Roxy steps down as name sponsor of the first ever World Surf League (WSL) women’s event with equal prize money.
The lineup at the last Roxy Pro Gold Coast, in 2018. Pic: WSL/Sloan

Following last week’s announcement that Quiksilver were back for another year as title sponsors for the 2019 Gold Coast Pro, today we learned that Roxy have dropped the event that has carried their name since 1996. The naming sponsor for the event – which will make history as the first CT event to award equal prize money following WSL’s groundbreaking commitment in September of 2018 – will instead be Boost Mobile.

It’s worth considering why Roxy have dropped this iconic event and why they would chose to do so at such a pivotal moment… perhaps they just don’t believe that women  surfers should receive equal pay? Over the weekend, Roxy launched their new swimwear campaign and, perhaps unsurprisingly given today’s announcement, it didn’t feature any actual surfing. In a commenting on this on their instagram, we were told that we were rude and should expect people to unfollow our own socials… It’s ironic that calling out brands for perpetuating sexism and failing to support their team riders by presenting them as the athletes they are is considered rude but, hey, we’ll probably still continue to do it because, you know, they’re meant to be a surfwear brand, and especially considering Roxy’s own claim that they believe in “Making Waves, Moving Mountains“.

Roxy rider and world champ Stephanie Gilmore during Round 1. Wonder how she feels about the move by Roxy? Pic: WSL/Swilly

Disappointingly, Roxy seem to be falling for their own hype with Roxy Australia’s website going so far as to state:

Roxy is proud to be the largest corporate sponsor of women’s surfing worldwide.

Given that the only event they’re event sponsoring in 2019 is the Roxy Pro France, this seems a bit of a stretch.

Over at Boost Mobile, general manager, Jason Haynes had this to say:

The gender equity policy changes in surfing are important, they matter to our customers, competitors and the community at large. We look forward to supporting this historic event, whilst giving our customers and fans an incredible experience and access to the world’s best surfers as they compete to become WSL Champion, and are rewarded as they deserve.

Thank goodness for Boost Mobile for coming to the party and truly supporting women’s surfing. It’s just sad that the brands that make so much money from us, can’t do the same.

The Boost Mobile Pro will run at Snapper Rocks from April 3 – 13 and will stream live at http://www.worldsurfleague.com/.