Quicksilver Board Shorts

Published: 07th April 2011
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Quicksilver, Inc. Is one of the largest manufacturers of surf wear and other sports clothing in the world. It is based in Huntington Beach, California, but the company was founded by Alan Green and John Law in Victoria, Australia in 1970.

The story of Quicksilver board shorts begins in 1969 when Alan Green first started working on a prototype for a new kind of board short. The previous board shorts were made of heavy canvas material, and they would chafe against surfer’s legs and ride up while swimming and riding the waves. The material also took a long time to dry, so surfers were forced to hang out on the beach in uncomfortable wet gear. Surfers need to wear long shorts to protect their legs from rubbing against the waxy board, but these early shorts were incredibly uncomfortable. Green had the innovation to use technology from wetsuits, such as snaps and Velcro, along with a lighter polyester material that would dry quickly.

As soon as the first Quicksilver board shorts made their appearance in surf shops in Australia, they were instantly popular. Surfers found these Quicksilver board shorts to be the most comfortable things they had ever worn, and everyone wanted a pair. In the next few years, the new design spread throughout Australia and to the rest of the world, and only four years later in 1974 the shorts were first exported to shops in Hawaii. The early Quicksilver USA branch was owned by Jeff Hackman and Bob McNight, who began by selling the now famous Quicksilver board shorts out of the back of a green VW bus!

Now that Quicksilver was beginning to become a big name brand, they looked towards sponsoring competitive surfers. One of the first team riders sponsored by the company, Rabbit Bartholomew, went on to win the world title while wearing his Quicksilver board shorts. Soon scores of famous surfers are signing with the clothing label, and Quicksilver begins to expand to skateboarding and snowboarding wear as well. In 1988 two-time world champion Tom Carroll soon signed with Quicksilver, making him the first surfer to ever sign an exclusive $1 million contract with a clothing company. This record-breaking deal happened as the company was still one year shy of its 20 year anniversary.

In 1990, Quicksilver expanded its demographic and began to appeal to female surfers with its "Roxy" brand. Roxy is now the largest sport clothing company for young women in the world, and it also has produces accessories, shoes, books and perfumes. The new "Teenie Wahine" sub-brand of Roxy is even targeting child surf enthusiasts.

Even after more than three decades in the business, Quicksilver seems to still be using forward thinking innovation to ride the wave of surfing fashion.

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