In the Red

Without a sponsor, Raoni Monteiro can no longer afford to compete full time on the World Tour

| posted on September 11, 2013
Despite qualifying for the World Tour, a sponsorless Raoni Monteiro may not be able to affort to continue competing. Photo: Ellis

Despite qualifying for the Tour, a sponsorless Raoni Monteiro may not be able to affort to continue competing. Photo: Ellis

In the days leading up to the holding period for the Hurley Pro at Trestles, Brazil’s Raoni Monteiro has had some tough decisions to make. Although he’s held a spot on the World Tour since 2011, he doesn’t have a main sponsor and is struggling to support a family back home while funding his travel to events abroad. We recently rang up Monteiro to ask him how he’s managing to keep up the balancing act, and if we can expect to see him at Trestles.

We heard that the reason that you were unable to compete at Teahupoo wasn’t because you were injured, but because you couldn’t afford to travel to Tahiti without a sponsor. Is that correct?

Yes, that’s correct. I haven’t had a sponsor for three years now and I’ve basically run out of money and have to pick and choose what events I can afford to travel to. I can’t tell you how unbelievably frustrating that is. I have a family over here in Brazil that I need to take care of and surfing is my profession. But it’s simply not paying the bills. I mean, I made it to the World Tour; it’s as high as you can go. There are only 34 guys in the whole world who can make it to this level. I did it. I worked unbelievably hard to get here. And now I can’t afford to do it any longer.

Are you going to be able to make it to Trestles?

It was close man. I almost couldn’t get the money together. But, yes, I’ll be there. I could only afford to get a plane ticket, though. I can’t pay for a car or a place to stay while I’m there. I’ll be walking a lot. Hopefully, I can stay with some other guys in a room or something. The only reason I’ve been able to go to this event was because of the help of my dad. He’s been loaning me money to travel. He owns a gym and has been working every day to help me out. I don’t know how I can ever repay him for something like that. But I wouldn’t be at Lowers next week if it wasn’t for his help.

How does your situation play into your psyche when you compete?

It’s really rough. I feel like, as a professional athlete, I can’t compete or surf my best if my head isn’t focused. And to be honest, it’s really difficult to put yourself in the right frame of mind to go out and compete against the best surfers in the world when you’re worried about how you’re going to feed your family.

So basically you’re only able to continue competing this year if you do well at an event.

Yes, that’s correct. I’m hoping that I can make some heats at Lowers. If I do well enough at Lowers, hopefully I’ll be able to go to Europe to compete. If I don’t make any heats, who knows. It’s just so expensive with the exchange rate and everything right now, too. But yes, it’ll be very hard for me to continue competing on the Tour if I don’t produce some results that’ll give me enough money to continue competing. But then, I also need to requalify so I’m supposed to be doing the ’QS too. It’s too much for me to pay for myself. I don’t even have a credit card.

Where do you go from here?

The other night, I went to my parents’ house and we had a big discussion and I kind of broke down. I don’t know what to do. I’m at a loss. This is my dream, to make the World Tour, but now I can’t afford to do it. If I don’t get a sponsor to help fund my travels, I may have to become a freesurfer and see if I can get a sponsor doing that. I don’t know. Even if I requalify, I might not do to the Tour next season because I can’t afford it.

I think a last place finish still earns something like $8,000, right? That’s still not enough to get you to and from each event?

If it were actually $8,000 that would help. But at some events, they tax a chunk of that out. What I would actually get, after the taxes, is something like 20 or 15 percent less than that. On average, I think it ends up being like $6,000. So when you have to pay for airfare, boards, food, a place to stay, a car—and then still have enough money to support your family back home and pay for your kid to go to the doctor; it’s just not enough.

What would you tell a prospective sponsor looking to support you?

I’ve thought about this a lot. First, I’m not looking for a huge paycheck. I just want enough support to be able to continue competing and take care of my family. I have a daughter and another kid on the way. Aside from that, I’m a well-rounded surfer and I’ve proven that I can compete with the best surfers in the world. Anyone that is interested in sponsoring me should know this: I promise that you won’t find someone else that will work as hard for you as I do. Every cent that you put into me, you’ll get back. You’re keeping my dream alive.

  • Jeff Machado

    Best of luck Raoni!! Kill ’em at Lowerz!!!

  • Disgusted

    Are you kidding me? The industry needs to find this guy a sponsor.

