The Coopers surf shop story started in 1969, when Bob and Wils Cooper arrived in the small town of Coffs Harbour and decided to start a surf shop.
Bob was originally from California, and was part of the first wave of North American surfers to visit Australia. Travelling the East Coast of Australia he was struck by its beauty and potential. He witnessed the new style of surfing from Midget Farrelly and Nat Young, and worked with many of the major surf manufacturers in Brookvale, Sydney.
The original shop is still at the Jetty, but greatly expanded from the original store that had a few boards, hippy clothes and homemade muesli for sale. Extensions in 1978 made Coopers the largest Surf Shop in NSW for many years, showing the confidence that Bob and Wils had in the local market and vision for the future. In the late 80’s Bob and Wils expanded into a second store in Park Beach Plaza. They sold the shops in 1993 to Jim Herring.
Jim owned the business for 11 years during which time along with the help from his family expanded the business to 3 shops buying the Rip Curl business on the corner of Harbour Dr. and Gordon St.
In September 04 Jim sold the business to a couple of local surfers Andrew Lindsay and John Farlow who grew up surfing with Bob Cooper and dreaming of possibly one day owning Coopers Surf.
The name was changed from Coopers Surf Centres to Coopers Surf Australia with the vision, like Bob back in his time to expand into the future. The first step in Coopers Surf Australia’s expansion plan happened in July 06’ when they relocated from the old Rip Curl store on the corner of Gordon Street and Harbour Drive into a larger new look modern store in the Palms Shopping centre.
The second stage of the expansion plan was completed in August 07 at Park Beach Plaza when the Plaza store was moved into what is currently the largest single storey surf shop in Australia. Following on from the Plaza expansion Coopers Surf Australia in November of the same year bought the North Coast Surf shop at Woolgoolga making it a total of four surf shops.
In December 08 Coopers Surf Australia opened their 5th store in Centro Toormina expanding to a total of 5 stores.