What Youth is an international magazine, but our roots are grounded here in Newport Beach, California. Our doors are always open for a skate on the mini ramp or a beer on a Friday night. Christian and his beautiful girlfriend, Michelle Avila, were found unresponsive last weekend at her home in Huntington Beach. We last saw them at our last skate jam a month or so ago. In love, happy and at home. His death has hit us hard. Our editorial assistant, Andeaux Borunda, was close with Christian. So we asked him to pen some words in this time of mourning. A candlelight vigil will be held at Blackies tonight, October 17th at 6 p.m. if you’d like to show your support. -WY
“It’s offshore.” I woke up, and my 13-year-old eyes were barely passed the last REM phase. It was around 5:30 AM and there was a banging at my door. My neighbor Christian Kent was there to take me out to Mags in Huntington for the first of many cold morning thumpings to come. Christian was a friend.
“Get up fucker.” Those were the words I heard waking up at my friend Andrew English’s house. It was bloody Sunday, and everyone wanted to sleep. Not for C.K. He was up before every kid on the couch and defined the phrase, first in… last out. He led. We followed.
“What can I do?” Christian was genuine, and lended a helping-hand in times of worry. In the moments when you felt like the world was spinning backwards, he would help you move forward. Needed a camera? Christian had a 35mm loaded. Need a ride? Be ready. Needed a hand? He was there.
“Hello, this is Russell Surfboards.”As the resident grom at the shop. He herded all the kids there after school to hang out and negotiated with the moms for new boards for their kids. One of the first shapes I ever bought was the Magic Marker. He was also the son of Echo Beach pioneer Nigel Kent, who helped put 54thStreet on the map. Christian demonstrated he could disappear behind the blue curtain on that thing.
“Heavy.”CK had adrenaline running through his veins. Cylinder’s was on; he was out there. Did you see that drainer? That was Christian! Who won that heat? Christian.
“Get in!” He roamed the coast in a ‘72 baby blue Volkswagen Squareback. Girls would whistle, and he would howl back. So, the thing actually solved more problems than it had. He was “The Boy.”
“Who draws the crowd and plays so loud? Baby, it’s the guitar man.”At his house he sat down and played a vintage, blonde Stratocaster whose fingers who could tell a million stories. He was the guitar man.
“Just you and me bud.” Last summer,Christian had fractured his back at 56thjust before I had surgery. So we had some down-time to sit and reminisce on the couch. We talked about the most random things at times, and his input wasn’t surprising because it was against the grain ideology. Christian was honest.
“I love you.” It was a rare three word phrase from the young gent but when he said it, he meant it. More importantly, he showed it. We love you.
“He’s gone.” On October 14, 2018 Christian Kent passed away, but his energy lives on in each one of us.We sat on the 56thStreet rocks at 1AM with a few friends. The winds began to whisper. The following morning was Santa Ana conditions (Christian’s natural element), God speaks in subtle ways. Christian is home. – Andeaux Borunda II
“Who draws the crowd
And plays so loud
Baby, it’s the guitar man
Who’s gonna steal the show
You know, baby
It’s the guitar man”
- The Guitar Man by Bread