  • karmaportrait

    this gave me a huge sad. i know who i’ll be rooting for at this event. amazing he’s gone three freakin’ years without a sponsor.

  • Maximiliano Bressan

    Its amazing how messed up the surfing Industry is. All these young weak ass surfers getting payed in the 6 digit range and a professionals like Raoni is struggling for a sponsor. I don’t get it its nonsense. Stop giving these young kids so much money companies you are just creating a bunch of fucking bratts….

    • zoseed

      ford archbald, luke davis, and beau foster come to mind

      • bill555

        yea, Ford… the benefit of being archy’s son… is it the SoCal groms they are marketing to… i can’t imagine anyone else that would see anything in Ford… i mean, his surfing is what every one else is doing…

  • Márcio

    It’a unbelievable that a surfer like Raoni do not have a sponsor. It could be a surf brand, but also could be a travel agency, a bank, Ford, GM, Pepsi, Motorola, Sony or any brand that deals with sports, lifestyle and the youth. What about a surf magazine do that?

  • Gregory Kozowski

    Its sad how the surf industry make billions of money every year and just can’t give any bit back to the surfers who make it happens!!

    • bill555

      Quiksilver has shown a loss (10-20M) each year for the past three years. You would be surprised at how few companies make BILLIONS in net profit each year.

  • Bill

    Anybody on the top 34 should not have to deal with this. End Teen sponsorship and hook it up for the elite

  • Cry me a river

    $6000 after taxes to get last place at a surf contest and were supposed to feel bad for this guy? Tough shit buddy, life ain’t fair.

    • Michael Soule

      Who said anything remotely to “feeling bad for this guy”?
      He’s obviously a great surfer and a stand up person who need’s a sponsorship,
      Post your real name next time…

  • Gage Hartman

    Talk about someone to root for.

  • LeRoy Rowland

    Someone sponsor this guy!

  • Go Raoni

    At least some airline could sponsor him with the tickets.
    Sad situation, hard working guy a good father.

  • Jfunk

    The ASP should provide a $30k travel stipend to those who qualify for the WCT if they apply for it and can prove they need it. It’s not like it works out to a lot of money, as only a few like Raoni would qualify for the funds. That works out to about $2500 a contest for travel, expenses etc. which is not that much if you think about airfare, lodging food and board fees. If you are talented enough to make the WCT tour, you should be able to compete sponsor or not. Raoni seems like one of the humble good guys, hope he makes some heats at Lowers. He got one of the best waves at Teahupoo during the code red contest and charged at Cloudbreak when he hurt his knee. It’s a shame he couldn’t afford to go to Chopes this year where he outperforms the lightfooted Brazilian youngsters.

  • Rem

    The asp should be set up a whole lot better. One thing they should at the least have are funds so all competitors can get to the comps, a place to stay and food. It’s a joke at the moment, how can you call this a professional sport!!!

  • BHawk

    I don’t believe that he can’t afford to travel because of money if he’s not living it up. Sorry but I have a bunch of friends from Brazil who take back way less than that and live like kings for months partying like rock stars, make me jealous as hell. Figure it out, you get paid to surf, be a little frugal until you get a sponsor or do like a lot of lower level pros and get side job, fuck give surf lessons while at home in Brazil.

  • Yew!

    Maybe Quiksilver can stop wasting their money on Kanoa Igarashi and hook Raoni up. Not to mention he usually does well @ Lowers.

  • Shane Dorian

    COSTCO!!!! sponser this guy you fools! He’ll ride one of your popular shred sticks and absolutely kill it.

    • Michael Soule

      And you are another one who doesn’t have to worry about sponsorship, would you ride a “COSTCO popular shred stick” Shane? As a go to board? I didn’t think so… 😉

  • Ollie

    Feel bad for you. But surf your best. At bells you looked at top form untill the 4th round when it almost looked like you could get into the finals. Put everything to every heat.

  • whatsupwidat

    Good news Raoni! This years Oneill Coldwater Classic is geared at providing unsponsered surfers with travel and contest entry fees ($50,000 i think). Get your butt up to Santa Cruz and start practicing.

    • fuckzilian

      ‘mericans only

    • Daniel Mawkes

      Ironically O`neill used to be his major sponsor…

      • luke

        Just one year, and not the international o’neill, but by the representative in brazil

      • Eduardo Dantas Leite

        Event only local

  • Chris Mather

    If he’s ever in Morocco I’d happily put him up and feed him, always willing to help a brother out.

