As a team rider for 4Play for over 10 years, Dallas was synonymous with the brand, recently putting out some great films and working as hard as any team rider on various projects. So, when images of Dallas Singers new NMD boards popped up on our radar, we were just as surprised as everyone else. We picked up the phone last week to get the lowdown on the change up.
Hey Dallas, So it’s been over a decade with your old sponsor and you’ve just recently settled down and become a dad for the second time too… how did this whole thing come about?
“Yeah, I guess I got to a point in my career where I was just like, ‘you know what it’s time for a holiday, a change.’ The money really isn’t an issue anymore and It hasn’t been for a few years [Dallas works full time as a digital designer – Ed.] so why not change it up?
“I had already wrapped it up with 4Play and I guess for a while there I didn’t have a sponsor and I just sat there one afternoon I’m like, you know what, I would just love to change it up.”
I heard there’s a bit of a funny story to this, can you tell me more about that?
“Haha. Well, this one afternoon I just posted a photo on Instagram and tagged NMD as if I was sponno’d but I wasn’t at the time just to see what would happen [Laughs]. It did get alot a lot of response, but obviously people were weirding-out about it.
ABOVE: The ‘gram post that started it all
“Anyway, I knew that Ben and Winnie are still involved with the brand and they’re two guys that I’ve always respected completely throughout my career. Not only how great they are at bodyboarding but just as blokes in general. They’re still celebrities in my eyes you know what I mean? I used to travel with them constantly and I still get a little envious when they take their boards out of their board bags.. I’m like, ‘damn…’
Were you looking for a sponsor?
“Not really. I certainly didn’t expect the response I got when I tagged NMD. Anyway, I got a message from Winnie about 25 minutes later just saying, “Are we on?” [Laughs]. I just said, “Yeah, man” And that was it, I was riding for NMD. [Laughs]
“It’s a stark difference between early 2000’s and 2018. When I first got my sponsor with Odyssey Customs I was ringing them out of the phone book and that stage there was no internet so I was just cold calling them, hoping that I could get a free board and maybe some support they’re getting from a team or into a competition or something.
Dallas took his news boards out for the first time over this week.
Footage and Edit: Nathan Henshaw (@nathhenshaw) / @D5Bodyboardshop
So it was pretty organic then in how it happened?
“[Laughs] Obviously It helps that I know the guys and I wasn’t asking for it, money or anything like that. I just wanted to ride good boards basically. When Dave got in touch I just said, “look if you can give me some boards from Mez and I’m happy to run with NMD.” He was chuffed and Mez was too to have me involved with the company.
How were you feeling at the time?
“I was stoked because it made me still feel relevant I guess. They flicked me a stock Benny model board a couple of days later and I was riding that and having a great time.
“It would’ve only been a few weeks after that when NMD announced that I was riding for them. They then started getting approached by retailers asking when the board model — the signature board model was coming out. [Laughs]”
“It’s actually pretty funny because just before I signed with Odyssey I actually rode for NMD for like 6 months when I was about 17. I even won my only National Title on one in 2001. Haha. I don’t think I’ve reminded Mez of that yet.
So it’s kind of full circle and all just kind of happened naturally hey…
“Yeah, It’s been very organic the whole way it’s happened. That’s the thing. They’ve asked me if I’d want to do a board model and I said, “Yes of course.” It’s not a great deal of money involved in this. I think I was just pretty stoked just to have my name next to such an awesome brand and to think that I could maybe bring out boards with my name on them that kids are going to want to buy and get hopefully get better at riding too as the boards they make are the best in the world in my opinion. They really put effort into technology. I’m still learning all the names of all the stuff that they put in boards!”
Is there any money for you in it?
“Yeah, there’s a small royalty for me with every board sold which isn’t uncommon with signature boards but that’s about it. Honestly, I’m just going to be stoked to see someone walking on the beach with a NMD board with my logo on the side. I’d get the exact same feeling as when I first saw the first round of our boards coming out with 4Play ten years ago.”
As a designer, did you have much input with the logo and colours?
“Yeah, full input. I pretty much designed the logo and sent it straight to Mez and he put his spin on it. That’s another thing… As a designer, you appreciate it when the owner of a business has a hands-on approach with the look and feel of the whole business from logos to websites to riders and all that kind of things. I appreciated his input as well. So yeah, he put his spin on the little logo there and asked me what colors I wanted to run through a stock range.
“Also, it’s refreshing to see boards at a price point comparative to other action sports. When boards get cheaper – as in below that $200 level – not only does marketing and sponsorship suffer but the quality of the board suffers. I have been riding a surfboard as well and they are a thousand bucks in the store and that’s just what people expect to pay to be involved with a surf sport. I’m talking about the high-end guys who have been riding bodyboards legit for ten years. I know guys like that and they don’t worry about spending a bit of money if the product’s at a high level. I think they recognize that and my boards are at that high-end level.
“They are the kind of things I’d pick up. I’m picking them up and taking them out of plastic myself and put my trust in them. It’s really refreshing to see that in bodyboarding. That there is still that level of craftsmanship involved in making a board.”
So the boards you will be riding are the stock ones that come out the factory?
“Yeah, I’m just going to be riding the factory boards. I gave Mez my dimensions a couple of weeks ago and I’m really confident that they will pop out how I intended.
“So, That’s the whole story pretty much. It’s progressing each week. I’m just proud to be involved with NMD like this. Like I said – they’re the Ferrari of bodyboarding. It’s cool to be involved with a new brand and get to speak with Benny more frequently now since we had been competing together for a few years.”
Any plans for trips etc?
“Yeah, I’m trying to get a trip together to surf and stuff with these guys pretty soon. That will be cool. Keep any eye out!