Rio Waida Is Officially A Part Owner Of SharpEye Indonesia  - Stab Mag

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For the first time in Indonesia, a surfer will not just be sponsored by a company for a few t-shirts and some “uang kecil”, but he will become an actual shareholder and partner in the business. Photo by Hamish Humphreys.

Rio Waida Is Officially A Part Owner Of SharpEye Indonesia 

Another feather in the cap for the CT surfer, Olympian + Balinese trailblazer. 

Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Rio Waida became the first Indonesian to qualify for the Championship Tour after winning back-to-back Challenger Series events in Sydney and Ballito during 2022.

“The ‘Rio effect’ was powerful”, Asian Surf Co President and Indonesian surf coach Tipi Jabrik told Stab after officially sealing his spot in Portugal. “He has given hope to a whole new generation of rising talent who finally have a representative at the highest level they can aspire towards.” You can read Jed Smith’s article about why it took so long for an Indonesian to make the World Tour here.

But Rio, who was also Indonesia’s first ever Olympic surfer, isn’t finished knocking off NBD’s. 

Fresh off the back of his best ever CT result at Bells (a semi-final), the Indonesian who is currently ranked 11th on 12,990 points (safe from the cut) has partnered with SharpEye Indonesia as a shareholder and partner in the business — a strategic long-term play that will leverage his profile in the community to draw customers to their key distributors at BGS, Drifter and Boardriders Echo Beach. 

When asked about Rio’s new involvement, Glass Lab Director Adam Wessel said, “Simple. Rio is a part owner. This is a community minded, motivating way to be involved. It’s all about giving back to him. He is the most visible surfer in the region and this business model shows respect to that. And as a part owner we want him with us forever. Not just for his surfing career. We want a very personal business culture in Indonesia, an invested culture. A family culture. Not just throwing T-shirts at some kid until he gets too old. I mean, look, Rio is building a brand in Bali, just like any smart business and surfers these days need to be businessmen too. And we want Rio to treat SharpEye as more than just a source for great surfboards, but more as something that.”

Rio, who was bullied for his diminutive stature as a grom and required Human Growth Hormone (HGH) injections as an adolescent to facilitate his physical development, is praised generously by those in his corner. After losing early in Portugal last year, Rio surfed onshore, oversized Bells alone for three weeks before the event to get extra reps in on the bowl. His Rocky-esque training vids, involving just weights, water jugs and dojo rather than flash gym facilities afforded Red Bull athletes, rank #1 on BDPS’ power rankings of athlete content.

Rio’a evangelical powers are bolstered by SharpEye’s visibility at the top level of competitive surfing. In the 2022 WSL Finals, 50% of the men and women in World Title contention had SEs underfoot. In their first ever Stab in the Dark appearance with Taj Burrow, the Inferno 72 was selected as the best performing HP of 2021. Jack Robinson will be the first to admit his tour trajectory changed dramatically once hopping on SharpEyes, where he beefed up his volume an additional 3L from his previous Arakawas, then went on to clinch his first of six CT victories (so far) in Mexico. 

SharpEye has a proven track record of nailing distribution across the pond as a US-based brand. “Mayhem, Pyzel, SharpEye – they’ve penetrated the market in a way that guys like DH and JS were never able to do in the US. Every second board in the lineup at Snapper is an American-owned brand. Whereas, you don’t see many DHs at Trestles,” said Joyrider Stace Galbraith. 

Need some last minute boards before a Bukit swell? You can visit Sharpeye Indo’s landing page here.

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