Stab Magazine | What Underground Australian Just Signed With One Of The World's Largest (And Most Unlikely) Footwear Brands?

Watch 'Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story'

319 Views

What Underground Australian Just Signed With One Of The World’s Largest (And Most Unlikely) Footwear Brands?

Reef Heazlewood slips into something a little more comfortable!

news // Mar 21, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

While the rest of Australia’s competitive fire seemingly ebbs, Reef Heazlewood is an ember begging to be stoked.

First, let’s talk Hawaii season ’18/’19.

While the most memorable moments went to tubes from guys like Mark Healey, Cam Richards and Keito Matsuoka, Reef was perched firmly up top in terms of unforgettable aerial displays.

Three clips hit @stab in the fallout, today they read 114k, 153k, 103k plays. For reference sakes, the Stab Social Media Dept. considers anything north of six digits a show-stopper. Three in a row? Practically unheard of, A-list or otherwise. 

However, to say Australia has a new aerial bun in the oven puts Reef into an undeservingly small box; his latest edit proved he had more to give, charging dangerous tubes and tying up his turns and jumps into neat little bows.

Recently, we snatched Reef from between QS events to test some new release neoprene a few hours south of Sydney. He zipped up, paddled out and got promptly stuck into the two-to-three foot reflective lefts – Reef’s favourite. You’ll see the results soon enough, but we can tell you there were a number of full rotations that had at least three team members squealing from the sand.

HeazlewoodHavaianas Smith180319Smith6969

With one top turn, a footwear supergiant re-enters the surf sphere.

Coupling his impressive third place finish at the Volcom Pipe Pro, his 29th 2018 QS ranking and some of the aforementioned scroll-jamming activities, everything’s coming up sparkles for the Sunshine Coast’s next big thing.

If you’ll forgive the sweeping generalization may we suggest that a surfer’s progression growth begins to taper off at around 26. Considering Reef’s a year shy of 20, he’s got another 7 or so to continue his exponential growth. To many who’ve watched him these last few months, CT qualification, at the very least, is inevitable.

What’s apparent when meeting Reef is his quiet nature. He’s reserved – perhaps shy fits the description better – and comes off a good, honest Christian soul. The next few years of travel, head-swinging edits and competition glory will certainly open him up, however, one does get the impression the humility is deeply woven into his personal tapestry. 

Surprisingly, the Billabong stickers disappeared from his board two months ago. Given his perfromance in just the first quarter of 2019, one could see that as a regrettable decision for the brand, to allow such a hopeful marketing ally to fall to a competitor. But remember the Bong’s current roster, Jack Freestone, Ryan Callinan and Seth Moniz all qualified this year, then there’s Italo…

Either way, on January 1 Reef hit the market and started dialing digits. It just so happened that the Australian team at open-toe megalodon, Havaianas answered first. The pair agreed to sign some paper and Reef slapped a sticker on his board (the beak remains free!).

Havis, as sand-worshipping as they are, haven’t had a surfer on their books since Luke Stedman in the early 2000s. Could Reef be their ticket to getting surfers to swap out their slides, Birkenstocks and Crocs for the original thong/flip-flop/jandal?

We dialed Mr Heazlewood while he studied a heat going down in mediocre Manly conditions at the Vissla Sydney Pro.

Let’s talk about Hawaii. Those airs were wild. You really made a name for yourself.

Yeah! It was pretty awesome. I’ve been going there for a while with Billabong for the Bloodlines series, but now I’m starting to get a bit more comfortable. It was cool to put my mark on it this year and show a bit more about me.

It was a good season and it kept getting better. I went back home then went back over for the Volcom Pipe Pro and it was pretty sick to get that ally oop to air rev and it blew my mind that I made the finals. It was a pretty insane winter for me there. It’ll be hard to beat it!

REEF HERO

Just a tease of the moving and shaking Reef was up to on our recent trip down south. Photo: Jackson Jones.

Are you noticing you’re getting a bit more attention now, and more people recognizing you?

