The Art Of The Deal.
By David Castle.
When I was thirteen I was just learning to ride a bodyboard.
I don’t think I could even do spins, but I thought I should definetly be sponsored!
I lived at Tumbi Umbi which was home to Rheopaipo and an accessory company called Down the Line. I hit them up but quite rightly they didn’t take me serious.
So in the days before Facebook and Instagram, I rang all the companies who advertised in Riptide and Australian Bodyboarder Magazine and asked them to sponsor me.
Most of them had their phone numbers at the bottom of their ads and I had no problem tracking phone numbers down.
After many phone calls, the only company that gave me the time of day was Land and Sea Sports who distributed Palm Beach Fins (the worst) and the equally craptastic Atunas Shark Island Bodyboards.
The guy on the phone seemed semi-keen.
He asked me if I competed (I had been to one Christian Surfers comp that had a bodyboard division held in 4 foot waves and didn’t make it out the back).
I told him that I did.
He then asked me about my best results, I told him I made the finals.
I was ready for this question, Riptide used to publish comp results at the back of the mag. I found another guy called David who had made a final in a comp the previous month in Queensland who was around my age and said that it was me.
I was from the Central Coast of NSW but this and the fact that my surname was different didn’t deter me.
I told the guy my parents had just divorced and I had moved from Queensland to NSW and changed my surname to my mum’s maiden name. I told him the results of this comp had even appeared in Riptide.
“Ok” he said, “we’re interested”.
“Send us some pics”.
No problem, my mum had just got a black and white fax machine so I told him I would fax them across.
I had never had a pic taken of me but this didn’t matter. I went to Riptide and tore out a pic of Tamega doing a huge invert in Mexico and grabbed another pic of someone doing another air.
In both pics you couldn’t see the riders head, so it was a fool proof plan.
That and him receiving the pics in black and white would trick him for sure.
I even added a copy of my “comp result” as icing on the cake.
I faxed my forged bodyboard portfolio off to them off, confident I would soon be a new member of the team. I even had the fantasy that they would run an ad saying “we would like to welcome our newest rider David Castle to the team” like companies like Manta used to do when they signed big names like Eppo.
For the next few weeks I waited patiently, checking the mail box, the fax machine and the answering machine hoping that the good news would arrive.
To cut a long story short, it’s 24 years later and I still haven’t heard anything. I guess the saying- fake it to make it didn’t apply to me.
Either that or he lost my phone number and address….