Pay-It-Forward: Cronulla Surfers Buy “Young Blue” A Wetsuit
Buying a wetsuit doesn’t usually inspire an entire community, but that’s exactly what happened when Cronulla surfers Chris Demajo and Cameron Johnston decided to show support for a young surfer without one.
After meeting Cronulla High School year 7 student Cooper Moores-Sipos on a windy, rainy day, Demajo decided to track him down to keep a promise of getting him a wetsuit.
“It was super windy and rainy and there was this little kid freezing in shorts,” Demajo says in an interview with the local newspaper, the St George and Southerland Shire Leader.
“I asked him where his wetsuit was . . . he said he didn’t have one. I made a promise I’d get him one.”
The only problem was they didn’t swap contact details then. So a few days later, Demajo turned to Facebook for help tracking down young Moore-Sipos.
“Today in the surf I met this kid who has just started Cronulla high school in year 7,” he writes, adding that he went to the same school.
“I noticed that he was surfing in board shorts and shaking so much so I asked him why he hasn’t got his wetsuit on and he said he doesn’t have one but has been surfing for a few months and loves it that much he couldn’t not come out for a wave…
“I couldn’t stop thinking about this kid the [whole] time , I will make a promise rite now that if I see you again I will BUY you a wetsuit , he was a super kind kid and his commitment [got] to me!”
The Facebook post was liked hundreds of times and shared 14 times, drawing attention from some high profile people who were also keen to chip in, including surfer Wade Austin, Luke Carr and Jesse Beard of Cronulla Fitness, Channtel McPherson from Bread and Butter clothing and Howie Howell of Triple Bull Surfboards, which ended up supplying the wetsuit for Moore-Sipos. The locals also paid for the grommet’s Cooper’s Cronulla Boardriders Club fees.
“It’s heaps nice,” Moore-Sipos told the Leader. “I’d only been surfing for a few months . . . I had a $5 wetsuit from Vinnies but it had holes in it.”
Demajo took to Facebook again with a public post thanking everyone involved. He says the massive response they’ve had shows just how strong the sense of community is in Cronulla.
“I…love Cronulla and the community here is even better, best place to have grown up,” he says.