Transworld Surf Business:The Profiles

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TransWorld SURF Business: The Profiles

Posted 12.06.2001
In the past few years, TransWorld SURF Business has been honored to talk to some of the true surf-industry leaders and legends. The following are some of those conversations and profiles. Taken together, they offer a unique glimpse at where the surf industry is at — and where it might be headed in the future.

Xcel Wetsuits
(December 2002)
Ed D’Ascoli took a trip to Hawai’i in 1975 and never left. A native of New Jersey with a passion for surfing, D’Ascoli wound his way from Florida to California before landing in the only logical place for a hardcore 1970s surfer: O’ahu. As one of the handful of surfboard glassers living along O’ahu’s North Shore, he quickly slid in with an amazing crew of surfing legends, including Reno Abellira and Barry Kanaiaupuni.

Lost Enterprises
(November 2002)
Since it launched in 1992, Lost has been the raw, unfiltered real deal. It’s a brand not afraid to poke its finger into the eye of a sometimes too-serious surf industry. And to this day Cofounders Matt Biolas and Mike Reola remain firmly in control of the brand’s message and image — and continue to cut their own path through the market.

Colin Baden, president of Oakley
(September 2002)
When TransWorld SURF Business sat down to talk with Oakley President Colin Baden, it became clear that Oakley management is not content to merely take part in the apparel market, it wants to lead it to new heights. Since 1998, revenues have grown by 106 percent, from 232-million to more than 477-million dollars this past year. The company is on track to top half a billion in sales in 2003.

Kevin Dunlap, founder of Podium Distribution
(July 2002)
Kevin Dunlap has built his DVS empire with a strict distribution philosophy and emphasis on the partnership between manufacturer and specialty retailer. DVS is a unit of Podium Distribution, one of the fastest growing groups in the action-sports industry. What’s next for Dunlap’s stable of brands?

Bob Hurley
(June 2002)
In the hours after it was announced that Bob Hurley had sold his namesake brand to Nike, there didn’t seem to be a consensus either way. But now that the dust has settled, what’s left as fact and what’s fiction when it comes to the Nike-Hurley deal?

Billabong International
(February 2002)
His looks are deceiving. At 30 years old, Billabong International CEO Matthew Perrin might just be the youngest CEO in the action-sports industry. He’s certainly the youngest CEO to be running a brand the size of Billabong. But as International Marketing Director Graham Stapelberg says, “His youth belies his business experience. There’s no question that he has the brightest, sharpest mind of any individual I’ve had the privilege of working with.” TransWorld SURF Business sat down with Perrin in February 2002 — eight months before his ouster.

Globe International
(February 2002)
From their office overlooking Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, the Hill brothers — both former professional skateboarders — manage six proprietary brands: Globe, Trans Element, Gallaz, Sista, M-One-11, and Mooks. In addition, they hold the license in Australia for eleven American-based brands. In all, Peter and Stephen Hill have a very good (and global) view of the action-sports market.

(September 2001)
For the past 50 years, Jack O’Neill and his family have given the surf industry one of its most-enduring success stories. But an equally interesting story follows the brand’s trajectory as it enters this new millennium.

Whalebone Surf Shop
(August 2001)
The Outer Banks now has close to 30 surf shops. Competition is fierce, the weather is fickle, and the peak sales period lasts only ten weeks. But with more than 25 years of heritage and two 4,000 square-foot stores now in operation — one in Nags Head and one in the suburbs of Virginia Beach, Virginia — Whalebone Surf Shop has become one of the surf industry’s Mid-Atlantic cornerstones.

(July 2001)
The proverbial “do over” is a great thing. Quiksilver proved that to the surf industry in 1993 when it relaunched its once-scrapped line of juniors’ clothing called Roxy (you might have heard of it). In just eight short years the brand has skyrocketed from a small line of boardshorts and tees to a 100-million-dollar juggernaut that’s looking at yet another year of 25-percent growth.

