Stab Magazine | How You Can Own A Part Of The Venerable Darren Handley Designs Empire

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How You Can Own A Part Of The Venerable Darren Handley Designs Empire

“There are two facts about Australians of which I am certain. They overpay for terrible cocaine and they absolutely love gambling.”

news // Jul 7, 2018
Words by Rory Parker
Reading Time: 3 minutes

There are two facts about Australians of which I am certain. They overpay for terrible cocaine and they absolutely love gambling.

Neither vice holds much appeal for me.  I enjoy downers, not uppers, and prefer to piss away my income on more tangible products.

But I understand, theoretically, the appeal of both. They toss a thrill into an otherwise mundane life, get that heartbeat up and racing, only truly harmful to a minority of individuals cursed with an inability to moderate.

I wasn’t surprised to learn the Australians came up with another way to roll those figurative dice.

This year Australia granted its “first batch of licences [sic] allowing seven intermediaries to help small and innovative companies to raise funds from a crowd of investors,” essentially allowing small companies to issue IPOs to small investors.  The amount of funds that can be raised by each company is capped at $5 million. Retail investors, typical dorks like you and me, can invest up to $10k per year, per company.

Chris Gilbert, managing director and co-founder of Equitise, one of the seven companies granted a license to act as an intermediary in the crowdsourced “investment” scheme, says the organization’s goal is “democratising investment and enabling anyone to invest in these, cool, potential high growth businesses.” 

The first surf company to hop on this new opportunity to scrape together capital is Darren Handley Designs. Builder of shred sleds for wave slayers such as Owen Wright, Mick Fanning, Wilko, Steph Gilmore and Jack Freestone and, apparently, owner of shark leash manufacturer Modom, DHD is “raising capital to increase inventory, invest in product innovation and marketing. Alongside and in addition to these plans, the company also has major growth opportunities in the EPS and soft surfboard market as well as accessories and fashion.”



Stephanie Gilmore’s never looked anything less than confident backing Darren Handley.



According to middleman, Equitise, minimum investment is likely to be $500 or more.  Price per share for the DHD IPO has not yet been disclosed.

With all gambling, you’re more likely to fail than succeed. But that’s part of the appeal, right?

All parties concerned make the level of risk very clear. So clear, in fact, one wonders why anyone would be willing to part with their hard-earned dough in exchange for little protection and, almost certainly, no return. Among other caveats the Australia and New Zealand disclosures contain the following disclaimers:

  • Even if the company is successful, the value of your investment and any return on the investment could be reduced if the company issues more shares.

  • Your investment is unlikely to be liquid. This means you are unlikely to be able to sell your shares quickly or at all if you need the money or decide that this investment is not right for you.

  • Even though you have remedies for misleading statements in the offer document or misconduct by the company, you may have difficulty recovering your money.

  • There are rules for handling your money. However, if your money is handled inappropriately or the person operating this platform on which this offer is published becomes insolvent, you may have difficulty recovering your money.

  • New Zealand law normally requires people who offer financial products to give information to investors before they invest. This requires those offering financial products to have disclosed information that is important for investors to make an informed decision.

  • The usual rules do not apply to offers by issuers using Equitise’s facility. As a result, you may not be given all the information usually required. You will also have fewer other legal protections for this investment.

To be fair, the model makes far more sense that Kickstarter or GoFundMe, in that contributors receive equity in a brand in which they have faith rather than providing interest-free loans.

And you never know, maybe you’ll make a buck or two.  A lot of people, myself included, failed to invest in early cryptocurrencies due to a belief that it didn’t seem good for anything but buying drugs and pornography online.  

While that belief turned out to be true, it doesn’t change the fact that $100 invested in the beginning would be a big ol’ pile of imaginary money now.

You can buy into DHD here. 


Do we really need reasons to run photos of Stephanie Gilmore ripping her beloved DHDs?




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