There are waves on the fringe of existence that defy both logic and imagination. They break where the land is uninhabitable, where the elements are threatening, beautiful, raw and brutal. Where deep sea swells rear on underwater cliffs then fold in mighty explosions that shake the earth for miles, these are the very waves that Mark Mathews lives to surf.
It gives O’Neill great pleasure to announce Mark as the latest addition to the global team. For years Mathews has been one of Australia’s premiere monster slab (i.e.: a huge barreling cavernous tubing wave) riding lunatics. When weather maps turn purple, odds are he’s already booked flights to the centre of the storm, be it off the bitter Southern Coast of Tasmania or a chunk of reef 30 kilometers out to sea off Western Australia. Hs courage knows no boundaries. To surf the waves he loves is to risk life itself and requires the best possible equipment.
Says O’Neill Ambassador and Asia Pacific Marketing Manager, Rob Bain, “I feel proud to have Mark on the team because I believe he epitomizes the core essence of the real surfer. His quest to surf big gnarly barrels, has him drop everything at any time regardless of the consequences, and to me that is what surfing is really about.”
For his part, Mathews believes the relationship was inevitable. “I’m stoked to be part of the O’Neill family,” he said. “Their basic philosophy towards surfing is to be the first people in the water and last out of it on any given day. For me to be representing a brand whose primary focus has always been to give people maximum time in the water, it makes perfect sense. That’s basically what I live for, to be out there all the time so that I never miss the biggest and best waves that come through.”
“He brings innovation to adventure in that he doesn’t just ride the standard big wave spots to prove himself,” adds Bain. “He’s actually out there exploring, looking for the next big slab and constantly challenging himself for no other reason than he loves it. Our vision for O’Neill is to create cutting edge product, which allows our consumers to immerse themselves in the power of nature. I feel that Mark is the sort of person and athlete that lives what our brand vision is all about.”
Mathews, who also competes selectively on the ASP World Qualifying Series, will also be a key figure during the O’Neill Coldwater Classic Series (five WQS events held over four continents in some of the world’s wildest and coldest locations – including Scotland, Tasmania, Canada, South Africa and Northern California).