Big Sean surfing Snapper Rocks
Australian Surf Historian Jack Eden,
1st Womens World Champion Phyllis O'Donnell and the Big Bloke.
About Island Style Promotions
Island Style Promotions is primarily a longboard surfing consultancy business which developed from the love of the beach lifestyle and longboard surfing, by its founder, Sean McKeown. Sean's love for surfing began in 1960, when his father Bernie introduced him, as a four-year-old, to the ocean, in Gisborne, New Zealand.
Over the years Sean's love of the ocean and her offerings have seen him combine his career with the ocean, working as a lifeguard and surfing around New Zealand and Australia. While working as a lifeguard at Raglan he saw his first "modern mal" being surfed in the summer of 1979-1980, by an expatriate American named Dennis Conquest. Soon after that Sean purchased his first modern mal, to compliment his surfboard quiver. He has never looked back.
In 1987 Sean decided to settle at Rainbow Bay on Australia's Gold Coast, where he initially hired out surfboards and beach umbrellas to the tourists before opening the Kirra Wasteland Cafť and Surf Shop. After joining the Gold Coast Malibu Club in 1988, Sean became involved as a competitor in the fledgling longboard contest scene along Australia's East Coast. In 1992 Sean made his first of several trips to surf the empty waves of the Baliquatros Islands, the Philippines.
Island Style Promotions was initially established as KJíS Longboard Tours in 1996. The principle aim of KJíS Longboard Tours was to offer visiting longboard surfers transport, accommodation and entry into various longboard contests around Australia and New Zealand. These services also include packages to longboard contests in the Philippines as well as Hawaii, California and Costa Rica. Through the Gold Coast Malibu Club, Sean was involved with the organisation of Australia's premier longboard event, the Malfunction, and was the event coordinator for 1997, 1998 & 1999. As well as organising the Malfunction Sean would handle travel and accommodation arrangements for many of the international visitors including 98 World Longboard Champion Bonga Perkins, Kanoa Dahlin and their entourage, as well as the New Zealand Longboard Team.
Other ventures during this time included helping Jack Eden successfully stage his exhibition "Surfabout Revisited" in the Brisbane Museum and then a second equally successful exhibition in 1999, at the Gold Coast Art Gallery.
The Hogs Breath Cafe's approached Sean in 1998 about taking over the organisation of their fledging longboard contest circuit, The Longboard Legends Tour which he managed until 2003. This approach gave Sean, the opportunity to devote his energy full-time to longboard surfing. It also saw the business focus more on events as opposed to surf tours.
Around 2004/05 Island Style Promotions were approached by Suzuki Australia to run the richest circuit of longboard events around Australia with over $30,000 in prizemoney and a new Suzuki Grand Vitara for the overall winner. Then in late 2005 the Gold Coast Malibu Club offered Island Style Promotions the opportunity to revitalise the Malfunction presenting Sean with the opportunity to expand the event from a surfing contest to a surf festival.
Over the years Island Style Promotions has expanded and has managed the careers of some of Australia's best longboard surfers as they move into the international arena. These surfers include Melissa Combo, Heith Norrish, Mitch Sheehy, Luke Flanders, Jodie Barsby, Chelsea Williams, Erin Nicolls and Alby Ross.
2002 saw the promoters of the VB Surf Boat series in Queensland and more recently the Ocean Thunder Surfboats in Sydney, aware of Seanís experience as a surf rower and with his success getting media coverage for surf events approached Island Style Promotions to act as the publicist for them.
After several years away, 2006 saw the Gold Coast Malibu Club approach Sean to once again run the Malfunction. Through hard work and a lot of help from others with the same passion fro the event, the Malfunction has been transformed from a 2- 3 day surf contest to a 5 day surf festival covering all aspects of the longboard lifestyle from music, food, cars, fashion and of course the surfing. For his work in reinvigorating the Malfunction , Sean was voted the person who had done the most for longboarding in Australia in 2007-8 at the Australian Longboard Magazine's Surfer Polls.
Other events that Island Style is heavily involved in include the Maili Masters, the Australian University Games and Kirra Surfstock.
Island Style Promotions now offers full range of services now includes event management; personnel management, product promotion, media relations including television & video production and we still find time to arrange travel itineraries for competitors travelling to contests.