We receive almost daily requests from surfers all over the world (mostly from groms) who are looking to become sponsored team riders. Well at that age who wouldn’t want to be a sponsored surfer getting free stuff, free surf trips, team stickers on boards, looks of envy from mates- it’s every aspiring young surfers dream. The problem is that not all requests we receive are presented in a professional way so we thought we’d try and offer some guidelines on how to make the right approach to any surf company and try to become a sponsored surfer.
So if you are one of those young surfers who feels that you’ve a burning surf talent that deserves sponsorship then heres our guide on what to do and what not to do on your search to becoming a sponsored surfer.
What NOT to do!
some golden rules on how to have your sponsorship request ignored or trashed:
- Write as few words as possible in your introduction, with no supporting images etc i.e “Hey Sponsor me”
- Make a rude follow up “Hey why haven’t you sponsored me yet!”
- Send IM on Facebook – nothing says I’m serious about being a pro-surfer more than an IM
- Send one low res picture of you surfing in knee high onshore slop
- Attach bribes “I’ll send you my older sisters phone number, she’s 22 and really fit!”
- Don’t spell check your email ” I relly wont u 2 sponser me coz I’m gud at surfin”
- Don’t mention the brand in your request i.e sending a generic email “I’d like to be sponsored by your company”
- Don’t be a kook!
What TO do
OK so the list above is a bit of fun and the list below won’t guarantee you surf sponsorship but it will help towards being taken seriously and possibly have your request assessed by the right people. So unless you’re talent spotted at a young age we’d recommend these few simple basics to improve your chances of becoming a pro- surfer:
- Learn to surf! and become the ripper at your local beach, train and train hard
- Make a good CV/Resume. It only needs to be one page about you as a surfer, comp results, where you’ve surfed, links to any film of you surfing, include one or two really good surf shots of yourself. Include your contact details or those of your parents if you’re under 18. Spell check it!
- Tell the brand why you like them and why you would like to be on their team.
- Become a social media leader. Set up a Facebook page, Instagram and twitter accounts for you as a surfer. Post only on things relevant to your surfing and try to build up as big a following as possible. Surfers popular on social media become very interesting to brands.
- Get some high resolution shots of your surfing, chose only the very best and send those with your CV.
- Have a good profile picture of yourself, brands want to see what you look like.
- Learn some basic film editing skills and try and make some short films to drop onto Youtube promoting you as an aspiring pro-surfer.
- Work out what it is that you can offer a surf brand and make sure that message comes across in your approach.
Surf brands don’t give out free kit or put surfers onto their payroll without serious consideration, after all it’s a business so you need to prepare yourself in a way that demonstrates you can offer a credible benefit by joining their team.
To become a sponsored pro-surfer, getting paid by a surfing company is incredibly difficult, riders on the payroll are an elite group so don’t pin all your hopes on pro-surfing as a career, study hard and have a back up plan! But if you do have a real surfing talent get some professional coaching, train hard and you never know you could be the new John John or Kelly