While the internet has certainly changed the job description of pro surfers worldwide, Hawaiian surfers have arguably benefited most from this shift.
Flynn Novak’s career as a Pipe specialist hadn’t earned him a big-name sponsor or a big paycheck until a clip of his small wave aerial antics at Rocky Point, specifically his ‘Flynnstone Flip’ won him the 2010 Kustom Airstrike crown and a $50K payday. The trick has since landed him a Transworld Surf cover and feature.
The Maui duo, Matt Meola and Albee Layer, have been largely ignored by top brand sponsors and much of the traditional surf media. Yet by sweeping Taylor Steele’s Innersection competition and a $100K check they have used the interweb to vault themselves into the spotlight, and probably a higher tax bracket.