(July 2001)
Jay Wilson, vice president of global marketing for Vans, stares across the desk of his small windowless office with the fervor of a born-again minister. “Are you ready for 100-percent growth?” he asks. “There are 78-million kids coming up. Are you ready?”

Scott Daley, Body Glove’s vice president of marketing
(April 2001)
Scott Daley talks about the past present and future of Body Glove — one of surfing’s longest-lived and original brands.

Sole Technology
(March 2001)
Sole Technology prides itself on being the first shoe company owned and operated by skateboarders. Nearly everyone in the office surfs, skates, or snowboards. Even the accountants and strategic financial planners — the High-Trouser Crew as they’re known in the office — dabble in boardsports. “After a few weeks, we break them down,” quips Don Brown.

(January 2001)
Since he started shaping back in 1975 when he was fifteen years old in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Xanadu has seen all the changes in board design and surfing firsthand.

Town & Country
(December 2000)
Guided by the soft-spoken Craig Sugihara, T&C has become a multifaceted brand with eight international licensees.

Rip Curl’s Ultra Manufacturing
(October 2000)
A look inside Ultra Manufacturing in Ensenada, which for the past 25 years has served as Rip Curl’s western-hemisphere wetsuit factory.

John Sabo, Ron Jon Senior Buyer
(November 2000)
What’s it like to buy for more than 100,000 square feet of retail floorspace?

Taylor Steele, founder of Poor Specimen
(November 2000)
What’s it take to make it in the surf-video business? We talk to one of the genre’s best.

Mark Price, founder and president of Tavarua
(August 2000)
Tavarua has seen double-digit growth since it launched, so why is Price changing the look of his brand?

Jeff Devine, photo editor of The Surfer’s Journal
(August 2000)
Jeff Devine has seen it all in his long career as a surf photographer.

Bobbie Abdelfattah, co-owner of Jack’s Surfboards
(August 2000)
Why Bobbie Abdelfattah has probably the best view of the surf industry anywhere.

Ian Cairns, Bluetorch event director
(August 2000)
A week after handing over the reigns of ASP North America, Cairns challenges the industry — and our associate editor — to find any conflict of interest in his past dealings.

Rusty Preisendorfer, Rusty founder
(August 2000)
Rusty talks about his brand, shaping, and the importance of youth.

Dick Baker, Op president and president of SIMA
(August 2000)
The new SIMA president talks about accountability in the surf industry.

Geoff Rashe, Scott Crump, and Bob Pearson
(June 2000)
Meet three of the most influential NorCal shapers.

Vince De La Peña, Ezekiel President
(June 2000)
Why Ezekiel is not your typical surf brand.

Paul Naude, Billabong U.S.A. President
(April 2000)
Billabong President Paul Naude talks about how the brand is kicking it up a notch.

Doug “Claw” Warbrick, Co-Founder Rip Curl
(February 2000)
Warbrick speaks candidly about the differences and similarities between the Australian and U.S. surf markets.

Michael Baron and John Carper
(December 1999)
Why John Carper says anybody who gets into the surfboard business to make money is either a fool or is looking for a way to launder money.

Rick Carroll and Greg Loehr
(October 1999)
Two legendary shapers give their views of the perfect East Coast board.

Fernando Aguerre, Reef Co-founder
(September 1999)
In this no-punches-held interview, Aguerre says the industry can do a lot more to promote the sport and lifestyle.

(June 1999)
With 175-million dollars in annual sales, O’Neill could be the second-largest surf brand in the world. Surprised? Don’t be. It’s all part of the company’s low-key strategy.

Bob Hurley, Hurley International CEO
(March 1999)
The long, interesting, and uncut conversation between Ben Marcus and Bob Hurley less than a year after the launch of the Hurley brand.

Bob McKnight, Quiksilver CEO
(March 1999)
The most powerful man in surfing? The claim is at least arguable, as his already vast Quiksilver empire continues to grow.

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