Roisin's struggle in a sport that rewards looks over skill

The Northern Star

ROISIN Carolan is a Byron Bay surfer sponsored by local surfboard company McTavish and local bikini brand Surfkini.

"Sponsorship in surfing is really hard," said the 20-year-old.

"If you don't have some form of sponsorship it's really hard to get anywhere.

MORE: Women's Surfing: All about bikinis and bums

"For women especially, sponsorship can be given for looks. If you have a good body, and look good in a picture, you're a lot more likely to get a big sponsor.

"Having a big social following is really important as well; brands want you to bring in more money than what they put into you.

"So if you have 20,000 followers on Instagram that's a lot of people seeing that bikini or wetsuit every day, even if you're not as good a surfer as someone else.

"Some of the best surfers I know out there don't have major sponsorship. For example Chelsea Williams, the current world longboard champion, doesn't have a major backer, which sucks.

"I'm really blessed to be able to ride McTavish boards and have so much support from them.

"As much as I would love to have a big sponsor, for a longboarder, who isn't a model, it's really hard.

"I don't really feel like I've had a 'break' in surfing. My biggest achievement has been qualifying for the world titles this year in China.

"To be honest, making a career in longboarding is unheard of. If you're a model who surfs, maybe you can do it. But not from just longboarding. If you won every paid comp in Australia for women's longboarding you would probably get $5000.

"A lot of the young short- boarders have sponsors but it's harder in longboarding. But I would rather get recognised for my surfing, and not my booty."

Truth about where you grew up

Truth about where you grew up

Research has revealed just how big an effect your suburb can have.

Extra demerits for using phones while driving

Extra demerits for using phones while driving

Drivers using phones illegally will get an extra demerit point.

Wildcats win on penalties

Wildcats win on penalties

Byron Bay wins grand final shootout.

Local Partners