Stab Magazine | Everybody Is Backing the Laurie Towner Sponsorship Movement

Now Live: Ferrari Boyz With Harry Bryant (Redux)


Everybody Is Backing the Laurie Towner Sponsorship Movement

Who knew there was something that Kelly Slater, Albee Layer, and the Stab commentariat could agree upon.

news // Nov 2, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

When we were approached by Caleb Graham, the genius/workhorse behind Laurie Towner’s redemption clip, ‘Keeping On’, to promote this short film, I could not contain my excitement. 

“I’ll do it!” I screamed, via email, to my bosses. “Let me do it!”

Laurie had always been one of my favorite surfers, so to help tell his story and share it with the world was nothing short of an honor. My only fear, besides delegitimizing Laurie’s story with my sycophantic storytelling, was that his post would be a flash in the pan, or worse, that Laurie’s kind and generous soul would be ripped to shreds by the nefarious Stab commentariat. 

Much to my joy, neither of those scenarios played out, as Laurie’s video was liked, shared, and praised by people near and far across the Internet community. I came to learn that I was one of many, many humans who had a soft spot in their heart for Laurie Towner. 

Most notably, perhaps, was Albee Layer, whose thoughtful Instagram post garnered support from both pro and amateur surfers. 

Screen Shot 2017 10 31 at 4.09.39 PM

From Albee: Laurie has been one of if not my favorite surfers since footage first started showing up of him. He rode scary waves better than almost anyone and could get A clips in any conditions. In the peak of all this got dropped out of no where (by @billabong, I know the struggle) and hasn’t been getting paid since. Another victim of the surf industry putting all its money into paying very young kids hoping to find the next John John. It’s a hard thing, when we were growing up no one got signed big deals until their twenties now a days if you hit twenty without a big sponsor seems like your careers over. I’m very lucky and greatful to of found a way to make a living in this “awkward generation” but it could be gone any second just like Laurie’s. So please support whatever free surf projects or big wave edits you see out there. We are a dying genre in surfing and if the whole surfing world is just contest and we get robbed of watching footage of the next Laurie we will all regret it. The diversity within surfing is what makes it so beautiful.

Contained in this post are interesting and supportive comments from a number of notable handles, including:

@nickvonrupp: “I sign below. One of the smoothest chargers ever.”

@torreymesiter: “Best post of all time Albsss! @laurietowner is one of the greatest to touch a surfboard and one of the gnarliest guys ever in heavy waves! A shaky industry can’t keep robbing us of seeing the best guys surf!Imagine Laurie at jaws this week.”

@ricardochristie: “Laurie is the fucking man.”

@kailenny: “@laurietowner is the man, Id love to see him out at Jaws.”

And most importantly…

@kellyslater: “Wish we had the means to properly sponsor him right now at Outerknown. He’s sick!”

Part of me reads this and thinks hmmmmm… by selling approximately eight beanies and one pair of woolen socks, Outerknown could feed the entire country of Chad or at least everyone named Chad for over a year. But there is much about business that I can’t begin to comprehend so I’ll just assume that Kelly was being genuine in his comment and move forward.

So Laurie got the peer support, which is awesome, but no one is truly in the clear until the internet’s most heartless, spiteful keyboard warriors get their say. And much to my surprise, the Stab community was uncustomarily kind to ol’ Lozza. Reading through the nearly 50 comments, the meanest jab I can find is: “this is why you go to uni and get a real job. we can’t all be wsl stars. just the way of the world sadly.” Literally not a single thing about Laurie’s surfing, hair, missus, sexuality, or behavior in or out the lineup. 90% of comments had a positive, almost weirdly supportive message for Mr. Towner. I guess there’s something about that “let your surfing do the talking” attitude that appeals to even the harshest of critics.

Go ahead and rewatch Laurie’s new clip, ‘Keeping On’. It’s free of charge.

I spoke with Laurie yesterday about all the support he’s received, and in his own quiet way, Laurie was tangibly stoked.

Stab: Loz, how do you feel about all the support you’ve gotten since the video went live? Slater’s backing you!
Laurie Towner: Yeah, it’s pretty cool to receive kind words from the world’s best surfers. Having respect from those guys is what it’s all about for me.

Even the comments on Stab are nice. That’s saying something…
Yeah, those boys can be pretty ruthless hey? I’ve seen some funny stuff in there before, but I’ve never paid much attention to it. It’s pretty cool that they’re being supportive though.

