The UK surfer's new campaign for Lynx deodorant is far from progressive.

UK surfer Sophie Hellyer's fronting of a new campaign for Lynx deodorant is far from progressive.

It was a very happy day when as a volatile pubescent boy I was allowed to start using deodorant. As a musky twelve-year-old, the opportunity to spray a cheap substitute for Mace under my armpits was full with promise of the next few hours turning into a Benny Hill episode in reverse. There was not an opportunity when I wasn’t soaking myself in Lynx Java or, if it was a very special occasion, Lynx Africa, in hope of getting lucky at the school disco.

That was nearly twenty years ago now but while my tastes may have matured like a fine wine (they haven’t), Lynx deodorant is still a force to be reckoned with in the deodorising world and are still convincing ‘men’ (ie. teenage boys) that using their brand of body-odour masking agent will make you devastatingly attractive to the opposite sex.

And just very recently, as part of their undying commitment to get males laid (*massive grin and double thumbs up!*), they’ve recruited the talents of UK surfer Sophie Hellyer for a new campaign, the suggestively titled Ride With Me.

In the inspired video, Sophie takes to the waters (in a tastefully branded Lynx bikini no less) of the Wadi Adventure Park surf facility in the United Arab Emirates – a giant swimming pool built in the scorched desert that’s just the sort of tasteless construct you’d expect from a state that that has earned most of its wealth from laundering the proceeds of organised crime and slave-labour. Anyway, this dynamic advertising campaign goes one step further and invites you to choose the viewing angle in this interactive perve-a-thon. Do you fancy the long-overcoat-and-hide-in-the-bushes shore cam? Or the phwoar full frontal? Or the cheeky back cam?

First of all, I must say I can’t really blame Hellyer for getting involved in such a campaign. The shelf life of any sponsored athlete is finite and it would have been pretty easy money to spend a day being filmed surfing. And getting some of her other sponsors logos in a massive ad campaign probably wouldn’t hurt in putting food on the table either. Long term though, this latest ‘hot-chick-in-a-bikini’ action doesn’t exactly help the progression of women in surfing or otherwise. In the last issue of HUCK, Cori Schumacher wrote a great piece about the surf industry objectifying women and appearance trumping performance with sponsors, and Hellyer’s latest outing does nothing to help turn the tide.

Yeah, this campaign isn’t for anyone but teenage boys who have learned to navigate the internet with their left hand but when a mainstream audience is introduced to surfing through ‘totty’ that can be perved on with impunity, it’s gonna be an uphill struggle to convince them that it’s anything different.