Tell us a little bit about your life outside of the industry.
My life outside the industry is largely spent with my family based in Sydney on the Northern Beaches. While surfing is my first passion, I also enjoy cycling and I try to swim as often as possible. I’m also involved in a not-for-profit charity, OneWave, who raise awareness for mental health through saltwater therapy, surfing and fluro. It’s a great cause and one that I’m really passionate about.

How did your career in the boardsports industry start?
I started my career in the industry working in the warehouse at Rip Curl. I was very lucky to be given a traineeship which involved spending time in all departments of the Rip Curl business before joining the Accessories team as a Product Manager. It was an absolute privilege looking back and I was very fortunate to be exposed to multiple areas of the business and gain some valuable skills and experience which I have used throughout my career.

What is your background with Surf Hardware International?
I’ve been working with Surf Hardware International (SHI) for 8 years now. It’s been an incredible experience so far. We’ve sold the business twice during that time, acquired new businesses and released some really innovative products along the way. We have an incredible team and I am grateful to be able to work with them on brands like FCS, Softech and Gorilla Grip. SHI is one big family and we have great people who are really passionate and dedicated to the business.

Who do you look up to in the surf industry?
During my career I’ve been really lucky to have worked with some incredible people. Early in my career it’s was amazing to be able to work with Brian and Claw at Rip Curl, and Peter Hodgart was a great mentor for me during my time in the Accessory department. Bob Hurley was one of the most inspiring guys I’ve met – very high energy and always looking at things in a positive way. I also got to work with Pat O’Neill and meet Jack during my time at O’Neill which was amazing – such a humble guy but also a pioneer in the industry. All of these people and many others have inspired me during my career and it’s why I love working in the industry.

What challenges do you think the boardsport industry faced & continues to face during the pandemic?
I think the challenges have changed a little over the course of the last 18-24 months since the pandemic started. Initially I know a lot of people were trying to determine what impact COVID 19 would have on their business and there was a lot of uncertainty. Fortunately for our industry, once we got through that, demand started to accelerate and we saw a lot of new participants in the sport. Many of the challenges came from trying to supply the market with enough stock to meet the demand.

More recently, the challenges have related to supply chain and the movement of goods, but I believe the industry is well positioned to manage through that and the forward outlook is positive. Due to an increase in surfing participation we have a lot of new people in the sport, the Olympics took surfing to a much wider global audience, women’s participation is growing and wave pools are taking surfing to a whole new audience that doesn’t need to live on the coast to experience the stoke of surfing.

While challenges still exist, I’m very optimistic about the future for the sport and our industry overall.

What do you see in the future for SBIA?
The SBIA has been going for 10 years now and Macka and the numerous board members over the years have done a great job bringing everyone together to advance the industry. They have created a platform for brands and retailers to interact and celebrate everything that’s great about our industry.

My goal is to continue that work and further strengthen the links with other key stakeholders in the industry including participants, athletes, surfboard manufacturers and governing bodies, just to name a few. I see a role for the SBIA in driving an even greater focus on sustainability across the industry and continuing the great work that has been done so far providing education & training tools, research & consumer insights, interactive seminars and of course the annual SBIA awards event.

Where is your absolute favourite place to surf?
That’s a hard one. I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria and travel back there every year around Xmas time and the beach breaks get really good, so I love surfing back there. During my time at Rip Curl I got to surf Bells and Winki a lot and I really loved surfing around that whole area from Torquay to Johanna. Living on the Northern Beaches in Sydney also provides a lot of good places to surf and I love the mid-north coast up around Boomerang/Blueys Beach. In terms of overseas destinations, I’ve done a couple of trips to the Mentawais and Telo Islands over the years and had some epic waves so I love surfing that area too.