VIA – SURF COAST TIMES
Memories of Brooko
February 17 2012
Shaun Brooks showing his skills in big waves, a bottom turn on “Savage Sunday” at Two Mile Bay on the south west coast, late 1990s.
Photo: STEVE RYAN
I was honoured to be amongst the hundreds of friends who gathered to offer their love and support to the Brooks family last Thursday, following his death in Queensland.
As I listened to each speaker enlighten us on Brooko’s early days in the surf and unique approach to school and study, I felt that there was another significant part of his life that needed to be shared – his amazing performances and courage in big surf.
We experienced some incredible days surfing the big waves off the south west coast of Victoria, especially at Two Mile. Brooko’s phenomenal ability, his powerful smooth on-edge turns and overall radical style in big waves made him a standout in the line-up.
I have shared these waves with Tom Curren, Tom Carroll, RCJ, Tony Ray and many others. Brooko was their equal in big surf.
This was clearly illustrated one Sunday in the late 1990s when a massive 15-20 foot south/south east swell hit Two Mile. Steve Ryan who filmed that day called it “Savage Sunday”. Even that title seemed a little soft.
Imagine 15-foot Kirra type waves pouring into Bells from the east and sometimes shutting down from the bowl to Rincon and you have a clear picture of the day. Most locals watched in awe, including myself, as Brooko, Tony Ray and Jeff Rowley dominated with some great rides and a little luck, during a session that lasted over many hours.
I finally paddled out with Wayne Sutch in the early afternoon and was absolutely flogged the whole way to the channel. When we reached the line-up, Brooko was 100 metres further on the inside. We weren’t going anywhere near him. But from this position we witnessed first hand his amazing surfing ability.
As we paddled against a massive rip pushing us to the inside, we decided that the safest option was to head back to the bay. Losing your board in these conditions could prove fatal.
After a long, hard paddle to the pier, a huge set annihilated another surfer who had been sitting with us, breaking his board into three pieces and leaving him with the massive task of swimming back to the bay against the raging current.
Meanwhile Brooko, after putting in one of the most amazing performances imaginable in these conditions, had decided to paddle in. Climbing onto the pier, he was told a surfer was lost in the line-up…
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