Who will Machado spruik next? Patagonia? Da Hui? Photo: Matt Paul Catalano
Machado, Mamiya, Possibly Moore First To Go In Hurley’s Extensive Surf Team Cuts
Could the recently acquired brand drop the current and 4x World Champ?
Nearly a month ago, we reported that following their recent acquisition by Bluestar Alliance, Hurley would not re-sign any surfers whose contracts ended in 2019.
Come the beginning of the new decade, we’re beginning to see the effects of those cuts.
First up is Rob Machado—perhaps the most recognizable man in all of surfing (sorry Kelly, Laird) and decades-long Hurley team rider—who bid farewell to his longtime sponsor and symbolic surf family with a heartfelt Instagram post.
All good things must come to an end.
Almost 20 years ago Bob Hurley looked me in the eye and told me to “go surfing”. He could see my frustrations with contest surfing and knew that I would be better off just surfing and being me. Thank you, Bob, for the years of encouragement, motivation, inspiration, enjoyment... the list goes on and on.
It truly has been an honor to work for the brand for such a long period of my life. I want to thank everyone that I have ever crossed paths with at the Hurley brand for collaborating in so many ways to bring the joy of surfing to so many all over the world.
And I especially want to thank the Hurley family for always making me feel the importance of family and always welcoming me and my family into your hearts.
Bob. I am forever grateful for our friendship.
We also know that Hawaiian surf prodigies (and we don’t use that term lightly) Eli Hanneman and Barron Mamiya have not been re-signed by the Costa Mesa brand. Both Eli and Barron are managed by ex-Hurley employee Shaun Ward, who likely saw these cuts coming and started shopping around for fresh nose candy in recent months. Due to their near-vertical trajectories in the sport, we're certain Barron and Eli will announce lucrative partnerships with a new brand or brands in the coming weeks.
Now, this is a bit more TMZ than WSJ, but in a January 1 photograph of the recently crowned women’s World Champ (that’s 4x total), it appears Carissa Moore does not have Hurley’s opposing parentheses adhered to her surfboard (bottom left).
While it’s possible that Carissa’s legs are simply blocking the abstract “H”, it’s also worth noting that the 2019 Champ will be taking a year off the Championship Tour in 2020, which makes her significantly less valuable from a visibility standpoint (although Carissa will compete in the Olympics, which is arguably more valuable than a full year of WSL events from a brand’s perspective).
UPDATE: Hurley has confirmed that Riss is on the team until 2025 as she signed a seven-year deal with the brand in 2018.
Meanwhile, we know that Julian Wilson is still signed until the middle of 2020, but we’ve yet to hear if Lakey Peterson and a few other Hurley notables have re-signed for 2020.
It’s also worth noting that in the midst of Hurley’s acquisition by Bluestar, all Hurley family members (including its founder Bob, sons Ryan and Jeff, and potentially an extended family member or two) either left on their own accord or were clipped by the brand’s current/soon-to-be-former owners, Nike, who according to inside sources, wanted "no potential issues" with the sale.
So, Hurley no longer employs any Hurleys, and a large portion of its surf team just got clipped.
All of this touches back to an earlier piece we wrote on how most major surf brands are now owned by non-endemic corporations, and what effects that will have on our broader surf “culture”.
The next decade will be an interesting one indeed.
On the other hand, John Florence, Kolohe Andino, Filipe Toledo, and a few fortunate others have Hurley contracts that won’t expire for a number of years.
So they can’t get rid of us that easy!