Are All Fish This Big?
Watching Andrew Mooney at one of his local breaks today pulling into eight foot mutant waves, I couldn’t help but feel that there is an injustice being served by an industry on the brink of extinction. His raw talent was awarded sponsorship a few years back when he was picked up by Quiksilver. Kurt Jacobs, the then team manager, and I were having a meeting in his Sydney office and he showed me Moon’s reel. It was packed with crazy aerials, big and heavy tube riding, and peppered throughout with a bunch of skateboarding. You could tell from the tape that he was an all-round freak and had the makings of a free surfing super star. I agreed that not signing him would be a massive loss and we were shooting for Quik on the south coast of NSW within a few months.
Moon Dog flourished under his new backers and his diversity was rewarded. Over the course of the next few years he graced many pages and covers of major surfing publications the world over. His talent in all elements shining through. Then seemingly for no reason, he was gone. The backing from his major sponsor came to a halt, and his career, based on free surfing not contest results started to dwindle. Not because of a lack of talent, but for the lack of whatever was going on with the powers that be at his major sponsor.
Although Mooney is not alone in this scenario, it is disappointing to see that someone of Andrew’s talent and commitment can be overlooked by sponsors. He is working hard and and surfing great, and who knows, a couple of lucky breaks here and there he could be back on the bandwagon in no time.