Surfing’s biggest, richest, and most successful company; maker of surfwear, wetsuits, and all manner of surfing accessories; founded in 1970 in Victoria, Australia, as an offshoot of Rip Curl wetsuits, by Torquay surfer Alan Green. The Quiksilver name was lifted from acid-rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service. Green himself designed and drew the logo.
Quiksilver’s original signature product was a scallop-legged line of surf trunks ("boardshorts," in Aussie parlance), and the first run sold out. Green went through some early business partners, then hooked up with Torquay surfer John Law, and in 1976 they licensed the brand to Hawaiian pro surfer Jeff Hakman and University of Southern California business school graduate Bob McKnight, who began producing Quiksilver trunks in Southern California. Five years later, Quiksilver USA’s annual sales were approaching $5 million—not the biggest bottom line for a surf company, but heading in that direction, fast.