Chris James leaving his long time sponsor to buy into Drag?! The rumour’s been passed around faster than a late night pair of Nollzy fists outside an Adelaide strip club, but we here at Riptide HQ are here to tell you that Griz has thrown down the corporate handshake and is now dedicated to a lifetime of dragging. We pulled the big fella away from the waves for a quick interview….
RT: So Chris! Congrats, this took us quite by surprise here at RT HQ, firstly parting ways with your long-time sponsor, and then buying Drag…. how and what happened?
CJ: Yeah fellas! Cheers, it’s been a big few months nuttin’ out all the fine deets of bein’ the big dog at Drag but it’s all on the up from here! I guess everything (at my previous sponsor) was so stale and it really affected my motivation to want to chase waves. With Drag, all the dudes understand current trends and shit within the industry.
Official Photo of the deal as it was struck in Drag HQ.
RT: Griz, the current state of boogin’s had a lot of talk time lately. Seems like everyone’s got their own idea on what’s gone down and what’s to come…. what are the big fella’s feelings?
CJ: Yeah… There’s been a solid BFC (bodyboard financial crisis) to hit the industry. A lot of people don’t wanna hear that, but it’s real, at least here in Aus. Every cloud has its silver lining and I feel a lot of the industry deadwood has and will soon be cut off, which will lead to fresh dudes doing good stuff. So yeah, I reckon it’s all positive long term. With regards to the riders, the older dudes are still ripping, there’s not that same young crew shredding like when Stoney, Beno and Thom rob were coming up but we are starting to see a crew of young kids 15-16 etc, starting to shred… I was getting worried there for a bit!
RT: Yeah we are starting to see some groms ripping again, it’s good to see! Back to Drag. Tell us about the team, Putty, Bennett, Sewell and what it’s gonna be like joining the crew?
CJ: Yeah, them boys are what Drag as a company embodies. They’re just young dudes with so much flair and lust for life, who also happen to shred on a boog, and we love that shit. The whole being able to express yourself through avenues of not just riding a bodyboard in the ocean and then putting a shot on Instagram and tagging all your sponsors to let them know you’ve been bodyboarding in the ocean today is the Drag mantra. Bennett and Putty, yeah I love those c#nce!
Griz is eager to throw himself back into more of these.
RT: The Drag mantra, we’re digging that. So is that ultimately what got you to throw down and enter the corporate world?
CJ: Let’s be honest, I ain’t getting’ any younger. I know my days pulling into slabs are numbered, the investment opportunity came up I snapped it up (laughs) As far as the Drag mantra goes… Drag is all about grippin’n’rippin it. Born out of the gong and goin’ global. Drag ain’t gonna sugar coat anything, Drag gonna tell you how it is. And when we’re done promoting it’s gonna wanna make you dust off that boog and get draggin! Taking over Drag and Draggin’ on was an easy option, having the brains behind it and the level of riding already in place, it’s only gonna gain traction as we move forward.
Griz has got a solid Air game too.
RT: Which brings us to our next question… now that you’ve executed that corporate handshake can we expect the big fella chasing heavy salt a little less or is the fire for stuffing yourself in a big hole still burning strong?!
CJ: Yeah, I’m as keen as ever right now. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been…. (pauses to think) I understand that’s not exactly in line with Drag’s list of credentials in a team rider… (laughs again) luckily I have equity huh…. but yeah I’m feelin’ good and the fire to throw myself into some slabs is burning strong!
More trips this year will hopefully see plenty of shots like this hit your screens.
RT: Well that’s music to our ears! Lastly got any team trips planned for this year? And any new board technology we can expect now that you’re at the helm?!
CJ: Yeah we’ve got a few Drag trips pencilled in, to showcase certain riders in waves suited to their strengths. We’ve also been looking into some new interchangeable stringer options. Golf clubs, fishing rods, broomsticks etc, to give a wider range of flex and also streamline the bodyboard as a tool for multi sports and activities.
RT: Hahaha thanks for the insight big Griz, it’s been a pleasure. We wish you all the best on your new venture.
CJ: Pleasure’s all mine boys!