Contest or Surf Movie?

See if you can guess

By Stuart Cornuelle

They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and surf fans have been awfully squeaky recently about conservative, methodical contest surfing — as exciting as the Home Shopping Network on mute, some say.

In response, the Boost Mobile Surf Shwo debuted a non-traditional format at their Bondi Beach contest last week. It was almost like H-O-R-S-E or S-K-A-T-E, with surfers throwing big moves instead of wiggly safety turns to advance. Perhaps unsurprisingly, X-Men character Owen Wright won the event and 25 thousands of dollars. But his closest runner-up was none of the big-name superstars in the event — not Mick Fanning or Kelly Slater or Taj Burrow. It was 15-year-old Cooper Chapman, whose success suggested that any changes in judging criteria that award progressive surfing will probably favor the underage. This highlight clip from the Boost Mobile event plays more like the final section from a major surf flick than a beachbreak specialty contest in the Sydney suburbs. Could this be the future of the surf contest — at least for small, rampy waves? We…and Owen…and Cooper…can only hope.