The Seven Most Influential People In The Surf Industry

“Who are the seven most influential people in the surf industry?

It’s a question that sparked passionate debate around the offices of TransWorld SURF Business. After all, what’s influential? And why should one person’s list be any more “right or valid than another’s?

People smarter than us would have dropped the topic right there. But the question became like an itch. Once we scratched the surface, it was impossible to stop.

So we pushed on—but we didn’t go it alone. Instead we polled dozens of retailers, sales managers, and other surf-industry leaders we respected. We defined “influential as affecting the sales or type of product being sold at surf retail, or fundamentally changing the way surf retailers view their business or operating strategies. We also wanted people who are shaking things up right now at the shop down the street and across America.

And as our poll of influential names grew, two things became obvious. First, each list was unique. No two people named exactly the same cast of characters. Clearly, there was no one “right answer.

But we also noticed that while each list was different, there were some people who almost everybody mentioned. These were the names that rolled off the tongue. Names that people weren’t afraid or embarrassed to talk about. Names that were both familiar and surprising.

So, who really are the seven most influential people in the surf industry? It’s a moving target, but the list of leaders the editors of TransWorld SURF Business finally chose is an all-star roster by any measure. And for this year at least, that’s our final answer.

#7 – Roy Turner, Executive Director Of The Board Retailer’s Association

#6 – Dave Hollander, Owner of Becker Surfboards

#5 – Paul Naude, President of Billabong U.S.A

#4 – Richard Woolcott, President and Co-Founder of Volcom

#3 – Randy French, Owner of Surftech

#2 – Tim Harmon, President and Chief Merchandising Officer of Pacific Sunwear

#1 – Bob McKnight, CEO of Quiksilver