As we roll into 2017 you might have noticed many of the top professional surfers have not renewed contracts with their major sponsors. It seems as though big surf companies are cracking the whip and cutting cost every way they can. Obviously this doesn’t include one certain Hurley rider and a small handful of other guys, but for the rest of them slapping a major sponsor sticker on their nose this year is looking grim. It blows my mind that certain punk rock cigarette smoking free surfers can sign massive contracts but I guess their groupies are the ones buying their products and making the companies money.
I was reading that major surf companies have not been doing as well lately due to no one buying their products, but seriously who wants to spend $50 on a t-shirt that only lasts a month or so when you can buy a shirt of equal quality for $5 from just about anywhere. In my eyes the days of supporting big surf brands has ended due to the poor quality and the high prices they charge. Core surfers don’t want to waste all their cash on expensive clothes, they want to spend it on surfboards and wetsuits (oh and beer).
One thing I have noticed is that the skateboarding industry has many skater owned companies that are doing extremely well and here is why – people can relate to these guys because they see them as being just like them (skaters). They have made something out of nothing, built companies from the ground up. They are skateboarding companies created by skaters for skaters. People want to support these companies because they know they are contributing to skateboarding and not some corporate company whose owners and employees don’t even partake.
Is this the future for the surf industry? It might just well be, with surfer owned companies slowly on the rise being created by very influential surfers like Dane Reynolds and Craig Anderson just to name a few I think brands like this will have an almost cult like following. It’s becoming cool to be different, more and more each day and with social media playing a massive roll in obtaining a following. I think the big surf companies are going to be in for a shock in the near future. People like people and they like to be personal and feel like they are a part of something, so in my eyes surfer owned companies with thrive in the future. It’s like a big up yours to all the big brands who wiped out all the little guys in the surf industry. What goes around comes around I guess.
Some surfers owned companies worth checking out –
Zion Wetsuits, The Critical Slide Society (TCSS), Afends, Salty Crew
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