  • codyandchelsea

    The ASP should be the one to step up here.

  • Curtis

    Good interview. Rooting for him at Lowers as well. Forecast looks small, not the best for him. I could see him having a better result at Chopes or France or Supertubes if it’s pumping. I remember Chris Davidson a few years back going sponsorless while on tour when he was surfing really well and you hate seeing that on the WCT. Agree about reeling in the grom paychecks.

  • david

    arguably the best style of all brazilians on tour. charges. honest, humble. good smile. family man. likeable in interviews. rips in all conditions and has pushed (and even beaten) top 10 surfers in heats on numerous occasions. no baggage or attitude. maybe above all, attacks every wave with passion. this guy deserves a sponsor.

  • middleWave

    There needs to be some kind of safety net for surfers who’ve made the tour yet don’t have major sponsors. At least enable them to get to the events, have some shelter, and surf their damn heats. ASP, step up!

  • Dante

    Any guy or gal on the world tour should have basic sponsor ship at least ! Raoni deserves to stay on tour ! And be seen surfing against the worlds best ! Come on surf industry ! Step up and show this man some well earned support !!!

  • SR

    So sad. If you were blond, blue eyed or anglosaxon you probably won’t be in this situation.

    • gannysesh

      Are you suggesting that one of the major Brazilian surf brands should sponsor him?

      • SR

        Seems that major brands are more interested in surfer-models teens, which is natural, as their goal is making money. That’s all I am suggesting.

      • bill555

        The major Brazilian surf brands aren’t sponsoring him because they don’t feel they’ll make any money sponsoring him… it’s simple economics.

        • gannysesh

          No shit.

          • bill555

            it’s obvious you and i but look at some of the comments here… all wondering why a CT surfer isn’t sponsored…

  • hello

    nothing in life is given. i have never met raoni but i have seen him charge. if he cannot sell himself even after qualifying for the elite tour, he may need to look within at how his attitude affects his hire-ability. there are billions of people who would love to make $6K*12=72K after tax per year to surf. i don’t even make that doing hard labor.

    • Just saying hi

      A flight alone to Tahiti is probably $4,000 at least. Not sure whats so hard to grasp about this concept

      • gil

        $1689 from LAX
        $2264 from Rio

        sounds like he’s goin first class or not planning ahead.

        • FiveSixDuece

          + luggage and board fees + transportation and room/board during waiting period etc.

      • Stu Azole

        if it’s not supporting his lifestyle, he needs a new job. Problem solved.

  • klansea

    step up zosea.

  • Tomcat

    A sponsor needs to hook this guy up! quit sponsoring a bunch of kids and give a WORLD TOUR SURFER the ability to make you some money

  • Mover and Shaker

    your crying because you can’t afford to travel? then stay home and get a job like the rest of the world. nobody made you bring a kid into this world. quit crying and step up and do what’s best for your family and not what’s best for raoni.

    • Carlitos

      it’s not that easy. these guys have been brought up all their life that once they surf at WTC level the bills can be payed. These dudes drop-out of school early and concentrate everything on surfing and make it their trade. Imagine you going through years of medical training, to find out once you’re a surgeon no hospital wants to employ you- you’ll be back at scratch.

      Now the industry has gone down and its all marketing, targetting young hip surfers that can sell boardshorts, not perform at top athlete level. Exactly the same reason CJ doesnt have a major sponsor either. It’s all imagine man, Raoni doesn’t have a sell-able imagine so the industry doesnt care about it him.

    • nick

      fuck you

    • clint

      ur a loser i hope to snake you one day

    • Lunera

      Do you really think that a guy that defeated parko at pumping bells with a 19+ heat total shouldn’t surf professionaly??

      • Stu Azole

        why should he? What interest does any sponsor have in him if he doesn’t make them a return? It’s like people think simple economics doesn’t apply to surfing.

    • Dino

      a little jealous? shit happens to everyone in whatever career one chooses. what career are you in mover and shaker? this IS raoni’s job! opinions like that means that you have no compassion whatsoever. you, sir, are a complete and inconsiderate asshole!

  • Marcelo Martins

    Go Raoni, we believe in you…!!!!!!

