Hi I'm Mike. I was a sponsored athlete a couple of times in my life. Firstly, being for St. Louis High School, the #2 Ranked High School Football Team in the nation at that time in history. We were sponsored by West Sport, a sporting goods store in Waipahu, HI and they hooked us up with the inns to publications like Eastbay Magazine, for instance, that sized us for our athletic footwear deal with Nike. Our uniforms and shoes were all Nike and we all looked like All-American candidates in our own rights.
I was a pretty good athlete. Had my name in the local newspapers for all stars in our conference my junior year and was requested to talk to 2 division 2 colleges at the end of that year to see if I would play ball for them. Real honor and I was really grateful to experience that in my athletic career in any sport.
After high school, I was continuing my education at university, and I also began my aquatic athlete career. Early on, I rode waves on the Southeast of O'ahu at Sandy's since I worked at a Beyond the Beach, a retail chain not unlike Honolua Surf Co. and a surf shop without equipment. They were once trying some marketing project when I got hired and requested information about my wave riding experience. I remained quiet at first because I was learning my craft, but management was supposed to be really putting money into it (from rumors) and they asked again for footage 2 more times. I later agreed to their negotiation points and went along working on gathering all the necessary things I would need to satisfy the requirements for the footage. They later told me it was for possible sponsorship.
In the end, I didn't get to gather the requirements and later left the company to work federally in Aviations. Funny how that works out.
From then on, I kept being a sponsored athlete open in the back of my mind but never knew how to be accomplished and to tell you the truth, I'm not supposed to be an athlete anymore. Never went to a school to learn how to do it properly and I have to try and earn money to live now. I'm cheap in my expenses but big in love like a Landon McNamara song because of it. As the story goes, I worked for a long while then had to change career paths due to health problems so retail chains opened up again.
L: Playing Card for Waianae Tigers Pop Warner
R: Hawaii State Champion Little League Pin
I got time in the water later in life around 2015 and from then on, learned to do it by having fun at the beach. Sometimes I fulfill my need by doing power hours for a while on lunch breaks when there's waves. then that built to everyday 2x a day on swells. That's a mature schedule to ride waves I thought. It worked out for a long time and I was kept under the radar until I tried to replicate the Beyond the Beach attempt and work at a surf shop chain. Eventually, I tried working at T&C Surf Designs. I got in and was offered again during the hiring process and this time because I had an Empire Bodyboard and time in the water already, I was a contributing athlete on Craig Sugihara and Town & Country Surf Designs roster.
I was fitted for the pro model board from Matt Castiglione and the now defunked Ride Shop in McCully and I took that board to the breaking limit too. Broke both the stringers riding Boneyards at 1st Holes in Ala Moana. It was caput. That's just what happened to it. I'll show you what I'm doing with it now.
A bit of Restoration.
Now we eat Smoked Marlin.