Today Marks The Largest Sponsorship Cliff In The History Of Surfing - Stab Mag

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Today Marks The Largest Sponsorship Cliff In The History Of Surfing

“There’s no getting around it. It’s gonna be a bloodbath.”

Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 15 minutes

What if we told you that the recent Italo Ferreira x Billabong split was just the tip of the athlete contract iceberg — one that’s about to release a megaship of talent into today’s icy industry waters?

October 31, 2023 will mark the end of the largest number of surf contracts in a single day. We’re talking about dozens and dozens of pro surfers whose contracts will come to end on the same day, and whose futures with their respective brands are far from certain.

The majority of the affected surfers ride for Quiksilver, Billabong, and RVCA — all brands under the Boardriders umbrella, which is now under new ownership by Authentic Brands Group (get savvy on Boardriders’ recent sale to ABG and all that it entails here).

For reasons relating to the American fiscal year, surfer contracts for Boardriders brands largely start and end on October 31. As fate would have it, a significant number of these deals are up in 2023… just as ABG has taken the reins and began to license out their newly acquired brands to management firms.

Let’s discuss who’s staying, who’s going, and what it all means for the surf industry.

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