Wyalup-Rocky Point: the crazy backwash wave

November 6, 2020 | Bodyboarding
Ray Cook: the 'Cannonball' gets catapulted at Wyalup-Rocky Point | Photo: Chris McRobb

Welcome to Wyalup-Rocky Point, Bunbury, Western Australia.

The photo seen above is the last of a set taken by Chris McRobb, a 60-year-old amateur yet passionate photographer and surfer, at a local and iconic surf spot.

At the "The Backwash," waves break right in front of a dangerous rocky formation.

It's a famous surf break known for its aerial antics and flashy moments.

The man you see being propelled into the sky is Ray Cook, a hardcore bodyboarding enthusiast in his late 40s.

Cook, nicknamed locally as "Cannonball," is an experienced rider at the slab and loves being thrown into the air by these massive walls of water.

"The Backwash and has been a favorite of the local crew forever," Chris McRobb tells SurferToday.

"It is formed by a basalt rock outcrop and has an almost vertical face facing the ocean."

The Backwash: a freak and rare wave that breaks near Bunbury, near Western Australia | Photo: Chris McRobb

Off the Radar

The exquisite surf break comes to life near Bunbury, a small city that was first settled in 1836 and located 180 kilometers south of the capital city of Perth, Western Australia.

"Bunbury is not known for its surf, and it will only deliver the goods when the swell is coming from north/northwest," adds the photographer.

"We are protected from westerly swells by Cape Naturaliste. And while we may not get many favorable swells, we do have at least four amazing breaks."

"When we get the right conditions, this place is on par with the rest of the Yallingup and Margaret River region."

The photo sequence by McRobb reveals a very serene Ray Cook putting on a show just about 20 meters from the rock face and at around 1.5 meters deep.

"I was at Rocky Point to take sunset photos as the area has many rock features and is a very beautiful spot taking sunset shots. I was just lucky that the bodyboarder was there," explains Chris McRobb.

"I started taking surf photos in 1980 when I bought my first camera and 70-400mm zoom, but stopped when family took priority. Four years ago, I started taking pictures again."

"Wyalup Rocky Point is a place of Indigenous Aboriginal significance. Wyalup means a 'place of mourning' as in the past the area was a Noongar burial ground."

"The Backwash" is not a place for beginners, and the veteran has broken a few bones already.

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