 90s , Satellite Beach crew when they were just groms without drivers license’s peddling bicycles to RC’s and Pet Den. Jeremy Saukel, Burger, the ‘Goods and Justin Purser, they had a tight little posse and man did they push each other weekly it seemed. They raised the bar that decade and into the 2000’s for east coasters and helped the whole scene blow up up and down the Atlantic Seaboard. I think Jeff got a little bit lost in the shadows as CJ, Dam and the Weeze as they really went after the pro thing and were scoring contest wins and mega magazine coverage. But the kid could surf, and I mean reallly surf, and keep pace with the others and I was always stoked when he showed up because I knew A-plus photos were going to happen and he was always just an easy going, fun guy to hang with”. – Mez ESM / www.easternsurf.com webmaster Co-Owner –
Jeff slashing and tail sliding Sebastian.
First Peak banger.
Rest In Peace Jeff and we’ll see you out the back.