A February 10 press release by Bamboo Surfboards Australia stating that the budding surfboard manufacturer has been successful in “wooing” World Champ and Sunny Garcia to the bamboo-veneer program caused a small stir. Was Sunny no longer riding for BYB?
A call into both companies has cleared the matter: Sunny Garcia has two surfboard sponsors (I guess it pays to be World Champ).
[IMAGE 1]”Sunny is one of the world’s few riders to actually have two surfboard sponsors,” says BSA Managing Director Shale Gordon. “We BYB and BSA both have contracts with him, and our contract is for him to ride our bamboo surfboards in at least three WCT events. On all his other boards he’ll put a BSA sticker, and on all his Bamboo boards he rides he’ll put all of his other stickers on. It’s not that he has an option to ride bamboo surfboards in contests, the contract actually states that he will ride bamboo surfboards in a certain number of WCT contests.”
Gordon adds that Garcia’s contract is for two years.
Albie McGarry, who handles marketing for BYB, confirms that Garcia is still on the BYB program. “Yeah, he practically owns this company. He rides for BYB for sure,” says McGarry.
In fact, Garcia is now part owner of BYB, according to McGarry. “After his world title he became part owner of BYB,” he says. Garcia now owns and undisclosed percentage of the Carlsbad, California-based surfboard company.
The initial confusion and onslaught of phone calls into BYB was rooted in Saturday’s announcement by BSA, which failed to mention that in addition to riding for BSA Garcia will continue to ride for BYB. While the statement didn’t say that BSA was Garcia’s exclusive board sponsor, McGarry says that the press release was misleading in that it alluded that Garcia was riding solely for BSA.
The press release states: “Reigning World Champion of Surfing Sunny Garcia is on Bamboo Surfboards. Garcia recently signed an endorsement contract with Bamboo Surfboards Australia (BSA) that will see him both ride and promote BSA’s Bamboo veneer/epoxy boards over the next two years.
The press release goes on to say that: “According to BSA Managing Director Shale Gordon, the timing of the company’s push into Australia is indicative of both the company’s success in wooing Garcia, a move in the pipe for six months, and the public’s growing interest in the company’s revolutionary products.”
Gordon says that he has since talked to the BYB crew and that they are both on the same page with regards to Garcia’s two board contracts.
[IMAGE 2]So as part-owner of BYB, what will be Garcia’s role? McGarry says after doing the tour for a couple more years, Garcia will be the Hawai’i liaison for the brand, focusing on the BYB accounts in Hawai’i, the surfboard production out of Laminations Hawaii, and possibly open up a BYB-affiliated surf shop.
In the mean time, the success seen from Garcia’s WCT title has kept the BYB crew — namely shaper Pat Mulhern and artist John Glomb — super busy pumping out new boards. “We’re just in the middle of production from the Florida show Surf Expo,” says McGarry. “We’re just dialing all that in. It’s a steady progress of getting them in the door, selling out and reordering. We’re just getting on that wave.”