Meet Sean Mattison
You moved to a very successful retail career working at Surf Ride. Tell us about it.
When I was competing on the Bud Pro Tour, I got married at my early 20s we had our first child two years later. The economy was very weak in the 90s because the US entered into the first Gulf War. I found myself waiting at the mailbox for my checks from my sponsors and a consistent income became more inviting. The owners of Surf Ride called me and offered me a management position. I took the job and started a new chapter in my surfing career.
After getting the job I realised that I didn't know as much as I thought I knew. After this revelation, I made it my goal to use my retail experience as a way to learn everything I could about design, history and business.
I was surrounded by the icons of surfing and design. I started working with shapers and fin designers testing and helping to refine board designs behind the scenes. I got to the point where I was testing up to five to seven new boards each week from many of the best designers in the business. This knowledge I was learning helped me guide people into the right board for them. I could comment on any design because I had tried it first hand. I worked this job for twelve years and was a fantastic experience, but more importantly my retail career was my super college in design and I am super blessed on the opportunity it gave me.