Stab Magazine | Sponsor Update: Who's In And Who's Out 4 Months Into Covid?

Sponsor Update: Who’s In And Who’s Out 4 Months Into Covid?

Ed note: a previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Vissla had furloughed 70% of its staff, including one of its premier “Creators”. We’ve made the necessary amendments below.  There’s never been a worse time to be pro surfer. At least in the new millennium.  Contracts have been sliced across the board, and for those […]

news // Jun 30, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ed note: a previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Vissla had furloughed 70% of its staff, including one of its premier “Creators”. We’ve made the necessary amendments below. 

There’s never been a worse time to be pro surfer. At least in the new millennium. 

Contracts have been sliced across the board, and for those who rely on competitions to earn their acorns, there are no contests to compete in.

Alas, some surfers have fared better than others in our newly imagined world. Pete Devries, for instance, managed to snag a couple new sponsors (Arc’teryx and Manera) just prior to the pandemic, which will keep his family full of maple syrup throughout those frigid winter months. Below, we’re gonna highlight some of the sponsor gains and losses of the past month (or so) and some that, despite covid, might still happen in the future. 

Jay Davies Off RVCA, on West

While it doesn’t look like it’s caused Jay Davies to skip a step, the dark-eyed, salt-and-pepper West Australian bruiser has parted ways with his longtime sticker sponsor, RVCA. An understated talent with one of the broadest ranges of any plus-sized surfer operating, Jay enters the market as a wildly marketable bargain in an admittedly saturated buyer’s market.

While Jay has yet to lock in a head-to-toe brand, he’s at least got his neoprene needs covered by local brand West Wetsuits, who’ve made a resurgence (also recently signing Taj Burrow) since their noughties heyday.  

MSF/TS Snatch Mitch Coleborn 

We noticed the Stone missing from maturing video star Mitch Coleborne’s James Cheal signatures a few weeks back. While we were disheartened to see the longtime partnership end, we’re pretty hyped to hear Mitch and our former neighbors at M/SF/TS have struck up a new hot and heavy deal (don’t call it a rebound!). M/SF/TS’ profile has grown over the last few years with tremendous support from their relationship with Globe (one of the last truly surfer-owned brands still operating in the big leagues) and their proximity to brands like Stussy and Thrasher within their Australian distribution. Mitch’s party-boy vibe is a glove-tight fit for M/SF/TS. 

conner lifestyle js3

Conner Coffin to JS Surfboards

After 16 highly-successful years with his hometown brand (who just so happens to be a top-5 global surfboard retailer and owner of the most male World Titles of any board co.), Conner Coffin is leaving CI to sample the vibrant pastures of Australia, home (among others) of JS Surfboards. According to inside sources, there was no money gained in the switch from CI to JS—Conner simply wanted to generate a fresh feeling underfoot. And based on this video, he’s done just that.

Post Lay-Offs Vissla Loses “Creators” 

We got wind of a sudden furloughing of 15% of Vissla’s staff this month, as well as the loss of certain “Creators and Innovators”—guys like fine artist and woodworker, Jay Nelson, the man responsible for their instantly recognizable “Dream Steeple” van. Which leads us to:

Mollusk Building Team Of Alt-Left Needle Pushers

San Francisco-based Mollusk has quietly built an incredibly successful apparel program. Rooted in their Sunset-neighborhoods bro-hemian environment, they’ve managed to establish more than a cult following, as well as a handful of iconic flagships. 

This month, after closing their Silverlake location in Las Angeles, the Mollusk crew announced the addition of Trevor Gordon to their new roster of ambassadors, as well as the aforementioned Jay Nelson, whose work has been integral to Mollusk since before it even opened its doors.

Despite their impressive online presence, Mollusk also just announced the opening of their new Santa Barbara location, which will be run by Trevor’s better half, Maddie. 

Jack Robbo and Mason Ho to be sponsored by a video game brand?

With the surf industry’s once-infinite well drying up quick, most surfers will have to go the way of Medina, locking in contracts with major, non-endemic brands, who have to longevity and muscle to support a surf career. Recently, two of Stab readers’ favorite sons, Mason Ho and the recently-betrothed Jack Robinson, have reportedly been approached by the folks behind the video game Fuser (which is basically a DJ-specific version of Rock Band, made by the same company…) about a potential deal. 

This settlement, if it happens, comes as an indirect result of Snapt4—a surf film in which both Mason and Jack will star sometime in 2021—which is also supported by Fuser.

Screen Shot 2020 06 29 at 7.33.02 AM

Gabby Medina off FCS, on Creatures?

This one we’re definitely not sure about, but a recent IG upload has led us to believe that the 2x Champ could have a new traction sponsor. Typically Medina doesn’t stray from his signature FCS pad, however a photo of his new murdered-out quiver shows Gab rocking Creatures pads (with no FCS sticker in sight). 

It should be noted that there are also no Creatures stickers on board, which could mean that Gab is testing the traction waters after a (likely) split with FCS. Creatures would be a logical place for Gabby to start, as the company is part-owned by his Rip Curl teammate and good pal Mick Fanning.


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