Volcom signs Andrew Rose to surf team
The last few months have been like a dream for 12-year old, Bajan surfer Andrew Rose. Affectionately nicknamed Shark Bait, this up-and-coming supergrom has managed to hook the attention of some big fish in the surfing industry including Arnette, Burkie Boards and his latest catch, California based clothing design company Volcom.
In this Adrenaline Sun exclusive, young Andrew tells us about his love for surfing and his future plans as a sponsored athlete.
Shark Bait was given to me by my friend Seth. My latest name which my bud Jacob gave me now is Android!
When did you start surfing?
I started surfing with Uncle Alan Burke at 7, he and my Dad are my coaches, both have pushed me to be the surfer I am now!
Another St. Winifred’s student lands a big-time sponsor. I’m sensing a trend here.
St. Winifred’s school is an awesome school and it has all of the best Bajan surf groms. We see each other at school and in the water every day. We win the team Scholastics every year just because there are so many of us there and we are all great surfers.
How do you balance surfing and school?
My Dad takes me surfing nearly every evening and weekends, he tells me that I’m not allowed to go surfing unless the homework is done first. School work comes first then surfing. I work hard at both, the same way you need to study and practice in order to succeed at school, you also need to train in and out of the water and work on your technique in surfing. My Dad films me when he does not feel like surfing and we go through the video to see what I need to change. I like it better when my Dad is out surfing with me though. He should surf more instead of filming!
When were you entered in your first comp?
My first surf contest was at Long Beach (Barbados) when I was 8. I remember a rain storm came through during my very first heat and I couldn’t see anything. We were little so our parents were out in the water with us to help but it was still scary at the time, but you learn from those moments and grow.
The most memorable moments I had in a surf contest is when I pulled off a cutback to reverse 360 in the East Coast Surfing Championships in Virginia Beach in front of the cheering crowd and landed my first air in a contest at Friars Well when I was 11, I like to go for the bigger exciting moves than just ride the wave to the beach. My favorite wins were at the Nationals U12 in 2010 and remember my coach Alan Burke lifting me on his shoulders after the announcement to get my trophy. My win in the U12 at the 2011 International BSA/WAPSS SOUP BOWL PRO JUNIOR meant a lot to me as it is a respected event and Soup Bowl is my favorite wave.
What is it about surfing that you love so much?
Hanging with my friends in the water and having fun. We push each other to go bigger, try different maneuvers and progress. I started surfing with my friends Kai and Che (Allan) because it was fun and my friends were also surfing with me. I love the feeling of riding the wave, throwing spray and then hitting an air and flying.
Who are your role models?
My Mum and Dad are big role models for me, they give me great support and love, and without them I could never be the person or surfer I am today. My surfing heroes are Kelly Slater, he is just the best, 11 world titles is one thing but the way he has changed over time to beat every new generation is amazing. Dane Reynolds is just exciting to watch you know he is going to do huge air or carve on every wave. I watch a lot of his surfing to learn. Jon Jon Florence and Gabriel Medina are two surfers I would pick for world titles, both are young, Jon Jon has great skills whether throwing an air in a two foot wave or surfing Pipeline. Gabriel Medina is a great aerialist and airs are my favourite maneuvers. I like to watch when these surfers are in their heats on the World Tour but I also watch a lot of surfing movies and like a lot of free surfers like Mitch Coleburn, Craig Anderson and others, free surfing allows you to express yourself better than contest surfing.
You recently landed some big sponsors can you tell us how it feels to be backed by these respected companies?
I am really excited to be part of the Volcom team. Volcom is a great brand with many progressive surfers on their squad and I am proud to be one of them now. I like that they push the fun side of surfing and even their contests are different and fun. I was selected for the team at the beginning of this year and was told the only new surfer selected for 2012. As far as I know I am the first Bajan to be a team rider for Volcom so I have a lot to prove. I plan to work hard and ride for Volcom for many years.
I was selected in 2011 to ride for Arnette. I had surfed the Arnette Cash Pot contest August 2011 in North Carolina where I met the team manager. I won a pair of shades at that contest for winning the heat with my hair still dry. After that I was chosen to be part of the team along with two other Bajan Arnette team riders Dane Mackie and Jordan Heaselgrave. I love the Arnette shades they have cool designs .
I also surf for Burkie Boards. I have ridden Burkie Boards from the time I started surfing and was so happy to be asked to ride for them. My first board when I moved on from the beginner Longboard was an orange 5’4” Burkie Board and I have had many different designs and lengths since then. As my surfing improved I have gone shorter and thinner to improve the performance and feel of the board. The shaper of the Burkie Boards label is Rich Price based out of Melbourne in Florida. He is a great shaper and very experienced in making performance boards for all types of surfers. He has designed many shapes for the groms here in Barbados and knows our waves and what we need. I am happy to work with Burkie Boards and Rich to design the boards that suit my surfing and take me to the next level.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to work to get as far as I can! I would like to either be a competitive surfer or an aerialist and make surf movies! To have a career in surfing would be a dream. For the moment I have to work and train, I am working on some new maneuvers, trying to improve my airs and working out at home to build strength. I will compete in the local Barbados Surfing Association and Barbados Junior Surfing Club events this year but need to attend a number of overseas events. I qualified for the Volcom VQS Championships in Newport Beach California in May. I will be going to that event and training to do well, I am in the 14&Under division so there are a lot of older more experienced surfers so I will be stepping up to this challenge. It is a fantastic opportunity to surf and compete all over the world.
Is there any advice that you would like to give to the other kids out there who are trying to make a name for themselves in action sports?
My advice to anyone out there who is trying to make a name in a sport is to stay committed and positive. Keep working for it because it will happen with practice, the more you practice the better you get!
Any last words?
I would like to thank Adrenaline Sun for this interview. I thank my sponsors Volcom, Arnette and Burkie Boards for believing in my ability and giving me the opportunity to prove myself! I also thank coach Alan Burke for his support to take my surfing to the next level, he is a great coach and his experience as a pro surfer in contests is important for me to develop. I thank my parents for their love and support, I love you both very much Mum and Dad. Dad thank you for taking me surfing and helping me progress, you can surf more now! All my friends in the water, keep surfing and shredding!