Wade Goodall Wins 13th Annual Cosmic Creek

Wade Goodall

2012 Cosmic Creek winner Wade Goodall. Photo: Troy S.

Wade Goodall Wins 13th Annual Cosmic Creek

Riding an ancient Local Motion twin-fin surfboard shaped before he was born, Australian pro Wade Goodall side-slipped down the face of a turquoise green wave and right into a beautiful little barrel triggering a wild roar from the huge crowd on the shoreline. A Led Zeppelin tune cranked in the background and everyone was rocking and grooving. Then California’s Courtney Conlogue was suddenly up and riding, flying through sections, absolutely carving on a vintage Dick Brewer pintail, further mystifying her male counterparts. What was generating all this stoke? Where the heck were we? Was this really Orange County’s Salt Creek Park, just a week after Labor Day 2102?

If there’s one thing you can count on in South OC this time of year, it’s the eclectic annual gathering of the surf tribe at the annual Cosmic Creek, one of the most soulful events on the calendar. This year’s edition took place on September 8 & 9, and served to end the summer on a perfect note, both spiritually and musically. Cosmic Creek is far more than a surf contest, it’s a colorful festival held in tribute to the 1970s and early 1980s — surf culture’s lost era of creativity where transitional, eccentric surf craft made a crucial statement and laid a foundation for the growth of the sport and industry. In the 13 years since its creation, Cosmic Creek has become an annual tradition for upcoming locals, mythic legends, worthy charities and the local community.

Maybe it was the fun two-to-four-foot combo swell, or maybe it was watching the surfing of three-time world champion Tom Curren on a vintage board, or perhaps the chance to paint a giant mural with your kids on the beach – this year’s Cosmic Creek had it all, including a free concert with Donovan Frankenreiter on the big grassy hill overlooking the Salt Creek shoreline. This year’s Billabong Cosmic Creek was all that and a lot more, with Master of Ceremonies Greg “GT” Tomlinson keeping the crowd laughing while the classic tunes flowed through the sound system.

The Cosmic format managed to keep every age group stoked, from the pre-teen VZ Gremmies riding totally 80’s twin fins (shaped by design icons Peter Schroff and Shawn Stussy) all the way to the 50-years-plus Rolling Stones division who grooved out on some Plastic Fantastic 70’s Single fin Stingers. Where else in the world might you see Christian Fletcher on a rare Rory Russell StarBolt in the same heat as Tyler Warren on a six channel Pipedreams? Or 70s pros Paul Naude and Peter Townend doing battle on well-preserved Carl Hayward Rocket Fishes? Never would this happen in the real world of aggro contest scenes, but it is what makes the Cosmic cosmic — stars from the past, present and future all on similar orbits of positive energy. And no grouping of surfers carried more raw stoked energy than the Cosmic Children push-in heat where the under-10-year-olds went absolutely crazy in Salt Creek’s clear water to the cheers of the many spectators on hand.

It all started well over a decade ago when a tour of surfwear fabric legend Flippy Hoffman’s amazing surfboard collection triggered the idea to pay homage to all those shapers who went way outside of the box during the era of the single and twin-finned shortboard. The notion of an surfing event which would give an opportunity for anyone to try all these wonderful but forgotten designs was an immediate hit, and it has rocked on at Salt Creek ever since.

Winner Wade Goodall was stoked to try out the vintage equipment and match it with his modern take on classic moves. “Cosmic Creek was real fun,” said Woodall. “Riding all those old boards was a treat and to surf a heat with Tom Curren, Christian Fletcher and Jeff Booth was really epic. Rad day!”

Over the years, heroes of surfing from Kelly Slater to Rob Machado to Dave Rastovich to Tom Curren (and now Wade Goodall) have all walked away knowing Cosmic Creek is truly a superb way to spend the end of summer in Southern California. Even in the face of all the sport’s many changes over the decades, Cosmic fans can end the weekend enlightened, happy and most importantly rediscovering that surfing is still free and easy!

Above all, Cosmic Creek is about Community and every year it concludes with the presentation of a big check to help the OC parks budget. This year $5,000 was handed over courtesy of Subaru.

It’s a history lesson about boards and stories that were rarely heard outside our inner circle, to let kids ride groovy boards older than they are and gather the tribes young and old to swap ideas about eclectic surf craft. Cosmic Creek is the Woodstock of surf events and this year’s was dedicated to Terry Martin, Randy Sleigh and Phillip Hoffmann, three pioneers, shapers, watermen and great people recently lost by the surfing community.

The Cosmic emphasizes what the ocean does to the human spirit, the very basis of our surfing lifestyle. As the sun finally set over Salt Creek’s picturesque beach and Donavon Frankenreiter played his final song, all gave thanks to such a special weekend, the support of the locals, Billabong and all the other great sponsors. A big Mahalo to Subaru, Killer Dana, VonZipper, Sector 9, Hobie, Honolua, Verizon, Clif Bar, Clif Kids, Xcel, Surfer Magazine, Daphne’s, Chipotle, Nalu’s and especially — the mom’s and dads of the “Cosmic Children”!--By Eric Diamond

Cosmic Pros
1. Wade Goodall
2. Courtney Conlogue
3. Tom Curren
4. David Giddings

Rolling Stones
1. Darryl Evora
2. Dan O’Connell
3. Oscar S
4. John Macpherson
5. Paul Thorsen
6. Victor Marquette

Honolua Groove Masters
1. Scott Fynn
2. Jeremy Smith
3. Bobby Lockhart
4. Shane Miller
5. Perey F
6. Enich Harris

Junior Space Cadets
1. Pierce Flynn
2. Trevor Thorton
3. Brad Burdick
4. Vance Smith
5. Eric Rodovalho
6. Dakota Faircloth

Rocket Men
1. Christian Homan
2. Sean Walker
3. John Gorak
4. John Warren
5. Mike Voegtin
6. Andrew M

VZ Grems
1. Josh Benjoya
2. Tyler Killeen
3. Eric Weinhardt
4. Griffen Foy
5. Jakob Herbart
6. David Klause