Our collective reaction: uhhhhh duh! Photo: WSL
Just In: Reef Heazlewood Signs With Hurley
The Sunny Coast kid, whose airs constantly kiss the heavens, is bunking with JJF!
Six months ago, most surf fans had never heard the name Reef Heazlewood.
Then Rocky Point happened.
Then the Volcom Pipe Pro happened.
Then the Quik Pro trials (1st), Red Bull Airborne (2nd), and the Quik Pro main event (where he beat Julian Wilson and advanced to Round 4) happened.
These recent flare-ups, which center around Reef’s inimitable forehand hanger, have made him the object of many surf brands’ desire. However, issues with budgeting have made it difficult to get Reef paid by a major surf brand (though he recently signed with Havaianas footwear).
Still nineteen, the Sunny Coast gent is refreshingly green and sweeter than a Maraschino cherry. Reef didn't get bummed when brands told him "no", he just kept smiling and pointing his fins to the heavens. It's this passion and ability that have led Reef to a crucial career turning point, in which his future movements will be determined by the sticker on his nose.
As of yesterday evening, Reef has made his decision: a big letter )( will live on his surfboard's beak, representing a new Hurley contract.
The company’s founder, Bob Hurley, was quick to congratulate the marriage.
We just got off the phone with Reef, who was elated with the partnership.
Stab: Reef, congrats on the new Hurley gig! So well deserved.
Reef Heazlewood: Yeah, thanks guys. I’m so stoked.
I think a lot of people noticed that empty real estate on your nose, but with your recent performances, it was only a matter of time before somebody swooped in and grabbed it.
Ah, cheers. I was kind of blown away with how this week went for me. I’ve grown up wanting to just blow up in contests and entertain – even if that means I don’t win. I just want to entertain people. I’ve gotten a lot of positive messages from people this week, so I feel like I’ve done my job to entertain. For it to be my first CT event, and to not feel too much pressure, and to go out and beat one of the best surfers in the world, it felt amazing.
Was your Hurley deal in the works before this event?
No, it wasn’t actually. It was pretty funny. I got a couple messages an hour or two after I lost from Mitch Ross, kinda just like, “Hey, we’d love to meet up and have a chat.” And then other people around me had heard about it from Mitch, so they were pushing me to go meet with him right away [laughs]. And that was pretty much two days ago, so it happened really fast. A lot faster than I expected.
We heard that you might have formed a relationship with Bob Hurley this winter in Hawaii, perhaps at Bible study? Is that correct?
I didn’t actually get to meet him at the Bible study, but yeah, I was kind of messaging him, doing my best to meet him. It didn’t quite work out at that time, but we stayed in contact and formed a bit of a relationship. Funnily enough, Bob came up to me in Hawaii a few years ago and was like, “We’re big fans of your surfing,” but I didn’t recognize that it was Bob [laughs]. So I didn’t formally meet him until last week at an industry forum at the High Performance Centre. He was speaking at that event, so I went up and introduced myself. It was great talking to him. He’s been so supportive.
And it’s clearly paid off. Speaking of which, this has got to be one of the most lucrative weeks in your career. Ten thou for the Airborne, 15k for the main event, and now the Hurley contract.
Yeah, getting a few dollars this time [laughs]. I’m pretty stoked.
So what’s the deal for the rest of the year? Are you just gonna push for qualification?
Yep, there’s a couple more 10,000s this year, so I’m just gonna focus on the big ones and try to qualify. But also I want to continue showing the world what I can do. I want to go charge some waves and get some gnarly punt sections and stuff. I think I’ll do some trips with Hurley between the events, so it should be a pretty good year.
Do you have a manager, or did you have to work out this deal on your own?
Since the start of the year, I’ve just been managing myself. I sent out some emails at the start of the year, and everyone was just a bit too tight then. But I’ve worked it out Mitch now, and I think it’s turned out really well. It's been a great learning process, I think I've matured a lot beacase of it.