Captain Fin Co. Has The Most Culturally Relevant Surf Team  - Stab Mag
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Captain Fin Co. Has The Most Culturally Relevant Surf Team 

And that’s why the Volcom guys just bought it

news // Jun 27, 2022
Words by Coral McDuffee
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Liberated Brands, the master global licensee for Volcom and Spyder, has just acquired Captain Fin Co

“Master global licensee” is a scary phrase that means Liberated Brands has the rights to sell Volcom and Spyder’s products in the key zones around the world. The group’s CEO Todd Hymel, and Co-Founders, Ryan Immegart CMO and Brad Holman COO, are biz-savvy folk who spent years building Volcom before ABG acquired the brand and licensed it back to them. In 2011, Volcom was sold to the French luxury fashion-house Kering Group (you can read about Gucci’s brief catwalk in the surf industry, here)

OK, enough business jargon. 

Think happy thoughts

The takeaway is this — the Volcom heavyweights got the band back together and went shopping. Their first purchase, as of June 17, 2022, was the fin company, Captain Fin Co. 

Why? 

Prospective buyers look for untapped potential and a point of difference.  

“Captain Fin is a lighthearted, fun, yet-performance based brand, with some similarities to the Volcom spirit,” said CEO Todd Hymel. “Danny Gillis (the former CEO of Captain Fin Co.) has built a phenomenal team. I’m confident the formula will work on a global scale”. 

Despite having a small roster compared to major accessory brands, they’ve netted some of the most prominent names in surf: Dion Agius, Archy, Corey Colapinto, Troy Elmore, Mikey February, Wade Goodall, Dylan Graves, Tanner Guduaskas, Leila Hurst, Alex Knost, Eithan Osborne, Andy Nieblas, Kaito Ohashi, Dane Reynolds, Caity Simmers, Scotty Stopnik, Joel Tudor, Tyler Warren, JJ Wessels, and Chippa Wilson. 

Dane Reynold’s spirit animal is a black panther

So how did a self-funded garage start-up secure such a hefty deal?

Stab jumped on a call with Liberated Brands’ CEO Todd Hymel, alongside Co-Founder Ryan Immegart and former Captain Fin Co. owner Danny Gillis, for a direct line. The trio was less intimidating than their titles suggest. 

“From the beginning, the business was grass-roots— it was like an after-school project,” Danny Gillis explained. “We were the first to draw on fins, and surfers appreciated the individuality.”

“The team is cut from the same cloth in that they care about expression more than cash. The art never had to be polished, just authentic to the surfer.” 

Mikey February is a master of the expression. Photo: Alan Vangysen

Gillis plans to continue leading Captain Fin Co. as the head brand manager. Ryan Immegart, Co-founder of Liberated Brands, added, “The team at Captain Fin Co. is used to making shit happen without much support. We’re giving them the resources they needed to build the brand on a global scale.”

After a little evaluation it’s clear the apparel side of Captain Fin Co. is destined for growth— it’s the Volcom connoisseur’s bread and butter. As for taking a larger slice of the Futures/FCS pie, there is a general sense of optimism. The new owners of the quaint fin company allude to “BIG changes.”

Could this mean a new fin system is in the works? 

We love strategy speculation almost as much as fresh hardware. 

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