The surf world has lost another one of the good guys. Sadly, after a long, hard-fought battle against pancreatic cancer, Santa Barbara’s Mike Cobb has passed away. Remembered for his compassion, integrity and love of life, his place in the lineup will be greatly missed. He was only 51 years old.
The Sales Manager for Channel Islands Surfboards, Cobb was one of the lucky ones that found a way to blend a fulfilling career with his love for surfing.
“Mike was the man,” said Conner Coffin, who spent years with Cobb at Channel Islands. “He was one of those guys that always made sure the people around him were taken care of. He was just one of the nicest guys. It’s so heartbreaking; he had such a positive energy and he did so much good for other people.”
A regular in the water around Ventura and Santa Barbara, Cobb also made routine sojourns to Tavarua over the years, typically staying on the island during Dave Lester’s week in May.
“I was lucky enough to spend quite a few weeks with Mike on Tavarua over the years,” remembers Lester. “We became good friends. Mike was a great guy who took the time to get to know people. He really cared a lot about the Fijians on Tavarua. I spoke with Mike a few days before our trip this past May, unfortunately Mike could not join us this year, but he really wanted to come, not for the surf, but to see all of his Fijian friends. He loved the place and the people. That is just the way Mike was. Always a kind word for everyone. I am really going to miss him.”
As far as what kind of guy Cobb was, a telling post was made on his Facebook page shortly after his passing.
“He came up to me during a little surf trip on Tavarua in 2012 and said, ‘There is an unridden brand new Al Merrick 6’10” in my boardbag, I want you to go grab it, wax and ride it and have some fun at Cloudbreak,’ after he found out I didn't bring a shortboard and just two longboards on the trip,” writes Kieran Plim. “Who does that? Mick does. What also struck me most was that he had the time to chat and drink beer like a person I had known for 20 years, not to mention bringing out his secret collection of tequila as well one night. I know you are getting seriously barreled right now in the afterlife.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike’s family and friends. Godspeed.
Published in Surfline, By Jake Howard, July 3, 2017