Town's Surfer Statue a Bummer for Locals
Surfers ridicule, parody tribute artwork
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2010 2:30 PM CDT
The "Cardiff Kook" is shown in this photo from the sculpture's (unofficial) MySpace profile.   (MySpace)
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(Newser) – A $120,000 statue intended by the town of Cardiff, California, as a gift to its surfer population has instead become a major bummer—and the subject of elaborate parodies. Most Cardiff surfers feel the artist bungled the figure's pose, depicting a hapless surfer newbie, the Wall Street Journal reports. So while the official title is "Magic Carpet Ride," locals have dubbed it the "Cardiff Kook"—kook being slang for a novice surfer.

Bumper stickers in Cardiff ask the city to "Remove the Kook," but more interesting attacks have come in the form of rival artworks. The Kook has been dressed in a toga, as a Mexican wrestler, and as a street sweeper, but these acts are little compared to the work of Eric Hardtke, a surfer and sculptor who's made two wire-frame and paper mache sculptures around the Kook. One depicted a giant wave and a more experienced surfer about to cut off the Kook, while the other showed a giant shark about to devour him. "It was to make the point that you could make a better sculpture for less money," says Hardtke.