Surfings #1 Culture Shifter: Dion Agius | A career that wouldn’t have survived on skill alone
Dion Agius is a #1 over here at Board Rap. This Culture Shifter piece from the cats at STAB and the booze entrepreneurs at House Beer gets to the bottom of why. Dion almost single handedly invented the free surf Internet career before making his own movie that turned its back to it. Is Internet rebellion the future? If Dion is doing it then there’s a good chance it is. He’s lead the charge on many things including surf fashion, diy surfer owned brands, and much more.
Dion Agius will tell you his success is a happy accident. It’s not. In surfing, original thinkers shine bright and Dion’s a man who has shifted status quo and created a climate for surfers turned entrepreneurs. Last night, at House Beer’s headquarters in Venice we premiered our second instalment of Culture Shifters, followed by Dion’s latest film, The Smiling Bag. We flew Dion out, with is black beanie carry on, drank ice cold House Beer from the tap and discussed the progression of his career, starting with the culture shifting idea of the surf blog: Globe.tv/Dion. “I’d been competing, spending all my money to travel, surf one heat and get knocked out,” he told Stab. “Around that time I signed with Globe and my buddy Beren (Hall) started semi-managing me. He did a trip overseas, came back and was like I don’t have a job. So I gave him my Handycam, we went down to the beach, filmed one session, met with the president of Globe Australia and pitched him on this video series. We were like, ‘okay so we’re going to travel around the world and make this amazing series.’ And they said, ‘yeah, sweet do it.’ We couldn’t believe what we’d gotten away when we walked out of there, thinking ‘fuck, now we actually have to make something that they’re going to be psyched on.’ I was basically given the green light to do my favourite thing in the world. Which in turn taught me to take free surfing and figure out how to make it more valuable to my sponsors. I’ve always looked at my surf career as a business.”
In 2017, we’re all familiar with the surfer owned brand. But, before the budding clothing and traction pad companies, Dion helped found Epokhe. “I think the entrepreneurial thing was always been ingrained from my dad,” he said. “He had his own business and from that, I always wanted to be my own boss. So when the idea for Epokhe came about I thought, ‘fuck yeah, I want to start a brand.’ That was until I started doing it and realised I didn’t know how to run a brand, do business, open a spreadsheet or write one. I was like, ‘I’ll just draw sunglasses on a napkin and they’ll magically appear and all my friends will want to wear them.’ So that was a rude awakening,” he laughed.