The title of the world’s best unsponsored surfer is a pretty hotly-contested one these days. Seabass has blank space on the nose of his boards. Michael Rodrigues has the same. Laurie Towner cops some support from Need Essentials but not enough to give away tiling.

Then there’s Matt Banting. The prodigious Port Mac talent was arguably the most promising Aussie to emerge from our shores since Owen Wright, but not even that was enough to save him from the surf industry chopping block. One bad year on tour combined with a spell on the sidelines thanks to injury was all it took for him to be left high and dry.

Since his return at the beginning of last season it’s hard to think of anyone who’s worked harder though. He finished 40th on the QS in his first year back, despite missing the QS10,000 at Cascais. He also took to Instagram with a steady stream of clips that had everyone who was anyone in the surf world leaving comments of disbelief.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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A post shared by Matt Banting (@mattbanting) on

Fast-forward to 2019 and the guy has been lighting up the QS. Currently ranked third, he’s looking good for a berth on next year’s tour. He’s also maintained his regime of regularly posting mind-boggling clips, and the words that have featured most in the comments accompanying said clips are generally some kind of variant of: ‘Fark, killing it bro! Can’t believe you’re not sponsored!’

Well believe it no longer. Someone in the surf industry finally woke up and smelled the roses and that someone is … drumroll please … Peak Wetsuits. Sure, not exactly the biggest company going and probably not filling his bank account with the stacks of cash his talent seems worthy of, but at least it’s something. A surfer of Matty’s calibre shouldn’t be left unsponsored in this day and age and bravo to Peak for realising that fact.

Matty took to Instagram last night with a photo of himself holding some fresh rubber and a Peak sticker plastered two-thirds of the way up his board, writing ‘Stoked to sign a new deal with @peakwetsuits_au looking forward to what’s ahead!’

What the deal encompasses is unknown at this stage but you’d have to think it’ll help the young charge in his quest to requalify in some way. Given there’s still space on the beak of his LSD and he’s realistically only one or two good results away from requalifying, who knows what could happen. It might create a flow-on effect. Someone else might wake up and see what the rest of us have known for ages.

Matty Banting fucking rips and then some.