Surfing Heritage Foundation (Essay)

A couple of months ago I went with a large group to the Surfing Heritage Foundation and really enjoyed seeing their collection of vintage surfboards, paddleboards, and other surf memorabilia. As I made my way through the exhibit, I was excited to come across several surfboards that were either shaped or donated by Bob Cooper. Bob is my mom's first cousin, and growing up I always heard about my mom's famous cousin Bob. He moved to Australia many years ago, and I only remember meeting him once when he came here to the States to visit about 25 years ago. It was interesting to see the old surfboards that he collected over the years, that I'm sure would have been considered retro boards back when he got his hands on them. I was most interested in the Blue Machine, which is a 9' 5" big blue board that was shaped by Bob while he was living in Santa Barbara. When I read the plaque next to the Blue Machine, I noticed it was shaped with an asymmetrical fin set-up, and I was a little tempted to steal it, just to take it out for a few waves. I thought about it, and figured I wouldn't get too far trying to run out the front door with a bright blue long board that weighs 25 pounds. I took several pictures of Bob's boards and showed them off to my brothers who were stoked to see these old boards. I live right here in San Clemente and had no idea this incredible collection of surf history was just a couple of miles away from my house. About a year ago I came into contact with Bob's son who lives in Australia, but travels here to the U.S. for work quite often. Next time he comes out to Southern California, I'll be sure to bring him by the Surfing Heritage Foundation to check out Bob's old boards.