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Buzzy Kerbox

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Burton "Buzzy" Kerbox (born 1956) is an American surfer, photographer and model. He is best known for co-developing tow-in surfing with Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama, and a handful of other surfers in the mid-1990s.

Buzzy Kerbox
Burton Kerbox

1956 (age 67–68)
Occupation(s)Surfer, photographer, model
  • Kirstin Kerbox
  • Barbara Kraft

Early life


Kerbox was born in 1956 in Indianapolis, Indiana. His family moved to Kailua, in eastern Oahu, in 1965.

Surfing renown


Shortly after having moved to Hawaii, in 1966, Kerbox began surfing. He was ranked in the top ten in 1977, 1978 and 1980. He won the 1978 World Cup at Sunset Beach and the 1980 Surfabout in Sydney. His development of tow-in surfing, along with fellow surfers such as Dave Kalama and Laird Hamilton, paved the way for surfers worldwide to catch waves which were previously thought to be out of reach, either because they were far from natural breaks like beaches and coasts or because they were too big. The first few tow-in sessions were done using Kerbox's 15-foot Zodiac motorboat. In more recent years, Kerbox has been an advocate for standup paddle boarding, also known as SUP.

Tow-in surfing


Surfers are towed out to a breaking wave via a PWC (personal watercraft, such as a Jet Ski) or a helicopter. The surfer holds a line attached to the motorized vehicle. They are then set into place, at which point they drop the line and surf the wave. Prior to the development of the tow-in method, surfers were generally unable to catch waves topping more than 20 feet. With the advent of the tow-in method, surfers were able to catch waves two and three times that height. Driver and surfer typically trade roles during a surfing session. Tow-in is thought to have revolutionized big wave surfing. Kerbox and other professional surfers were featured in Susan Casey's 2011 non-fiction volume The Wave.[1]

Modeling career


In 1977, famed photographer Bruce Weber saw a photograph of Kerbox in a surfing magazine and persuaded him to come to New York City to try his hand at modeling. Kerbox subsequently modeled in major national advertising campaigns for Levi's, Ralph Lauren, and United Airlines.

Personal life


Kerbox has three sons with his ex-wife Kirstin Kerbox.[2][3] He is married to Barbara Kraft.[4]


  1. ^ Susan Casey (September 14, 2010). The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-0-307-71583-8.
  2. ^ "RL Mag - At Home With … Buzzy Kerbox". www.ralphlauren.com. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  3. ^ "Kody Kerbox SUP Hawaii USA". XTREMESPOTS.COM. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  4. ^ "Buzzy Kerbox is "Making Waves"". Surfer Today. February 14, 2020.