Uesi Highlights Up and Down the Coast, Which 2019 CT Barrel Was Best? And Vale Bob Cooper

21 Feb 2020 3 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was February 21, 2020

1. Vale Bob Cooper

This week we say goodbye to one of the great style icons of American and Australian surfing, the legendary Bob Cooper, who passed away on Saturday surrounded by family in Noosa after a long battle with cancer.

Cooper emigrated from the Malibu to the Australian surf scene in the 1960s, where he fell in with the stars of the movement here; the Fans of Bob Cooper Surfboards Facebook page has some incredible photos of Bob and Midget waiting at Sydney Harbour for Rusty Miller to arrive by ship ("They had heard that Rusty Miller was on board so they were grabbing him off the boat to take him for a surf"). Appearing like some kind of cross-section of Ginsbergian beats of the 50s meeting the surfing movement of the early 60s, he was regarded as "the original surfing beatnik".

Andrew Crockett, author of the Switchfoot books, which have become an important historical document for our culture, wrote this on his FB Page of Cooper's importance in the forming of Australia's surf landscape:

"Arriving in Australia in 1963, Cooper was a novelty. His strong Californian accent and his connection to many of the greats in California, and his skill as a surfboard designer, afforded him an instant status as he mooched about the Sunshine Coast with crew like Hayden Kenny, Bob McTavish, Kevin Platt, Algie Grud, Russell Hughes, and the ‘other' American expat, the innovative George Greenough. Those early days on the Sunshine Coast put some serious bricks in the wall for Australian surfing history and Australia’s place in world surfing via our surfboard designs and approach to the waves… indeed it was these men that helped lay those foundations, big time."

And:

"Cooper was a beautiful surfer and while he won a comp or two, his passion was more in the lifestyle, much like his good friend Miki Dora. Cooper was well liked in Australia, I remember having lovely conversations with his friend Midget Farrelly (1944-2016) about the early days in Australia and there is no question the importance of Bob Cooper in Australia’s evolution with surfboard shaping and the lifestyle in general. Cooper’s beatnik attitude was infectious at the time."

Bob Cooper reminds me of that quote about skateboarder Jay Adams being "the original seed" – a skater whose influence reverberated throughout the culture in defining the spirit of the lifestyle. You get the feeling that Bob Cooper as "the original surfing beatnik" influenced us, generationally, in much the same way.

Personally, two things I loved about Bob Cooper were this funny, self-effacing quote, saying he was "famous in surfing for being famous; for having been around a long time; for having a beard".

And, of course, this iconic photo by Russell Hughes. Just the coolest shit ever. Rest in Peace, Bob.


2. Kirra Was on the Pump Last Week

Cyclone Uesi delivered for those Gold Coast points, but I'm sure you know that by now. Still, when Kirra lights up, those of us who didn't get out there hit play, watch, and rewatch one of our most famous waves do its thing once again.

3. This is What Cape Solander Did During the Swell

And, of course, it wasn't only the Gold Coast that received the weather that turned the ocean up to 11 – New South Wales' most famous slab also lit up. Here's how Cape Fear/Cape Solander/Ours handled Uesi:

4. North Shore Won the ABB

With the best competition format surfing has come up with since Drouyn devised the man-on-man heat format in the 70s, the tag-team event that is the Australian Boardriders Battle went down last Saturday. And Queensland club North Shore, led by the Reginato brothers, took it out in the dying seconds. 

Should we start a petition for the WSL to scrap the Red Bull Airborne events and instead run a one-day, international version of this at a bunch of CTs this year? Let's be even more bold that that! How about we scrap everything we know about professional surfing and just run a World Cup version of this format. Who's with me? No-one? Ahh well.

5. Taj Went Head-To-Toe Globe

Last week we were hit with the news that Taj Burrow would no longer be riding for career-sponsor Billabong, which is still just a really weird image to picture – a Taj board with no Billabong logo on the nose? This week Burrow again took to Instagram to announce that he would be upping his shoe sponsorship with Globe to be a head-to-toe apparel one – joining Dion Agius as the only other 100% Globe-clad surfer. Even as someone who doesn't really care about who is surfing for whom, I dig this move for Taj. Globe are a cool, smaller, well run Australian overperformer who make good stuff... and if they want to send me some clothes and shoes for writing that just now, that would be really nice of them. Thank you.

6. Seabass, Soundwaves

The happy go lucky Kauaian CTer Sebastian Ziets and his young adorable family star in an episode of WSL's candid, behind the scenes series – Soundwaves. This episode takes place during last year's Corona Open J-Bay. Gotta hate coming up against Filipe Toledo at J-Bay, don't ya?

7. 28 Minutes of Noosa During Uesi – Raw Footage

In case you were wondering how Noosa fared durfing the run of swell that hit the east coast last week, a YouTube account named "Surfing Videos" uploaded this long, unfiltered edit of Noosa going mental last week. Surfing. Videos.

8. The Best of Italo on the WSL

Like last week's upload of JJF, the WSL have grabbed the low-hanging but excellent tasting fruit, by taking every decent wave of a World Champ surfed on its tour and chucking it into one bang bang bang edit. Tell ya what, this Italo guy... he's pretty good at surfboarding. You heard it here first.

9. Koa Smith in Panama Part 2

There's a new trend popping up in the surfer YouTube vlogger world where they'll lay out in text just when exactly the surfing starts in their 15 minute videos, and boy howdy am I thankful for it. This video has Koa and his brother taking on that wild Panama wedge again, at 4.11 on the scrub, as well as some sick hollow beachies, at 8.00 on the scrub.

10. All the Best Barrels From the 2019 CT In One Place

Which is your favourite?

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone.

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