Yeah, some people were commenting on the airs and when I got home a few people were frothing on me and stuff [laughs], which is a change. Growing up, I kind of felt like a bit of an underdog a lot of the time, so it was pretty cool to do a bit of busting out onto the scene and get a bit more recognition.

Do you feel like you’ve grown as a person as well as a surfer?

Parting ways with Billabong, I feel like that’s really helped me mature. I’ve been able to step out of my comfort zone a bit.

I’ve learned to knuckle down, work a bit harder at being more forthcoming, being a bit more out-there. Like you said, I’m not the most vibrant person in terms of doing crazy stuff, so yeah, it’s been really good for me. 

20190308 IMG 0469

“The QS is just so intense with the level of everyone’s surfing. You’ve got the Brazilians that are just taking it to another level. Then you’ve got people from places you’ve never really heard of and that’s really eye-opening. It’s really cool and it lifts your surfing up as well,” explained Reef. “It shows you that you need to have the brains and the surfing to really make it because nowadays everyone’s got the surfing.” Photo by Jackson Jones.

You let your surfing do the talking!?

Yep [laughs].

So, you’re signing with Havaianas, how did that all come together?

I came into the new year looking for sponsors, trying to find who would really want to support me. Havaianas, they’re a really fun, beachy brand, so I reached out to them.

They haven’t really had too much to do with surfing, even though they’re really based around the beach, so they were really excited to have me connect with the youth market that surf and love the beach.

HeazlewoodHavaianas Smith180319Smith2778

Steering something different for his new fam. (Photo: Ethan Smith)

In terms of a partnership, how does it look?

At the moment I’m going to help them connect with the kids and hopefully inspire a new batch of young surfers, I’m also doing a couple of things at home with the grommets. A surf camp and some stuff with local schools. I know Havi’s do a bunch of work with Ronald McDonald house and Surfing NSW which I want to get involved in. They run some surf schools and have a groms comp too, there is plenty of things both in and out of the water which is cool. They haven’t sponsored a surfer since Luke Steadman, it’s cool to be the first since the great man…

What’ve you got for us this year?

I’ll be focusing on the QS and qualification throughout the year, so I’ll be doing all the major events. I want to focus on improving my surfing, my profile and exposure and stuff. I’m also trying to hunt big barrels and make edits as well. Super excited to get stuck in.

Comments

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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Unlocked: ‘Nozvid’ In All Its Glory

Two years and $100K later.

Dec 8, 2022

How To Watch The Vans Pipe Masters

With less than 24 hours to go, we've put together a complete list of rules…

Dec 7, 2022

Watch: Stab’s Best Wetsuits of 2023

Our quest to objectively establish the best men's suit, women's suit, and booties out of…

Dec 7, 2022

Eithan Osborne Belongs On The 2003 World Tour

But he's gotten an invite to the 2022 Vans Pipe Masters, so we caught up…

Dec 7, 2022

30:37

“I Could Do Reels And Surf Two Foot Beachies And Hoard Cash But That’s Moral Suicide”

Noa Deane’s thoughts on money, media, airs in glassy waves and more.

Dec 7, 2022

Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story

The rise and rise of Mrs. Pipeline.

Dec 6, 2022

Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry

"Bull-riding is such a great warmup for surfing big waves."

Dec 6, 2022

Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters

3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.

Dec 6, 2022

21:04

‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’

RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!

Dec 5, 2022

What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?

Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.

Dec 5, 2022

Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT

After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…

Dec 3, 2022

An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties 

A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.

Dec 3, 2022

Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl

And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.

Dec 3, 2022

3:53

Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden

Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.

Dec 2, 2022

5 New Surfers Confirmed For The Vans Pipe Masters

Who's out, who's in?

Dec 2, 2022

Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Dec 2, 2022

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4

The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.

Dec 2, 2022

‘Saturn’ Orbits Into Southern California

Quiksilver's newest film made landfall in Encinitas, and we were there to document the occasion.

Dec 1, 2022
Advertisement