"Before the pandemic, I was on the road for around 250 days a year," Smith told the WSL. "And I'm usually traveling with at least six surfboards. Can you imagine the punishment they cop?"
Perhaps no wonder then Smith has invested in a luggage company. Db is a Norway-based brand known for their high-tech ski and snowboard bags and backpacks, but have launched into the surf market. Smith has played a big hand in designing their new adjustable board bags, as well as dropping a wedge of his own money into the company.
One of the main design features that is purported to help protect prized surfboards is the "rib-cage construction," which implements strong, lightweight ABS ribs, shaped in a three-stage foldable structure.
"Its design allows for excess padding to be removed from the bags, creating a lighter and more protective exterior," reports the company.
Other innovations include an adjustment system so the board bags can be tailored for the specific length of the sleds going inside. The bags are also made extra light to help avoid overweight charges from the airlines and feature a hook-up system so various pieces can be clipped together, making it less of a hassle to haul baggage through the airport. And like the ski and snowboard bags, the surfboard bag compresses down for easy storage when not in use.
Along with Smith and Erickson's involvement, the company has just announced that free surfer Craig Anderson has also joined the team. "Ando," regarded as one of the most stylish surfers on the planet, has dropped a clip edited by Kai Neville as part of the launch.
The pair had worked together for well over a decade on films like Lost Atlas, Cluster, Modern Collective, and Welcome Elsewhere. The last featured that iconic Kandui session with Anderson riding a 5'4" Hypto Krypto. Those films featured a rotating cast that included Anderson, Smith and Dane Reynolds, and have shaped the surfing aesthetic over the last decade.
This new drop is, obviously, nowhere near the scale of those projects, but a Neville-spliced 60 seconds of Anderson surfing is always going to be worth a watch. "It's a start," Anderson told the WSL about the short clip. "Hopefully we can all get together with Kai, travel, and come up with more gold in the future."