Did you expect this kind of response to your video?
Nah, we just made the clip to show the people who were fans of my surfing, or whatever, what I’ve been doing since I lost my sponsor. I didn’t make it to get a ton of recognition or pick up a new sponsor or anything, but I really appreciate all the support.

What do you think about getting another sponsor at this point in life?
These days, with the family and all, it’d have to be something that’s gonna support them as well. The other thing is, I’d hate to go and get signed up with a company for a bunch of money and then two years later, bang, I’m back in the same position. I guess the dream would be something that’s long-term, not just temporary. Like Albee said, at any moment, any one of those amazing surfers can be dropped, and if you’ve got nothing else behind you, you’re kinda stuck in the situation that I was in. Now that I’m doing my trade, that’s got a lot of longevity, and it’ll keep myself and my family going for the rest of my life. I don’t know if that’s even a realistic thing with surfing nowadays. I have no idea how it works anymore [laughs].

Whether or not Laurie will return to professional surfing remains unknown, but while we desperately hope for his second coming, something tells me Laurie will be fine either way. That said, we’d all reallllly appreciate it if someone would properly sponsor Lozza. Maybe if each of us bought an Outerknown beanie, Kelly would have enough cash to swing it. Whatta ya say, boys?

And Kelly? You keen?




Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

How Sophie McCulloch Broke Her Back At The Box Three Days After Being Cut From The CT

The untold brutal side story of finals day in WA.

Apr 24, 2024

The Cut Wasn’t The Surf Fans’ Idea — But It Might Be Our Fault

Psychoanalyzing surfing’s highly sadistic audience (us!).

Apr 23, 2024

How Surfers (And Skiers/Snowboarders) Could Be Using Buoys Better

Snow in Japan = waves at Pipe = snow in Utah, @PowderBuoy told us.

Apr 22, 2024

How Did Sydney’s Hottest Landscape Architect Stack So Many Clips Less Than 10Kms From Centrepoint Tower? 

Fraser Dovell is a man of culture, taste and jabbing North Av lefts in the…

Apr 22, 2024

Full Frame: The Other Side Of Nazaré

The death of a wave, and the birth of an entire genre of surf. 

Apr 21, 2024

Jack Robbo Double Beats Double John At Margies, Gabriela Bryan Dodges Dolphins For Maiden Win

The cut is finished - WA finals recap.

Apr 21, 2024

Watch: A Leisurely Day With Fingal’s-Most-Wanted Foamball Wrangler

Lungi Slabb and filmmaker Beren Hall offer insight into the exact specs which bring GoPro…

Apr 20, 2024

The Stab Interview: Chippa Wilson

On childhood bullies, surfing bigger waves, the making of 'Zipper', and what's on the horizon…

Apr 19, 2024

Medina Cooked at WSL Judges’ BBQ, George Pittar Flares En Route To Finals Day

Four heats, a nine point ride, and some brotherly tears.

Apr 19, 2024

Ferrari Boyz: Harry Bryant (Redux)

A Land Cruiser, a shitting collie, a tank of petrol, and a wild Haz in…

Apr 18, 2024

Surprise! Margies Ran At Southside Today

No rest for the wicked - day 5 WA recap.

Apr 18, 2024

A Dispatch From The Best Run Of Swell Northwest Australia May Ever See

Three weeks of pumping surf, two decades ago, that changed this writer's life.

Apr 17, 2024

Nichols, Silva + Spencer Cut, Robinson Lives To Fight Another Day

Waiting: a polite term for slowly losing your mind - here's what happened in WA…

Apr 17, 2024

The Pupo Brothers Will Face Off At Margs, And Only The Winner Can Stay On Tour

Let's look at every match-up that will seal a CT surfer's fate.

Apr 16, 2024


After 30 seasons on tour, 56 event wins & 11 world titles, Kelly Slater has…

Apr 16, 2024

Slater Takes His Last Dance, 7 More Men Axed From The CT

Day 3 WA recap.

Apr 16, 2024

Did Kelly Slater Just Retire?

3 decades, 56 event wins, and 11 World Titles later.

Apr 16, 2024

Goofies Dominate, Ewing Detonates, The GOAT Is Led To Slaughter

Once cut, twice shy.

Apr 15, 2024