Headworx-sponsored pro surfer Reubin Pearce and his favourite JP surfboard – on tour together in Barbados. Pic – Kirstin Prisk
Headworx Boycotts BA
Surfwear label leads industry backlash as British Airways bans travel with surfboards.
Headworx, one of the biggest names in surf apparel has today pledged a company-wide boycott of all British Airways flights in protest at the airline’s ban on carrying surfboards, which starts next week.
Headworx Limited, which owns the global trademark for the 1976-established surf lifestyle brand, sponsors some of the biggest names in British surfing and has pledged full support for the British Surfing Association in its campaign to reverse BA’s decision.
Headworx is now co-operating with the BSA in co-ordinating a range of activities to highlight the issue in the media and to give surfers a platform to air their concerns.
Marketing Manager Ben Byfield said “Headworx, its employees, its sponsored riders and many of our customers have used BA as a favoured airline for domestic and international travel for many years due to their baggage policy. We are very disappointed that surfers have been singled out with this ban and are now fearful for the wider impacts on the surf industry.”
With BA controlling a large share of the One World Alliance airline network, the impact of this decision could be felt more widely than expected, and may soon affect anyone travelling on a non-direct flight with one or more segments operated by BA.
“This is a huge problem,” commented Headworx-sponsored professional surfer Reubin Pearce. “To travel with my boards is essential for me to train and to compete on the ASP world tour. BA are one of the biggest global airlines and all of the UK-based professionals fly regularly with them when travelling within Europe, and further afield. There are few alternative options to many remote UK destinations and we must always arrive with our equipment as it is highly specialised. Surfing is a fast-growing sport, BA should think again before cutting off surfers like this.”
In an official statement released via the brand’s website, the UK-based surfwear company said “Headworx will now actively boycott and advise against all travel with BA whilst urging them to urgently review their decision.”
Headworx is now encouraging all surfers and travellers to sign The British Surfing Association’s online petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-the-ba-surfboard-ban.htmland to complain to BA at http://www.britishairways.com/travel/custrelform/public/en_gb