"Still trying to slither into John John's camp, eh?"
Three years ago, amid the bark of money guns, the former world number two Luke Egan, and his former partner at Electric, Bruce Beach, introduced a clothing label called Depactus.
Depending on your source of Latin definitions, the term variously meant: fastened down, to make an agreement or deeply driven. But what sounded good in the brainstorming session came out awful when it met the people.
De-packed-ass and so on.
Depactus had a very good tagline (Where the Land meets Sea) and team riders were called Men of Extraordinary Pursuits. Millions of dollars was spent on the launch and marketing. Trade show booths were lavish; Mark Healey, Matt Meola and Ry Craike were all signed prior to takeoff; and generous editorial was sought or bought depending how you frame these things.
And so on.
Until it crashed a year and a half ago
Of course, a business rarely dives without wounds.
And, on Christmas Day, a sweet comment on the commentator-turned-surf-coach Ross Williams’ Instagram by Luke Egan was jumped on by his former Extraordinary Pursuit Man Mark Healey.
Luke wrote: Merry Christmas and congratulations on a Stella year coaching John John.
Healey retorted: @lukeegan still trying to slither into the John John camp eh? The way you burned me @mattmeola and @rycraike_fishoutofwater didn’t go unnoticed. Can’t outrun your deeds in this small world….
Healey says he and Meola and Craike didn’t receive “hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay” when Depactus folded.
“Got pennies on the dollar,” Healey told me. “Had to pursue legally… I had to get him served his papers at the Honolua women’s event last year.”
“Case is done. Had to notify them that it was time to step into court. Such a headache.”
Depactus settled before the case went to court and Healey says he’s unsure whether he can reveal the pay-out for legal reasons.
But the wounds still hurt, he says.
“This kinda shit happens in business but the way they handled it was… inexcusable. Can’t sweep that under the rug. Gotta be accountable.”
Regular readers will know the twist in the Depactus tale. Last month, online retailer SurfStitch, a company with a keen eye for a bargain, bought the defunct brand.
(BeachGrit would like to point out that there is no implication that Luke Egan was involved in any wrongdoing in the wrapping up of the biz, ie. don’t sue the messenger, only that business can be a hell of a thing on friendships.)