Sponsorship in the world of professional surfing can feel like a revolving door. Have talent? Willing to switch sponsors to the highest bidder? Who wouldn’t? Keeping up with who surfs for whom on what contract is a fool’s errand. But occasionally there is movement worth reporting, and today news slid across our desks that up-and-comer, buttery-smooth Mikey February recently inked a head-to-toe contract with Vans, bidding adieu to the mountain and the wave.
Mikey’s been sporting waffle soles since 2014 when he was a regional Vans team rider in South Africa, but the move means Vans stickers on his sleds now have less competition.
“Touted for his unique surf style, February expresses a modern and dynamic surf aesthetic, with a diverse mix of fluidity, precision, and originality,” explained Vans in a release. “Bringing his passion of the sport to the forefront of everything that he does, February’s progressive talent, creative approach, and infectious positive attitude have permeated the elite professional surfing industry, and Vans is honored to continue its support of February’s bright career on the global Vans Surf team for years to come.”
Mikey February made waves when he qualified for the 2018 CT, becoming the first non-white South African to do so, ever. His likelihood of requalifying for next year’s tour, unfortunately, is a long shot. And by long shot, I mean impossible (he currently sits 31st on the CT rankings and 46th on the QS rankings). But, even if February chooses not to seek requalification, chances are we’ll be seeing more free surf edits of the man who’s not averse to stepping on alternative craft.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Vans global team,” Mikey said of the move. “The Vans lifestyle and overall vibe resonate so strongly with me. Everyone on the team has such a unique style and approach to their surfing and I appreciate how Vans supports and celebrates this in each rider. It’s a big, happy, creative family and I am honored to be welcomed onto the team and what the future will bring–it is going to be epic!”