No stickers, no problems! Photos: Instagram @alanarblanchard
Alana Blanchard And Matt Wilkinson Just Lost Their Main Sponsor
No longer will the hollow, red wave adorn the nose of surfing's former World #1 and perennial Surfer Poll champ.
Last year, at Stab's annual swimsuit shoot on Oahu's North Shore, Alana Blanchard was on the books as Rip Curl's bikini model.
Alana did not show.
Heads were scratched, calls were made, and it was revealed that Alana chose not to attend because she hadn't yet renewed her contract with Rip Curl and didn't want to partake in a shoot that wouldn't be published until the following year (after her current contract had expired).
Rip Curl's team manager was concerned that this juicy piece of gossip would end up on our website, which in past years would have probably been the case. But we've learned from our mistakes (at least some of them) and decided to put this tidbit on ice, based on the assumption that Alana and Rip Curl would reach an agreement and she would be re-signed until the polar ice caps re-froze.
As it turns out, that instinct was incorrect. Alana Blanchard did not re-sign with Rip Curl, and for the first time since we can remember, the former CTer and 27x Surfer Poll champ is rocking a logo-less surfboard.
Alana, of course, will be fine. Even if she never slaps another sticker on her nose, the surfer from Hawaii has made plenty of money over the years, and with an Instagram following of 1.8 Million, she'll have plenty of opportunities to see her (and her well-paid, soon-to-be hubby, Jack Freestone) ride off into the Kauaian sunset.
But this is not the extent of Rip Curl's 2020 roster culling. The new decade has also seen their separation from a former World Number One, Mr. Matt Wilkinson.
Wilko and Rip Curl go way back. Back to the very beginning. You remember the Spanish matador, the Portuguese sardines, and the French boobie suits? You also remember a once-perma-struggling CTer who, with the help of a small but mighty leprechaun, became, for a brief moment in history, the best surfer in the world?
Well, those years have passed. Wilko's about to start his second year outside of the major leagues, and he no longer has a sponsor to fund his redemption tour... at least according to his most recent IG upload (see below).
But like Alana, Wilko's been clever with his cash. Prior to being clipped, he established a luxury resort in Byron Bay called Friday Hut Road. Rooms go for $1,000 AUD, and the setting, food, and ambiance are reportedly divine. With Byron's popularity continuing to grow amongst super-wealthy, super-woke ecotourists, we foresee this investment as a more-than-sustainable retirement plan for the man who once arrived at a professional surf event in a pair of rollerblades.
If there's one thing to take away from this recent trend of un-sponsorship, it's that if you're a pro surfer making a solid wage, don't expect it to stay that way.
And diversify your goddamned portfolio (or at least grow your IG profile or start a YouTube channel).
UPDATE: We've also learned that Nikki van Dijk has been dropped from RC.