  • Tomtom

    $6’000 – $8’000 and there’s 10 event’s so just for turning up gives you at least!, $60’000 – $80’000 a year!!!, now I’m sorry but the average wage of the UK is £26’000 = $41095.60 a year!!! just for turning up!!! So earning double what most earn in the UK to take back Brazil where it is relatively cheap place to live. In my eyes he’s still getting paid to do his hobby for a living, at double the wage most earn in the UK.
    It’s almost as bad as that article on drug smuggling surfers, on how I’m suppose to feel sorry for someone dumb enough to smuggle drugs into a country with strict drug laws.

    • Tyler7

      yes its 60,000 to 80,000 a year. But your missing the point, he has to travel the globe and pay for it from that money. 60 to 80k just turned to 30,000 to 40,000 to support his family for the year.

    • YD

      Do you have any idea how much does it cost to travel all around the world paying for everything, not to mention supporting his family?? He doesn’t earn $ 60k a year and stay at home.

    • Yo momma

      And do you have any idea on how the cost of living has gone totally off the f*ckin’ charts in Brazil in the past few years? It’s not only soccer and samba anymore… those guys have a f*ked inflated economy, ready to burst as the US mortgage/real estate market in 2008.

    • Lucas Sena

      ok man, so go on and purchase 10 international flight tickets, board taxes, make a reservation in 10 hotels, rent a car 10 times and tell me how much you got? Brazil is a cheap place to live if you earn in Euros and with the avarege wage of UK. Came here to work and pay my bills!

    • dude

      There you go, Raoni… Tomtom got all worked out for you. The guy can do math and currency conversion too… unfortunately he can’t reason!
      So, Raoni, like any average worker in the UK, take the bus to work…, let’s say, Tahiti, also pack your lunch for the day and after your heat, take the bus back home and sleep in your bed… That’s it. More, every now and then you should be able to afford a cab ride, since you’re earning double of most workers in the UK.
      Tomtom… mind the gap!

    • Ambro

      The fact that the guy is on the CT validates that he rips. I’m not jealous that he is paid to surf. I’m stoked for him. With how much money there is in surfing today, anybody who can make the top 34 should be able to surf his heats without worrying about the bills back home. I agree the ASP needs to step up.
      Just one question though. He says he doesn’t have a credit card. How could a guy be on the tour three years and not have a credit card? That part of the money management equation sounds fishy to me.
      But I think people have to understand that 6-8K per event might work for a single guy who just wants to surf and party but with a family back home he has to bring most of that back to Brazil with him. As a father, you learn quickly that you have to put your family first. We should be cheering for this guy!

    • clint

      did you read a single word about travel costs? you fly yourself around the world 10 times a year on 80k and see what you have left….u r an idiot

  • Tupat

    The correct spelling is Afford!

  • LSantos

    I think ASP should pay the basic costs for every qualified athlete as they can’t compete on other events (not ASP). For me this restriction is too much and so the ASP must pay the costs for the major surfers qualified for the CT

    Also there are so many products that uses Surfers and Surfing lifestyle and do not put any money back… So the surfers community must do not buy any of these products at all to help surfers careers and the respect that our sport deserves

  • Paul P.

    This is really sad. I always love watching Raoni surf, his passion, and love for the sport is so evident. No disrespect for Gabriel or Adriano, but the humility that Raoni walks around with is refreshing. He carries himself like a professional. The fact that he isn’t sponsored is sad. I think there should be a fund that the top 34 put a percentage of their winnings into every year for surfers like Raoni. You’ve got guys like John John, Simpo, Mick, and the list goes on making six figures no problem. Don’t they want to surf against the best? Raoni, has earned his spot. His ability to find a sponsor should not hinder him from the ability to compete at the level he deserves. I think it would be quite simple to develop a program that supports guys like Raoni, Surfer driven.

  • Rhino

    Hmm.. Raoni has made $50,500 this year alone (and only made it to 4 out of the 5 events). He also has earned close to $680,000 in his career alone!! Maybe someone should show him how to open up a savings account. Don’t see how he can be struggling so bad, but best of luck!!

    • Lucas Sena

      yes, and he paid all flight tickets, hotels, food, board luggage, transport…

  • Nicollas Eichstaedt Loos

    Like every sport, I understand that the athlet “spend” his time on the game (he just play, don’t have time to study or prepare itself to have a “normal job”). But the line that separates an employed from an unemployed are tenuous. Everyone wants a chance.

