Irvine, Calif. -O’Neill announces the signing of a three year deal with twenty one year old Maui surfer, Ian Walsh.
Ian is widely known for being one of the youngest surfers to ride the monstrous waves of Jaws on Maui by placing runner- up in The Billabong XXL Big Wave Contest on a 68′ foot beast in 2004. He is also an incredible small wave free surfer that can bust big airs and reverses with the best of them.
He has proven he has a contest aspect to his surfing as well that cannot go unnoticed. He placed third in the 2003 XCEL finals at Sunset and he backed it up by winning the same event this December, 05. His abilities shine in all types of conditions from 2-70 feet which will only grow in his new relationship with O’Neill.
“Ian is an incredible talent and he truly embodies the O’Neill spirit — a true charger that lives to surf. He could be the most versatile surfer today and it was a no-brainer getting him on the program, says Tim Garrett, Vice President of Marketing for O’Neill Clothing.
Whether he is towing into Jaws, getting Backdoor barrels, or performing air reverse’s at any beach break, his combination of skills make him a perfect match for O’Neill’s core commitment to surfing. “We have been following his career since he was eleven when he would come over to do the NSSA Nationals. We are extremely happy to add him to the team and to help him reach his goals, adds Garth Tarlow Director of Sports Marketing.
Ian has a strong work ethic and a professional approach to his craft. “I am super stoked to represent a company that is so fired up about surfing. I really feel that I fit the brand well and what O’Neill is all about,” added Ian
Surfing Magazine’s Editor Evan Slater stayed right next door to Ian during the 2005 North Shore season and had this to say about him. “When it was prime time on the North Shore he was on it every day and every session, just totally focused. The guy is just solid all the way around.
With Ian’s addition to the team roster it helps round out the complete picture for continuing to grow and push surfing and O’Neill forward. O’Neill’s commitment to surfers and surfing is only strengthened by the addition of Ian.
O’Neill is the world’s original surf brand. The family-owned and operated company distributes its products to 85 countries, including more than 2,000 specialty wetsuit and clothing retailers in the U.S. O’Neill Clothing USA is a licensee of O’Neill International. Consumer information is available at www.oneill.com.