The annual Steve Cooney Surf Contest and Air Show is held each October at Hookipa Beach Park. The actual event began over 20 years ago. When good friend, Steve Cooney was fatally killed in a car accident, “The Steve Cooney Contest and Air Show” began.
Betsy Cooney, Steve’s Mom, was inspired and everyone who knows her is inspired by her amazing love. Nine years later, the event is booming with grommets from all over the islands and even a couple from California.
It is attended by top pro surfers like the Walsh Brothers and Tanner Hendrickson. Amateurs and a herd of kids dragging mothers beachside fill the Pavillion. History was made this year, when the boy named after Steve Cooney who is now five, entered the event, literally pushed into the waves by Papa. Baby Steve has already ridden both Pipeline and Honolua Bay in double overhead surf.
When asked about the changes in the event over the last nine years, the contest PR Person for Besty Cooney, Kelly Lau said, “The biggest change in the last few years is the amount of kids. “ The annual event is growing dynamically with the excitement of the kids and the Hookipa Grommet Association. Steve Cooney’s personal style and ability to boost airs became legend while the kids at Hookipa reflect these legends of hospitality and natural raw talent spawned by the 72 degree wind, waves and nasty weather of Hookipa Beach Park.
Check out five year old ‘Baby Steve’ Roberson, son of Kaleo, grandson to John. The grom’s even going for an aerial switch stance in his first heat!