  • Dov

    We, surfers, can support him, if every person donates 1$ for every event he’s good to go. Someone should start this thing through a donation website. I would put 12$ each year for this guy if needed…all for one, surfers for surfers

    • Dante

      Cool ! I like this guys idea ! It is easy to hand out 12.00 or more a year, just by handing the homeless guy or gal, a dollar as we walk or drive by them ! Why not support world class surfers on the WCT that are down on their luck, like Raoni is just now. ( Unless they are “Bullies” and Arrogant A-Holes ! ) Good idea since the surf industry wants to throw all it’s money at mostly the younger next generation rippers ! But they still live at home! (Mostly…) Aloha and much good karma to Raoni ! Maybe he will place high or win at Trestles this year …!

      • bill555

        Both of you guys are being facetious, right?

  • Stu Azole

    perhaps the obvious should be stated here – his job’s not to win heats, it’s to sell product. If he’s not doing that, he’s worthless to a sponsor no matter how well he surfs. I can burp on command, but that doesn’t make anyone any money so I’ve been forced to seek out other employment. No different here. Time to grow up and get a real job.

    • Miguel107

      While your point has some validity, does stating the obvious and being a prick make you feel good? You were the only person to leave a comment on a similar article about Paige Hareb. Think about that for a minute. I imagine a lot of people read that interview, yet you were the only impulsive internet warrior that felt the need to leave a negative comment. Speaking of “worthless”, maybe you should take a look in the mirror.

      • Stu Azole

        Some validity? It’s 100% valid. The guy’s in print telling us how hard life is – yeah, and? Why anyone thinks people should just pay them because they surf well is beyond me. Surfing’s a business, just like plumbing, lawyering and accounting. If you’re not earning your keep, move on.

        • bill555

          it’s his job is to win enough heats so that his ranking, exposure, etc. sells product. If he was in the top 5 or in contention at any point during the tour (e.g. Adriano), he would be sponsored… but if you’re not up there (or contending or doing crazy airs like Felipe), who’s going to know about you except the core people that follow the tour. Not many… which means, you’re not worth the 50-100k sponsorship.

  • Stu Azole

    Wah. Start filling out those dish-washing applications.

  • surfer

    I agree with whoever wrote “So sad. If you were blond, blue eyed or anglosaxon you probably won’t be in this situation.”

  • Michael Soule

    Sponsor Him Already!!!

  • Pat Towner

    I agree, cry me a river.

    Everyone should watch this video

    The guy is unsponsored because he is a mediocre pro surfer. There are hundreds and probably thousands of surfers in this world who are right around his level. Watch the video, he is slow, throws no spray, sucks at airs, bogs his rail.

    You people are fooled by the surf industry. This guy sucks and no body should give him money for that.

    • backYARD

      yeah he realy sucks. by the way you talk you must surf better than him, that s why you are on CT like him. He only is in top 34, any guy can do that. That “thousands of surfers” you talk where they are? in the ct?

    • clint

      you are a bottom feeder who has no idea what good surfing is…ive seen shitty videos and frame grabs of every one of the current top 34…go crawl back into the hole you found that video in loser

  • Pat Towner

    25 reasons why this guy is not sponsored in a crappy economy:

    Jordy SmithZAF25,72010000650052003320700$190900$10395802Julian WilsonAUS25,605650052005200422524002080$132450$7814253Adriano De SouzaBRA23,16310000800033201300543$162700$12560954Adrian BuchanAUS22,07510000520042252400250$142900$9199415Joel ParkinsonAUS21,8801000080003500380$175750$18807266Josh KerrAUS21,31565005200520026401125650$117600$6982507Kelly SlaterUSA21,30010000100001300$218700$36444058Kolohe AndinoUSA19,525520042254000240024001300$101900$3917009Nat YoungUSA18,906800065003320700386$99200$28340010Michel BourezPYF17,820800065003320$91000$65457511Filipe ToledoBRA17,4705200520033202400700650$81050$18667512CJ HobgoodUSA16,9976500520033201300400277$86700$144385813Alejo MunizBRA16,2106500332026402400700650$182150$61364514Sebastian ZietzHAW15,0345200520024001300554380$74150$33580015Mick FanningAUS14,81680006500316$115750$192160116Mitch CrewsAUS14,33042254225240015601000920$60500$17806517John John FlorenceHAW13,700650052002000$73000$59349018Kai OttonAUS12,84065005200380380380$71200$70665019Fredrick PatacchiaHAW12,380520040002080700400$44550$84767520Aritz AranburuEUK12,230332033203320920700650$29400$43851521Taj BurrowAUS12,08065005200380$79750$198896322Adam MellingAUS12,030520040001300750400380$84950$58759023Jadson AndreBRA11,4703320240024002400700250$23000$48895024Gabriel MedinaBRA11,12565004225400$76000$69655025Mitchel ColebornAUS11,06065002400700650410400$60400$19398526Jeremy Flores

  • Hussein Obama

    Maybe Volcom, or its parent company, Kerring can sponsor Raoni to represent one of its “Luxury” brands like:

    Bottega Veneta
    Saint Laurent
    Alexander McQueen
    Christopher Kane
    Stella McCartney
    Sergio Rossi

    Raoni would look great surfing in some Gucci boardshorts.

