Emma Cobb Will Bring the Bodyboard Back

Emma Cobb is well known within the bodyboard circuit as a down-to-earth, go-getter. She’s ultra talented and boosts into the air higher than most. She chases the big swells and charges the biggest waves on Australia’s east coast with fellow bodyboarder Lilly Pollard. You’ll find this 29-year-old out in some of the gnarliest boys-only line-ups sliding down the face of a 15 foot reef break then inverting overhead like a bird. 

We are so stoked that Emma has joined our contributors team to connect us to the bodyboarding world internationally and make sure we get all the latest news when it happens. Here’s your introduction to Emma Cobb a girl who could bring bodyboarding back! Let’s do it.

Emma Cobb, you’re one of only a handful of girls who are getting amongst the World Bodyboard Tour… where are you from, how old are you, where did you grow up and how did you get into this amazingly under exposed sport? I grew up in a small town called Milton on the NSW South East coast of Australia and now living Near Shellharbour. I started bodyboarding in my late teens, started late. I grew up on a hobbie farm riding horses competitively until was about 16. I spent my High school years at a boarding school in sydney and didn’t see the beach much.

When I moved back home I started spending a lot more time at the beach with my family. My brother and step dad were always in the water surfing and bodyboarding so I wanted to be with them. I grew up a tom-boy and loved all sports, there was something about the ocean and bodyboarding that just clicked. I started competing in the australian contest when I was 17 and eventually made my way to the world tour.

emma cobb

Bodyboarding is so amazing to watch in good surf and girls like you and Lilly Pollard have access to some pretty hectic waves, so what’s the biggest you’ve charged, where was it and what was the best part about it? I’ve been lucky enough to grow up on a part of coast line with some of the best reef and beach set ups Australia has to offer. So I have had many a days in some pretty heavy surf around home. I’d say The North Shore of Hawaii is one of the craziest places I’ve surfed, the movement above and below the ocean is unbelievable.

One place that my mind always goes back to is the Canary Islands. I spent six weeks there in 08/09 on an island called Lanzarote with a bunch of friends. There is a left hand Break there that is pretty solid. I Can remember having some all time sessions out there and can also remember most of the beat downs. A session on new years day saw one of the young local guys loose his life after getting thrown off in a barrel. In my many years of surfing its the The only wave that has given me a beat down so bad I thought I was going to drown. I was a lot younger and inexperienced back then so I guess the power of that wave has always been in the list as some of the heaviest waves I’ve surfed.

What’s your favourite or best manoeuvre? Has it won you any championships? I’d have to say the Invert. I love the feeling of just flying but not so much the feeling of landing especially if you miss read the landing. Unfortunately this hasn’t won me any championships, But never say never!

Emma pulling off and Invert in Indo

Emma pulling off and Invert in Indo

Bodyboarding was massive in Australia in the 80s and 90’s but is still very recognised in South America and some European countries, how can can you influence it’s resurgence here? What do you think can be done to get girls back in the water and on their bodyboards? This is a hard one. Unfortunately over the last couple of years women’s bodyboarding has slowly died off. It’s a shame because we have some of the best riders in the world. I feel if we were able to do it as our day jobs there would be a lot more Australian world champs. Women’s bodyboarding in Europe and South America is still quiet healthy. They receive a lot of support from the governments, so they are able to make it there jobs.

I think to revive the sport in Australia we need to start with the grass roots, back to the basics and build up the younger generation. Instead of full on events like Nationals and Australian titles we need the fun, No pressure contests and days were girls can come an enjoy the lifestyle, get in the water and get a feel for the lives we live through our sport. It’s a pretty good life and a lot of people cant walk away from it.

You’ve travelled the world bodyboarding some amazing waves, where is the best? I’ve been Lucky to see a lot of the world through bodyboarding. There are so many highs and lows of every wave you surf around the world so its hard to pick just one, But for my surfing i’d have to say Cloud Nine in the Philippines. Its just such a mechanical wave and the perfect set up. I prefer right handers, and this wave has it all, a barrel to bowl section. Perfect for the way i like to surf. Its Cheap, the people are great and the wave is epic when its on 🙂 The whole island has so much potential! The only downer is its Probably a little to hot for my liking! I would love to see a world tour event here for the women.

Who in the women’s bodyboard world (past or present) are you most inspired by? I have always thought of this over the years as to who I have looked up to in the world of women’s bodyboarding but could never put it down to just one. But I’d have to say Neymara Carvahalo and  Karla Costa-Taylor especially in my junior years. All for different reasons. Neymara for her competitive ways, I was always so nervous if I fell in Neymara’s heats. Karla for her poise in and out of the water. I always get a lot of motivation from my good friends I  spend a lot of time surfing with,  They are always super supportive but are never to serious, and they are always the first ones to tell you your doing something wrong.

Alexandra Rinder is powering at the moment, what do you think we will see from here as she matures and gets more experience on tour? I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with Alex over the last few years and have become good friends. She has defiantly put  a new level into Women’s bodyboarding, Especially through contests. She has had a great year and I think over the next few years we will see her continue to push the sport and become a little more comfortable and confident with her competing.

alexandra rinder and emma cobb in Chile

With Alex Rinder (left) in Chile

Is there any wave that is not on the tour that you’d love to see surfed by the girls? There are a lot of waves I could pick here. But I would love to see a women’s world tour event back in Australia at a good wave. Possibly on the south coast or even the west coast. And a reef break!

What do you want to do with your love of the sport and your career?  I have already achieved so many of my Dreams and Goals in regards to my sport. But for now and the future I have turned to concentrate on my free surfing. I’m still deciding about competing on the World Tour in 2015. My good friend and I purchased a ski recently and the opportunities to push my surfing have been endless.

I took a break this year to step back and re-evaluate my surfing and regain the love for bodyboarding. I had lost a little bit of competitive spark and had lost the drive to win. And to do the tour properly you need that drive! I am really happy with were my surfing is at and I feel like I’m surfing the best I have in years. So for now I look towards working with the ski and Chasing swells around the country and world. I have a few little plans floating around but nothing set in stone.

I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the support of everyone around me! I cant thank my family and friends enough. And to my sponsors ;


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