Six-figure surf deal for  WA teen
Highly lucrative: Jack Robinson. Picture: Billabong

A blond-mopped Margaret River surfing prodigy with a huge grin is now one of the highest-paid junior surfers in the world.

Jack Robinson, 16, has signed a "highly lucrative" five-year sponsorship deal with Billabong after fielding offers from most major surf brands.

Robinson has parted ways with long-time sponsor Quiksilver to join his idols Taj Burrow and Joel Parkinson on Billabong's team, with Burrow saying yesterday "Jack is as good as it gets".

Robinson's manager Matt Syms said the deal hopefully paved the way for the teenager to join the World Championship Tour.

"Jack is renowned for being the best surfer in the world for his age and all the major companies were interested," he said.

"With some surfers we have to actively seek sponsorship but with Jack they came chasing us."

Mr Syms would not go into the details of the contract but it is believed to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Billabong founder Gordon Merchant said Robinson had a "once-in-a-generation" talent.

"His power, speed and instinctive timing combined with a style and self-confidence that are beyond his years are a very rare combination in a 16-year-old, but Jack has it all," he said.

Robinson, who returns to Australia from Hawaii this week, said the opportunity offered "more than a surfer could possibly want".

"I already know that the trust and support I will receive is more than I could ask for," he said.

His mother Mersina said she, husband Trevor and Jack thought "long and hard" about which brand to go with.

"We believe Billabong is a great fit for Jack," Mrs Robinson said. "It's Australian, it's iconic and it has a history of amazing surfers.

"In recent years the level of surfing, especially young surfers, has gone through the roof, so it's exciting times ahead."

Robinson will be 20 when the deal expires and Mr Syms said any subsequent deal would be "the biggest deal he ever does".

"When you're talking marketability, surfers can win contests but they really need to capture people's imaginations and influence customers to be truly valuable to their sponsors," he said.

"There's probably only 10 to 15 guys in the world like that . . . and I'm sure Jack's going to be one of those guys."

Robinson returned from an ankle injury to beat 130 surfers at the Sunset Beach Pro Junior in Hawaii last month.

The West Australian

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