    “Youth against establishment”! Really, fkn Gucci!

  • Ron Paul

    wasnt Raoni the guy charging hard in his heat during the HUGE FIJI swell, before the contest got called off. Oh and wasnt he injured after his heat. This guy charges. Fk the surf industry!

  • Mike

    kickstarter campaign. I’d fund a bit… sounds like there’s a mix of people who would and wouldn’t on here. so be it.

  • Eric

    How can Raoni and CJ not have sponsors? Both RIP, are great guys, are universally respected, and prorven commodities. Really backwards when guys that can barely surf can find sponsors, and guys like these can’t.

  • Jun Jo

    without a sponsor to help offset costs of travel on the world tour its nearly impossible to survive. there is so many expenses travel from brazil aint cheap for one. hotel/boarding/food/car remember many contest’s waiting periods last 12 days thats another, board bag/luggage fees are astronomical then on top of that he has a life at home. as usual for the amount of money put into events some nearly hitting 3 million dollars an event the person who gets ripped off the most is the actual surfers. nothings changed since “surf competition” started. anyways loved the article as its the truth.

  • Seabass120

    Raoni is one of the few Brazzo’s I like to watch surf and it would be a shame to lose him. Oakley is huge in Brazil and should be picking this guy up.

    Raoni, you won’t remember me but we met in Hawaii years ago. If you need a place to crash shoot me an email. Im in Carlsbad.

  • clint

    who gives shit about media presentation, this is the real thing thats wrong with surfing…if some of the best surfers in the world can afford to stay on tour what the point of having a tour??….what a farce. raoni and cj currently, and other unsponsored surfers over the years simply out-surf scores of flash in the pans who sell trunks better and thus get paid more … for a simple reason: surfers are slaves to fashion. it is a sick sport built on vanity and bravado as much as skill and passion.

    pro surfing is a broken system because it caters to idiots who would rather see jack the flick free stones or craig anderson than watch well rounded surfing … mostly becuase most surfers live in dream worlds and think theyre looking fly and/or killing it when really their turns are hurting and their style it bit. Airs aside raoni smokes guys like that all day long…a sport that rewards image over performance is sick and should die…im disgusted and again ashamed to be a surfer

    • Stu Azole

      CJ? Really? You can watch him all you want – back in 1997

  • jac

    There are options out there…art and sports are unfortunately difficult to make a living in.

    There are options like this out there…

  • jac

    There are options out there…art and sports are unfortunately difficult to make a living in.
    How about something like Sport Funder or similar to help athletes raise money to compete etc…similar to what we artists have to do to get our work produced and out there.

  • Marsha Hynes

    Asp need to pay those not sponsored. Its the top 34 surfers in the world not the top 34 surfers who can afford to be there. Keep the standard as high as possible.

    • Stu Azole

      where does the ASP get the money to pay him? The ASP is broke as it is.

  • Tim

    Why do companies sponsor atheletes? Because the athelete makes their brand look good, people see this, and that sells their products. So regardless of what everyone on here thinks about blond blue eyed fashion surfers, they are out there making vids, using social media, and pasting themselves all over the brands that are paying them. Not saying it’s better or worse, just that it’s more cost effective than sponsoring a competitive surfer who rarely gets better equal 9th with a massive travle budget. Raoni is in an unfortunate situation no doubt, but I don’t feel bad for him at all. Might be time to look at yourself — like what have you done for past sponsors and what are you doing now to promote yourself? Surfing in the CT ain’t enough when you rarely crack the top 10. And to everyone that thinks this is racism? As if. I don’t see any of the other Brazzos struggling on tour. Calling it racist is another classic Brazillian blame-everyone-poor-me-injustice-bullshit-sob story. What about CJ? Don’t see him whinging about a lack of sponsors like this. Nor did Chris Davidson. Bottom line, time to take some responsibility for yourself — you have a family and another on the way so if you expect some company to pay for your professional surf career you better go market yourself big time or let go of the dream and live your life.

