From Snaps to Stretch, TC to Kelly, Millions to Billions
History of Firsts
When Quiksilver boardshorts arrived on the market in 1970, they were the first to use two snaps and a Velcro closure to ensure they stayed on in the heaviest conditions; the first to utilize a yoked waist and scallop legs to maximize comfort and ease of movement; the first to use durable, quick-drying cotton.
Themed Product Lines
Quiksilver’s fist themed offering, Quiksilver Country 1978, offered retailers and customers a complete package for the first time. The soulful prints and panels of the garments were reflected in the advertising and in-store displays. All told a story about a place of perfect waves, a place where surfers wanted to be. Echo Beach and Warpaint carried the themed approach through the 1980s and into the ‘90s, identifying Quiksilver as a lifestyle, not just a brand.
The arrival of Echo Beach in late 1980 caused a sensation. With its geometric designs, bold colors and bad attitude, the new line was the first to capture the mood of the new generation of beachgoers, and it is still being reinvented today.
Quiksilver was the first to introduce stretch fabric boardshorts with ST Comp in the early 1980s. The hi-tech functional trunks reflected the new professionalism of surfing’s nascent pro tour. Athletes wanted to look like athletes.
Almost a quarter century ago, Quiksilver saw the birth of video and the coming of home entertainment, and moved quickly to change the way that surfers watched their heroes. Quiksilver’s The Performers was the first surf film to be released as a home video, and within a year the whole surf film industry had shifted from cinema to lounge rooms. Quiksilver continued to lead the way through the ‘90s with groundbreaking work like Kelly Slater in Black and White.
In 1986, Quiksilver’s initial public offering and subsequent listing on the NASDAQ exchange provided funds for growth more than a decade before the other companies had even thought about it. In 1998 Quiksilver’s move up to the New York Stock Exchange underlined its ambitious approach to business in the new century.
The first to establish 100% sponsorship athletes, with Tom Carroll’s 1988 “top to toe” contract for $1 million.
Big Wave Contests
First to recognize the big-wave revival and establish the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau and the Mavericks Men Who Ride Mountains events.
The first surf company to adapt the style and feel of the beach to technical outerwear for alpine sports, first skiing and then snowboarding.
Quiksilver recognized the increasing influence of women in surfing early in the ‘80s, but when Roxy, the first dedicated female surf brand, was created in 1990, the bar was raised to level that the other companies have yet to reach.
Quiksilver was the first to recognize that boardriders wanted jeans that jeaners didn’t make, so it hired denim guru Mel Matsui and created the industry’s first genuine denim division.
Own Brand Retail Stores
With the establishment of the first Quiksilver Boardriders Club in Waikiki in 1992, Quiksilver led the way into branded concept stores, a new way of retailing that has impacted the entire industry. With 500 stores worldwide in 2006, Quiksilver still leads the way.
With the establishment of Quiksilver Foundation in 2000, Quiksilver became the first surf brand to create a genuine multi-media entertainment portal, facilitating the production of board sports related films, TV series, books and magazines.
Billion Dollar Club
First boardriding company to break through a billion in sales, with revenue of $1.3 billion in 2004.
Having globalized the company through acquisition of its licensees, Quiksilver became the first boardriding company to focus on acquiring major, likeminded brands, such as DC Shoes in 2003 and Rossignol in 2005, with a view to building a family of brands covering the outdoor sector.
First boardriding company to fully globalize its management structure with autonomous regional structures.
With the establishment of Quiksilver Foundation, Quiksilver became the first to formalize its social responsibility and expand its altruistic work for a range of educational and social causes, such as Asian tsunami relief and reconstruction.