Barron Mamiya’s Snapt4 Section Technically Won — Why Isn’t He Getting Any Money?
$50,000…gone with the wind.
“It’s ok,” said an audibly abject Barron Mamiya, after being asked how it felt to watch $50,000 fall out of his pocket, bounce down Kam Highway with an airy indifference, and cozy up against Jack Robinson’s chiseled bosom.
“I mean, it sucks, but I’m not mad or anything,” Barron continued. “I understand why it happened.”
A little context. Jack Robinson recently became $50,000 richer for winning Snapt4‘s best official section. As you’ll come to learn, that money could have, and arguably should have, been Barron Mamiya’s.
So what happened?
Per Snapt director Logan Dulien’s noble decree, the film’s winning sections would be chosen by three former Snapt stars — Mick Fanning, Bobby Martinez, and Taj Burrow — each of whom would score the individual sections out of 10 points. Their numbers would then be added together for a cumulative score out of 30, and the surfers with the highest totals would receive prizes of the following magnitude: 1st $50,000, 2nd $20,000, 3rd $10,000.
Pretty straightforward, right?
Yes…except there are rules. Not many. But there are rules.
1. Sections must be 2 – 3.5 mins in length
2. Sections can include no more than two slow-mo shots
3. All clips in the section must be unseen (including Instagram)
According to Logan Dulien, all of these rules were designed to create a film that is fast, powerful, and on-brand with the three previous Snapt iterations. And his plan worked. The film featured 50 minutes of fresh, A-grade clips from 15 of the world’s best surfers. That’s not a simple feat in this snap-and-post era.
“I’m so grateful that these guys trusted me with their best footage from the last two years,” Logan said. “The film would be nothing without that level of exclusivity.”
Just one month after going live online, almost a quarter-million people have watched Snapt4. That’s practically unheard of in surfing.
“It probably didn’t hurt that there was $50k on the line for the best section,” Logan laughed.
Well, the best qualifying section.
After watching the film, Mick, Bobby, and Taj gave scores for each individual section. Parker Coffin finished with 26.4, Seth Moniz with 26.65, Mason Ho with 26.8, and Jack Robinson with 27.6. But the highest-scoring section? That went to Barron Mamiya, who clocked in an impressive 28.8 points, or a 9.6 average. Bobby gave him a 10.
According to the judges, Barron was the clear winner. Only problem was, he had broken the third golden rule.
The above video was posted on Stab’s Instagram 43 weeks ago, just hours after it originally aired on Barron’s page. It would later serve as the ender clip of his Snapt4 section…along with several other clips from the same Mentawais boat trip. Naturally, this meant Barron’s section was ineligible to win the prize.
“I feel so bad for Barron,” Logan Dulien said after tabulating the judges’ scores and realizing the inevitable controversy. “Every single judge had him in first place.”
At this point, you might be thinking: Oh, come on. Barron made a mistake, but should he really lose $50,000 over it? If Mick, Bobby, and Taj said his section was the best, he should still win.
And there’s a bit of truth in that. Until you learn a little more about how all of this transpired.
“We went on that trip in the middle of 2020,” Barron explains. “This was in the middle of all the major brand layoffs, so I felt a real sense of urgency to provide some value to my sponsors — that means posting some footage on Instagram, Youtube, whatever. Basically just getting my name and face out there as much as possible.
“This was also the first trip I’d taken since signing with Sharp Eye and RVCA,” Barron continued, “which meant I couldn’t really post any old footage, because it wouldn’t have their logos on it. Plus I felt like I was surfing way better on the new boards. And to top it off, I knew I still had at least half a year to get more clips for my Snapt section.”
So Barron and Logan sat down for a chat. Barron asked Logan if it was cool for him to post some of his clips from the Mentawais trip. Logan, who’d organized the trip specifically for Snapt4, was frustrated by this request, but he also recognized Barron’s predicament and didn’t want the kid’s career to suffer on account of the film. So he gave Barron the green light to post some clips from their trip, with the understanding that they couldn’t go in his Snapt4 part.
“I wasn’t stressed,” Barron said. “I had tons of time to fill those gaps and still make a great section for the film. At the time, it felt like the right decision.”
Then Barron got hurt.
“It wasn’t anything major,” Barron said. “Just a few old injuries that were acting up. I knew I wanted to be 100% healthy for the Challenger Series, so I decided it was best to rest my body for a few months. Unfortunately, that meant I couldn’t get the clips I wanted for Snapt4.”
As the date of the film approached, Barron started getting anxious.
“I didn’t want to put out an average part,” he said. “I knew how good some of the other guys’ sections would be, and how many people were gonna watch the film. I wanted my section to really stand out.”
So, he went back to Logan. Are you sure we can’t use those Mentawai clips in my part?
“I told Barron, look, it’s not fair to the other guys if I make an exception for you,” Logan explained. “Because imagine how gnarly Jack’s section could have been if he was able to re-use clips from the Volcom film. Same for Mason and his weekly drops. Everybody has to follow the rules for it to be a fair playing field. Otherwise, the film has no integrity, and it’ll have no future.”
So Logan gave Barron the choice: either run your section without the Mentawai clips and have it eligible to win, or include the Mentawai clips and you’re out of the running.
“I decided to put them in,” Barron explained. “It sucked being ineligible for the cash, but it would have been even worse to feel like I had a mediocre section. That said, I didn’t know I was going to win [laughs].”
And yeah, it stings. $50,000 is a significant lump of cash, even for a young superstar like Barron. But he’s thinking about it the right way.
“Money comes and goes,” Barron concluded. “Getting that kind of respect from Mick, Bobby, and Taj — I’ll keep that with me forever.”
*Official* Snapt4 results
1. Jack Robinson (27.6 points) – $50,000
2. Mason Ho (26.8 points) – $20,000
3. Seth Moniz (26.65 points) – 10,000
4. Parker Coffin (26.4 points)
5. Clay Marzo (25.5 points)
DQ. Barron Mamiya (28.8 points)
Eithan Osborne – $10,000
Benji Brand – $10,000
And don’t forget about the next big surf-for-cash Ponzi scheme. Read all about Stab Edit of the Year here, and maybe win a Bitcoin?