About Quiksilver
How We Got Started
Mission Statement
Quiksilver History
History of Firsts
- Celebrating 40 Years of the Mountain and Wave Lifestyle
Year 2009 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Mountain and Wave brand Quiksilver, which from its beginnings in Australia in 1969, has grown to be the most recognized boardsports fashion apparel brand in the world today. In the summer of 1969, Quiksilver founding-father Alan Green put his pencil to paper and invented the first Quiksilver boardshort. Fast forward 40 years the Quiksilver family today encompasses every facet of the boardriding lifestyle from apparel to technical equipment, travel agency to charitable foundation, and legendary athlete to world famous celebrity. In Hong Kong and mainland China we are celebrating the 40th Anniversary in order to inspire a new sense of adventure and fashion in the minds of Chinese guys and girls.
Reinventing the Boardshort
In 1969 Quiksilver's founding father Alan Green, borrowed $2500 AUD from his father and started producing boardshorts in his Torquay, Australia apartment. The Boardshort today is the single most important piece of apparel for a surfer, which provides comfort, style and function to suit the needs of surfers as well as anyone who frequents the beach or pool.
The swimsuit of the old days, pre-Quiksilver, was a one piece body suit covering from the knees all the way to the neck, and included an inner net lining which when wet made for a heavy swimming experience. With the birth of beach fashion in the 1930's, boardshort fashion progressed from the one-piece suit, but was still made of thick cotton material, which uncomfortably rubbed against the skin when performing any beach activity. The length of the legs fell over the knees, and the waist was very high, including a belt with a buckle to secure the trunks in the event of a wipeout. When a surfer paddled on his or her surfboard the thick material, belt buckle, and long length inhibited movement and comfort.
As a surfer himself Green saw the boardshorts of old were in need of a revolution in style and fit. Consequently Green ripped apart some old trunks and discarded the portions that he deemed unnecessary or undesirable. Quiksilver's first innovative boardshort in1969 was made from a single layer of durable, lightweight fabric that dried rapidly. Those first boardshorts had short scalloped legs that didn't bind or hang up. The styling was essentially. A wide waistband yielded support' and a snap that held and placed it so a surfer could comfortably lay on a surfboard and paddle.
It was in 1970 that Alan Green's wife, Barbara Green recalled how the name "Quiksilver" came about. She remembered that a favorite album on the couple's turntable was by the San Francisco psychedelic band "Quicksilver Messenger Service." So they took out the "c" and "Quiksilver" it was.
From Humble Beginnings to Global Expansion
After a 1976 surf contest in Australia, Alan Green and current Quiksilver worldwide CEO Bob McKnight and partner Jeff Hakman discussed the proposition of licensing Quiksilver in America. Green proposed to give the licensing agreement for free, only after Hakman were to eat a box of tissue paper sitting on their table. Hakman conceded with a smile and subsequently he and Bob brought a licensing agreement back to America.
Through the late 70s and into the 80s, Bob took the wave of popularity for Quiksilver boardshorts and grounded the brand in his business experience. After setting up a small office and manufacturing unit in California, "our second step was taking our shorts, like precious little gold bars, up and down the (California) coast, trying to sell them, meeting the surf shop retailers and getting to know them," as Bob McKnight explained.
By the time the 80s hit, Quiksilver was already selling in Japan and moves were being made to Europe. Through the 90s and into the 21st century, Quiksilver and ROXY solidified their brand authority in markets all over the globe. Quiksilver shops have become key retail models around the world and can be seen in the fashion districts of Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Moscow. Quiksilver/ROXY shops take central locations in places such as Times Square, NYC, Shibuya in Tokyo, and downtown Paris, where shop styles range from the boutique variety to multi-level experiential retail centers. Since the spring of 2004 when Quiksilver opened its first flagship store on Shanghai's Huai Hai Road, the brand has been on an ambitious marketing and retail expansion campaign in Greater China. In the past five years, Quiksilver and ROXY have opened up more than 60 stores in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau, and 2nd tier cities such as Chengdu, Shenyang, Nanjing, and Wuhan. Presently, there are almost 700 Quiksilver and ROXY retail locations globally, which employ over 7000 staff.
Quiksilver's events in surf, snow, skate, and wake, for men and women, boys and girls, from novices to champions, all have the same creed - to showcase the best and to teach those who aspire to be the best. Just like the values of the brand itself.
Perhaps the event which confirmed Quiksilver as one of the most authentic, locally accepted brand names was the first "Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau" surfing invitational in 1984. The event is named after local legend Eddie Aikau who lost his life trying to save others on a surfing trip off the North Shore of Oahu.
In 1997, Quiksilver organized the first professional surf contest off the coast of Java, at a perfect surf location called "G-Land." "The Quiksilver Pro G-Land" was the first surf event with world wide TV coverage.
The most successful mark Quiksilver has left on the global action sports scene was when the brand sponsored American skateboarder Danny Way's record breaking jump over the Great Wall of China on July 7th, 2005. The first event of its kind in China as well as the world, Danny Way"s record breaking Great Wall jump created what is probably the most famous image in action sports. Newspapers around the world carried photos of Danny jumping the Wall, many on the front page, and TV coverage was the largest for an action sports event in history.
Other notable Quiksilver and ROXY events:
- The Roxy Pro - the first all women's professional surfing contest.
- The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast - The first and largest event in the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) year long professional contest circuit, which takes place annually along Queensland's Gold Coast.
- Quiksilver King of the Grommetts - world class surf contest for 16 and under boys and girls.
- Biarritz Surf Festival - One of the largest surf contest / live music events in France.