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Rumour: Depactus takes a dive!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Surf label aimed at Men of Extraordinary Pursuits may be no more!

Do you remember the “adventure-inspired” brand Depactus? It was launched almost two years ago by the former pro surfer Luke Egan, Electric founder Bruce Beach and Volcom’s Tony Ruiz, and was marked by a well-chosen team including the “greatest athlete you’ve never heard of” and Maui jibber Matt Meola.

Depactus branded their team MEPs or Men of Extraordinary Pursuits. Catchy, yeah it was.

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If you read the about section of the Depactus website, you’d discover it was “a technical outfitter for surfing’s modern youth.”

In an excellent interview with Stab magazine at launch, Luke Egan described Depactus as the “yin to Patagonia’s yang… After I left Billabong, throughout 2013 all I wanted was another challenge. I was going to stay at home in Australia and start making boardshorts and give them to the boys, just to see where it went. I spoke to Bruce, who’d left Electric, and he just wanted to go surfing with his son for six months. By the time it got to the end of year he’d done that and taken this brand to another level. Fuck, alright, let’s go then, I thought.”

Anyway, word on the street is Depactus is done. The MEPs are actively seeking alternative sponsorships and the reason for its failure?

We’re told the brand was marked by three major flaws.

  1. Big salaries right out of the gate.
  2. Branding that was tone deaf to the consumer. Depactus came in high-end and expensive where Salty Crew, who is killing it, came in low, came in blue-collar. Same waterman-fisherman-surfer vibe but more authentic and value oriented.
  3. Bold spending. Big ad agency employed, designers, staff and the most delicious trade show fit-outs seen in a while.

Did you get to see, feel, maybe buy Depactus? Did you like? Why do you think, if rumours are true, that it failed?

Below, you can watch a What Youth-produced video made at launch. A short that is marked by an optimism that was beautiful to watch the time, perhaps a little sad now.