OCEAN CITY – A local professional bodyboarder has recently signed a contract with one of the surf industry’s most popular new company, Catch Surf, branding his name across Beater Boards that are being sold across the country.
Local resident Brian Stoehr, 33, is a two-time US Pro Tour Bodyboard Champion. He has been a professional athlete for over 14 years and is known for creating one of the cleanest cut and all-American images in bodyboarding today.
“This sport, our ocean and beaches, and this area in general have been so good to me,” he said. “I love the fact that I grew up here and I am very grateful that I can share my passion for the sport and the area with everyone. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Stoehr has found himself fitting right in with Catch Surf as he works with the company to put out the best possible bodyboard and stand up bodyboard at an incredible price point.
“I have had a few friends over at Catch Surf for years and I have really respected what they are doing. They have become one of the most popular brands out there very quickly with the success of the Beater Boards that you see everywhere on our beaches and beaches all over the world. They are making a great product for a great price which is really cool,” he said.
Stoehr is now a spokesperson for Catch Surf and the company has released two Stoehr signature Beater Boards that fits perfectly into Ocean City’s waves.
“They are the boards that I am riding, they work amazing and they are priced better than anything on the market,” he said. “The boards sell worldwide, but the really cool thing for the Delmarva area is they are boards that I helped design by riding waves around here, so when I say they are made for the waves off our coast, I literally mean that.”
Stoehr explained he has had signature boards in the past costing upwards of $300 but Stoehr Beater Boards with Catch Surf will cost between $120 and $150. One of the boards is a 42-inch prone, or drop knee, and the other is a 45-inch stand up bodyboard, which is the exact board he has been riding in Ocean City over the last 10 years.
“The story behind having eyes staring on all my boards is my last name is pronounced ‘stare’ unlike what it looks like,” Stoehr explained of the bodyboard’s designs. “I’m really proud of these boards. They turned out really good. People always ask me what the difference in prices means when buying a bodyboard. The honest truth is the materials get better as the price increase. Boards get stiffer and perform better. These boards are finally priced lower and have better materials than a lot of other options out there.”
In the upcoming year Stoehr and Catch Surf have some plans in store.
“I have a few events coming up and a lot of promotional work for Catch Surf,” Stoehr said. “We are working on a lot of video and photo projects for social media right now, which is really fun. That basically means I get to surf a lot, which is what I love to do.”
The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) Mid-Atlantic Regionals were recently held in Ocean City in early May, and this year Stoehr stepped out of the competition to help judge the event.
“I competed in those events as an amateur before I turned pro. People ask all the time how I got into doing this professionally. Truth is that organization [ESA] is where I got my start,” he said.
Stoehr was an ESA All Star for four years and appeared in many of the organization’s advertisements as a “product of the ESA”, along with Jay Reale, CJ and Damien Hobgood, Kelly Slater, Sam Hammer and Ben Bourgeois.
“It was really fun hanging out on the beach watching the up-and-coming talent. It definitely brought back memories,” Stoehr said of this year’s ESA competition in Ocean City. “I am honestly so blessed. I truly love to surf and I can’t believe anyone would pay me to do it. The funny thing is I think I am still to this day having just as much fun and I am just as passionate about it as I was when I started, maybe more. It’s in my blood. It’s who I am.”
Last July Beater Boards met controversy in Ocean City as a ban against the boards took place after numerous complaints were received about the increased use of large body boards and their perceived threat on the safety of the general public in the ocean. The ban was lifted a day later when city officials quickly realized the town code was formed in 1972 and a simple fix would be to modernize the language within the law.