What Well-Known CTer Just Made A Major Board Sponsor Change?
This one will shock you.
A little industry secret that’s hardly a secret at all: sponsorship changes revolve primarily around money.
Despite what marketing teams will tell you, the switch from one brand to another has little to do with the quality of wetsuits, leashes, watches, boardshorts, etc. that one company produces in relation to another.
If a surfer can earn more money from a new brand than they do from their current one, while also considering factors like cultural capital and certain personal loyalties, that change is made. If the numbers don’t add up, they’ll stay.
The only product for which this rule does not regularly apply is the surfboard itself.
There are, of course, outliers to this rule (Taj Burrow x Firewire comes to mind), but for the most part, professional surfers, and especially those who compete for a living, partner with the board brand that they believe will provide the greatest performance, regardless of what dollar amount might or might not be attached to it.
For example, a few years back, Jordy Smith ended a very lucrative deal with CI so that he could sample a wider variety of board brands on the Tour, none of which paid him to do so.
While Jordy took a loss on the surface, this decision might have been even more lucrative for the South African in the long run. Think about it: the better Jordy performs on Tour, the more money he stands to make from contest earnings and bonuses from his softgood sponsors. And finishing third last year certainly helped his bottom-line.
In other words, it’s almost always in a surfer’s best interest to pick a surfboard brand that best suits their performance, not their (immediate) bank balance. And recently, one CT surfer did just that.
If you can figure out what male CTer just made a trans-Pacific board change, our friends at JS (the new sponsor!) might just give you a free board—perhaps a Black Baron? (See below for entry details).
This surfer had ridden for their previous board sponsor for over a decade.
This surfer is switching from one of the top-5 board brands in the world for another of the top-5 board brands in the world (based on global sales figures).
This surfer shares a hometown (or county, at least) with their original board sponsor, and is changing for a brand from a different continent.
So, who is it?
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