This Five Year-Old Surfer Has A Sponsor
Tyler Purcell, age five, sponsored. Not by a brand of significance, but sponsored nonetheless. Five years old. Remember when you were five? School was a new thing. Cartoons were the highlight of your day. Tyler, well he's in the water, sticker plastered, working.
Ok, it isn't quite the same. It's just a surf shop in Waikiki, supporting a hopeful grom (and his family) with contest fees, surfboards and apparel. Regardless, he's an infant professional surfer.
Does society have a fascination with talented youngsters? Certainly. And there's money in marketing them. That's where parents and managers come in.
Remember the viral flying squirrel, Quincy Symonds? She started at four years of age and was all over mainstream media at six. Now she has a website and a management team behind her. Or young Sabre Norris, who invaded our feeds by calling our her father's weakness for ice cream live on Australian national television. She's doing just fine, with a cool 113k on on the gram.
Do it yourself marketing via social media is a prerequisite for modern 'success'. Does setting them up early help? When is too young? The lines are definitely blurring.
We are in the midst of a Supergrom arms race. Is it getting a little much? Depends. Mostly on the parent's attitude, their intentions.
"Some people want to live their dreams through their kids – I feel sorry for them," Rizal Tanjung, father of young talent, Varun and caretaker of superstar, Bronson Meidy, once told me. "The most important thing is to have fun, not become a soccer dad or mum. They’re still young, don’t push too hard, you don’t want them to burn out too early."
“Brian and the Moku shop have been instrumental in Tyler’s surfing,” says Tyler's father of the deal with Moku Surf Shop. "They're providing an environment to learn and gain support from other kids. It’s also allowed me to teach him a lot of life lessons, that might not have been as accessible in other areas of life."
Debate aside, young Tyler is happy to be getting slung into burgers at Hawaii's iconic tourist surf locale (and the aloha spirit also appears strong in this one!). If the relationship is improving his quality of life, and selling more hire boards in the process, then here's to a long and prosperous partnership.
We'll leave you Filipe Toledo and his little one – not yet one, Mahina (who just so happens to have her own Instagram).