Somewhat of an aside, but Quiksilver has some marquee names on its surf roster that all do very different things. I’m curious to hear what your expectations for stars like Dane Reynolds are versus Kelly Slater in a given year. What can we expect from Dane in 2013? Are web clips and t-shirts enough to justify your investment?
Kelly, being our marquee athlete of the Quiksilver brand, will continue doing his thing: competing, representing Quiksilver proudly, representing the sport of surfing to the world, traveling and finding exotic waves, working on surfboards/equipment and Quiksilver product, and working on yet-to-be-announced media projects.
Dane will continue being Dane! He is a modern-day surfing savant, traveling the world, ripping/tearing and flying on waves everywhere, capturing videos, pictures and words for various media outlets, and generally progressing surfing and his persona every minute.
What do you make of Nike’s decision to transition its surf efforts entirely through Hurley? Does that focus concern Quiksilver?
I’m not going to comment on Nike/Hurley, because I don’t know enough. We are completely focused and confident in our strategies at Quiksilver. We obviously watch our competition, but we are not concerned about their movements effecting our focus, determination, and competitiveness in the market.
Do you have a guiding philosophy or principle in approaching business?
Always keep a balance of salts and suits (We came up with that, not Phil Jarratt!)
Work hard. Play hard. Have plenty of time for family and friends. Sleep when you’re dead!
The action sports industry is in a very different place than it was when you got the U.S. license for the mountain and the wave. At that point, it didn’t really exist. Now, many of your peers’ creations have IPO’ed and built an unlikely reality based on a pretty far-fetched idea. Could you share a few thoughts, good and bad, of that journey?
Obviously, the journey has been amazing. I still remember fondly the very early days… There was no surf “industry” – just a bunch of surf shops selling surfboards, O’Neill wetsuits, wax and shop t-shirts…the days when Jeff Hakman and I drove up and down the coast and sold boardshorts – a word that Quiksilver invented – out of the back of my VW van for $8.50.
We were told that we could never sustain the business selling boardshorts. We were told we would never be bigger than 1 million dollars in sales. We were told we would never get bigger than 100 million dollars in sales. We were told you can’t do girls at a men’s company. We were told that going public would alienate all of your core market. We were told all sorts of things! It’s rewarding now, for Quiksilver and me personally, to have been at ground zero for the surf- skate- snow- action industry… and to see so many great companies thriving (mostly out of Orange County now) all over the world, and to see so many young men and women employed and making money and supporting their families from an industry that is only really about 35 years old. I so appreciate that Quiksilver has allowed me to work hard, enjoy my craft, and stay fit and healthy through surfing… and make a living!
A few years ago, in an interview that told me this: “My initial goals for Quiksilver were just to make boardshorts go to the beach, keep surfing, have fun, and hopefully make a career out of it. I never, ever, ever in my wildest dreams did I think it would become what it became.” Reflecting on that notion, how are you feeling right now – as you transition into a new phase of your life and career? Quiksilver aside, what’s next for you?
Next for me will be continuing the ride at Quiksilver. I plan to keep working hard, supporting Andy Mooney at the helm 100%, continuing to hang out with all my friends and colleagues from Quiksilver and the rest of the industry, keep surfing and enjoying the future. Obviously, I will spend a lot of time with my family. I still think there is plenty for me to do!