Stab Magazine | Rip Curl Just Sold For $350 Million To New Zealand Based Outdoor Retailer
440 Views

Rip Curl Just Sold For $350 Million To New Zealand Based Outdoor Retailer

After 50 years of private ownership, one of the last remaining independent big named surf co has a pay day. 

news // Oct 1, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

When it comes to the big, foundational surf brands, Rip Curl’s been the last hold out in the corporatization of industry. But announced today, the Torquay-based wetsuit manufacturer has been purchased by outdoor retailer Kathmandu in a $350-million deal.

Billabong, Hurley, Quiksilver, Volcom and Vans went this way years ago as the brands either went public or were acquired by larger conglomerate companies. Now, after 50 years of private ownership, it’s Rip Curl’s time to step into the big leagues as company founders Brian Singer and Doug “Claw” Warbrick have finally decided to sell. 

“After 50 years it’s an emotional event for us. Surfing and the surf industry has been an integral part of our lives for more than 50 years,” reads a statement attributed simply to “The Founders.” “We realise, Rip Curl, our baby has grown into an adult recognised all over the planet and we are proud that we have created one of the world’s great brands. We are confident the crew at Rip Curl will continue to look after the brand and products into the future. We look forward to supporting the crew on this journey.”

“It will be a new world for all of us after 50 years of private ownership, and our entire Crew would like to thank the Rip Curl Founders for everything they have done for surfing over the years,” said Rip Curl Group CEO Michael Daly. “Professionally, my team and I are excited by the opportunities that this will create and we look forward to joining Kathmandu and retaining our Vision of being regarded as the ultimate surfing company in all that we do.”

The press release went on to explain how both brands will “continue to run independently” and leverage their strategic advantages. If we sound skeptical it’s because we’ve seen how this plays out. From surf mags to surf rags, when it comes to corporate takeovers, there aren’t many success stories to point to in the marketplace. Rip Curl’s challenge will be to buck this trend. At the moment, Vans’ formula of staying true to their roots, supporting the core culture and backing relevant surfers would be the biggest exception. 

“Rip Curl transforms Kathmandu into a highly complementary, seasonally balanced, global outdoor and action sports business,” said Kathmandu’s CEO Xavier Simonet in the press release. “The combination will support the acceleration of our brands’ global expansion into new channels and markets. Sharing a focus on quality, innovation and sustainability, Kathmandu and Rip Curl make for a great cultural fit.”

Corpo buzz words aside, Rip Curl under their independence has brought surfing plenty of gifts. The most notable being The Search. Hopefully, said global expansion falls short of exposing some of the world’s most mysto set-ups. The lure of Rip Curl’s most successful marketing campaign, and the very essence of the brand itself, that it’s a surfer’s surf company, salty through and through. They’ve always made a point of not naming spots in their ads, rather focusing on the dream of perfection and that somewhere out there an empty lineup is calling. 

They backed that up with their unwavering support of Tom Curren, who continues to inspire the surf world with his unique take on the sport and lifestyle. Backing him up with world champs like Mick Fanning, Gabe Medina and Tyler Wright only cemented their reputation. And now they’ve got Mason Ho, arguably the most entertaining surfer in the world, waving their flag.

The press release doesn’t give away too much, but whatever happens, things are definitely changing in Torquay.

How it plays out remains to be seen.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Surfing Ain’t The Half Of It

Vans Duct Tape Invitational smashes through South Africa, leaves no stone unturned.

Jul 4, 2022

$30,000 Boards: How The Occasionally Lucrative Surf Memorabilia Market Works

To the moon or?

Jul 4, 2022

This Is What Rock Bottom Feels Like

“I accidentally shit my wetsuit.”

Jul 3, 2022

How Many Times Can You Surf In A Day?

MISC: You can be a spider.

Jul 3, 2022

The Heroic Story Of A Surfboard That Got Lost At Sea For Three Months Before Returning Home

Disabled surf coach to Gabriel Medina, Andy King, shares a cautionary (but hilarious) tale.

Jul 2, 2022

3:12

This Is What Caroline Marks Was Doing Instead Of Surfing G-Land

A tutorial on bouncing back(side).

Jul 1, 2022

How Much Weight Does The Most Important Surf Contest Of Our Time Carry?

Tell us who you think won S.U.R.F.'D plus your chance to win a Soundboks Go.

Jul 1, 2022

1:08:44

Stab Highway California, Presented By Monster Energy, Episode 2 

Featuring the inaugural Steamer Lane Acid Drop Challenge and several burritos.

Jul 1, 2022

I’d Hate Me Too

Confessions of a Stab Highway mall cop.

Jun 29, 2022

A Cost-Per-Wave Breakdown Of The Most Luxurious Surf Trips On The Planet 

From under $30 to $850 a ride. Where you visiting next?

Jun 29, 2022

Big Ramps And A Little Shuvit Highlight Finals Day In Saquarema

Filipe Toledo quadruples down and Carissa Moore breaks through at the Oi Rio Pro.

Jun 28, 2022

True Grit: The Callum Robson Profile

A throwback to a Golden Age of Australian surfing — with a new age twist. 

Jun 28, 2022

24:48

Unlocked: Stab’s ‘DNA’—The Colapinto Brothers’ Presented By Monster Energy

A sibling relationship is fueling some of the best surfing in the world.

Jun 28, 2022

34:36

Can Four Of Byron Bay’s Most Colorful & Sexy-Haired Pros Handshape, Paint & Surf A Board With Limited Time & Experience?

Byron Bay Brewery and Stab present ‘S.U.R.F.’D.

Jun 27, 2022

Premonition: The Oi Rio Pro Is Going To A Brazilian

And there will be no riot in Rio.

Jun 27, 2022

Captain Fin Co. Has The Most Culturally Relevant Surf Team 

And that’s why the Volcom guys just bought it

Jun 27, 2022

The Slater-Backed South African Girl Who Just Took Her First Trip To Compete Internationally

Meet Indie Osinachi!

Jun 27, 2022

Different Dog, Same Fleas

The greatest rivals of the modern day surf era get matching MCL tears.

Jun 26, 2022
Advertisement