Come Meet Former’s Newest Surfer
Who has a style for the ages.
While Stab is obsessed with the big names, the best and most beautiful, occasionally our focus gets caught on the fresher talent. We’re always appreciative of those who decide to square peg in this round hole world, especially at a young age. Probably a side effect of jealousy (who doesn’t look back at their pre-teen years and cringe).
With that, meet Oscar Langburne. Oscar is only 14 years old. Normally at that age, the young mind is consumed with thoughts of school, classroom crushes, and what flavour of chips to grab from the machine next. Oscar’s different.
To start, his flow on a wave is beyond fluid. Focused more on visual appeasement than trickery, Oscar’s got a style that casts some visions of Craig Anderson: Cocked back-knee, straightened back. The two actually know one another, in fact. But he certainly adds his own unique touch to it as well, a rare combo at such a young age.
Complementing those features, he decorates all his boards with cover art from The Clash and Joy Division to The Cure and The Sex Pistols — some his favourite bands. Also, he just joined Former. Guess that relationship with Craig paid off. While at the end of the day a sponsorship just means a few stickers for public display and some free oversized shirts, Former’s worth a mention with its vogue presence in the scene at the moment.
So how did Oscar stumble into Former?
“I was home going for a surf at Merewether,” Craig Anderson tells Stab. “I was walking to jump off the ladies rock pool and I saw this young kid trimming across a 4ft wave backside. I paddled out and said an awkward hello as I was confused at this little long haired stylish goofy-footer kid with painted black nails.
“And we’ve been hanging out and surfing a lot since then, taking a couple of trips down the coast. He lives nearby so it’s easy to catch up and go surf. We’ve had a few long car trips and he’s an interesting kid to talk to, got rad taste in music and a cool view on the world for that age.
“Myself and Dane have spoken about having this brand so we can support and encourage people that we psych on. Oscar is one of the first kids I’ve met in a while that has a different attitude and take on surfing. He doesn’t want to coat his surfboard in stickers and chase world titles. We had a pop up Former retail space in Sydney a couple weeks back, had the whole team out here and did a surf trip after. Oscar came and hungout, we gave him some stickers and tiny clothes and that was that.”
Curious about the clip above? Max Stewart, who heads up Eye Symmetry Surfboards and currently shapes for Oscar, helped put it together.
“We were introduced through a mutual friend, Beau Mitchell, an ex-tour surfer that trains kids and helps with their surfing careers,” says Max, who also shapes boards for Oscar’s video co-star Tom Carroll. “I’ve always talked to him and been like, ‘Hey Beau, if you ever meet someone who would work well with me, my brand and style can you let me know!?’ And he usually points out comp guys who I don’t think are going to fit. And this one time he was like, ‘Fuck, I’ve got the perfect guy for you. It’s Oscar.’
“I think that was the first trip Tom and Oscar did together,” Max continues. “We’ve done stuff locally, obviously I originally introduced Oscar to Tom when we started hanging out and Oscar was doing a few things around here. So it’s normally been those trips, but we had a bit of time to spend together. That’s for sure.
“It was all filmed in New Zealand four weeks ago. It came off an artist collaboration we do every year. It’s not just strictly a normal surf film. And New Zealand came about because I was looking for darker backdrops so the boards would pop. So I was looking for darker water, dark sand, and New Zealand came out the ideal option for us, it being so close to us. And you have the added benefit of not shooting another surf clip in Australia.”
An alluring approach on a wave? Respectable taste in music? Owns a colourful set of boards under his feet? Friends in high places? Cool new decal? Check, check, check.
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