    • Jeremy

      So are you telling me that if you made it to the world tour, beating out all these little blonde haired kids, yet didn’t get a sponsor, you would be completely fine with it??

      He’s obviously proven himself to be able to compete…if there was someone better than him, they would be on the tour. He deserves something….It’s not like these companies are dead broke.

      • Stu Azole

        being fine with it and understanding the reality of business are two different things. His job’s not to win heats, it’s to sell gear. If he’s not doing that, he’s of NO value to a sponsor. It’s simple.

        • Karl Marx

          No. His “Job” as professional, competing surfer IS to win heats. Marketers PROMOTE a brand/label, wholesalers, retailers SELL products, not surfers. Surfers lend their image to marketers so that products get exposure, or marketers use a surfer’s image to get product exposure. As a competing surfer, you win heats, you get exposure. As a “lifestyle” surfer, you get pics, you get exposure. That’s simple. Raoni is a good enough competitor and gets decent exposure.

          On another note, unfortunately, the interview/article is short on details: who is his agent? Why as he lost his major sponsor? Why can’t he negotiate with local brands? etc.

  • ccru

    Raoni, and about 10 other guys in similar positions on tour, rarely turn heads during their heats. They all have sponsorship troubles because they are not as exciting to watch as guys who get all the magazine coverage. If Raoni surfed with a little more of the reckless abandon of Dane and a little less of the conservatism of Bede, it would help him out a lot.

  • JB

    Should easily find a free place to stay in SoCal and get feed! Many San Clemente families would love to host a pro surfer and provide a home with what he needs! On the PGA Tour many low end players stay with host families. ASP should have a network of host families for surfers in Raoni’s situation!

  • rel0627

    You mean billabong with their amazing stock price cant afford another sponsor?

  • John Florence

    Raoni > ford archbold. Cut off the shitty hipsters like ford, then hire raoni.

  • Brett Simpson

    They pay kanoa igarashi because the kid has a future, not saying raoni doesn’t have one but kanoa along with a couple more teens have a way better chance cracking the top 5 than raoni somewhere in their lifetime. Quiksilver is breeding the next generation.

  • Jeff Mcpherson

    One less Brazillian Nut ,no problem. Moreover ,what kind of chance did he really have?? zero and none

  • Jeff Mcpherson

    Gee , one less Brazilian, no problem. Moreover what chance did he really have? Zero and none.Now ,if only about a zillion Australians would lose sponsoreship it might be fair. STOP THE REGIME….lmao


    how come people don’t do the right thing and help the guys.. I mean, How come Kelly slater doesn’t pay for his ticket?? FUCK SELFISHNESS; FUCK CAPITALISM; FUCK COMPETITIVE INSTINCT; FUCK ANIMAL INSTINCT

  • Jeff

    Too bad, but everyone makes choices in life. There are a lot of talented surfers who weigh the risks of going pro and decide on college and normal career EXACTLY for this reason. Raoni made his own choice and took the risk…it didn’t pan out. Don’t blame the media, don’t blame the other surfers or ASP for not helping him (Ridiculous!), blame Roani. Time to move on.

  • RTM

    Some facts:
    1- Any surfer that surfs well 15′ feet Fiji in a heat, should be sponsored.
    2- Any surfer that beats Joel Parkinson at Bells should be sponsored.
    3- Any surfer that wins at Sunset beach should be sponsored.
    4- Any surfer that represent a nation in the highest level of any sport should be sponsored or have the needed support.
    This is ridiculous!
    If there is something we don’t know about this situation, its time to speak,… Strange that ASP, ASP South America, Abrasp, and all the brazilian brands doesnt do nothing.
    Shame on you ASP, Abrasp and surf brands from Brazil and from any other country.
    Unfortunatly they rule our sport, and in a major way, or in a different point of view, our life style.

  • Gui Alves

    Thank you so much for writing about Raoni, Jeff.

    He’s an amazing competitor and hopefully an interview like this will help him get a sponsor.

  • Crustylapel


  • Give a man a break

    What is this, a professional sportsman unable to compete in his sports top 30 due to money, surely the governing body is responsible, the 150th competitor in a major golf tournament was paid $30,000 for coming last. Is professional surfing that far behind, pretty sad i’d say, where is the support ASP?