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The history of Hurley International traces its roots back to the surf industry in Southern California in the late 1970's. Hurley Surfboards was established in Costa Mesa in 1979.
Well into the early 1980's, Hurley Surfboards was excelling as a company and Bob was shaping surfboards for many of the best surfers in the world. In 1982, Bob and his business manager, Joe K., began pursuing a hot Australian clothing brand, Billabong. Bob was attracted to the company because of their super long, punk rock boardshort styles. With the help of friends and family, Billabong USA was established as a separate entity and licensee for Billabong.
By the mid-1980's, Billabong USA was doing really well. Bob and his team were committed to thinking and doing things differently. The team took full responsibility for design, sourcing, marketing and financing.
Around 1995, the Billabong USA team began noticing a shift in the collective consciousness of the consumer. Bob and his group realized that the modern surfer also loved fashion, skate, snow, music and art. The Internet and digital technology put more power in the hands of the consumers. The team began to re-think what it meant to be a "surf" brand. By early 1998, the internal Billabong USA team was formulating a new idea for the future.
By the end of 1998, it was clear that the team had it's own vision for the future that did not necessarily serve the interests of Billabong globally. Coincidentally, the license agreement between Hurley and Billabong was also up for renewal. With much gratitude, Bob and his team gave back the Billabong license and decided to launch Hurley.
USA sales at that time were at 70 million dollars. The management team was both confident and dynamic. Things were very good. Planning the first year of Hurley business was very exciting. There were 150 employees with families, house payments, car payments, and etc. that trusted the management team to future success. Miraculously, the first year of Hurley resulted in a major achievement. Not only were the sales excellent, but also the company was profitable and no jobs had to be cut.
The loyalty and support of friends, retailers, athletes, and families was amazing during this transition year. Bob and his team are forever grateful and humbled for their belief in the vision of the brand.
You can learn more about Hurley at their website.
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