Dakine got its start on Maui’s North Shore in 1979. Rob Kaplan was a surfer first, but he was also a tinkerer who loved building stuff. Word got out, and soon fellow surfers began turning to him with their gear problems—most often busted surf leashes. After repairing enough leashes, he set out to make a new leash with the kind of bombproof materials and stitching only someone who’s lost a board to the rocks would know how to make.
Important milestones in the company’s history
In 1986 Dakine moved its base of operations to Hood River, Oregon, U.S., and has remained there since.
By 1986, windsurfing’s center of gravity had shifted to Hood River, Oregon. While Dakine would keep a presence on Maui, its headquarters moved to the mainland. Hood River also sat at the base of Mount Hood, where snowboarders and skiers from all over the world trained in the summer. Now, not only were we talking to some of the world’s best surfers and windsurfers, but we also had world-class snowboarders and skiers coming in and out of the office too. It was one of those snowboarders that led us to the first Heli Pack. He had come off the mountain and wandered into Dakine with a request: He needed an essentials-only pack for his heli trips to Alaska. Dakine created a custom pack that had everything he wanted and nothing more. That favor for a friend eventually turned into one of our most iconic products ever.
In August 2009, Dakine was acquired by Billabong International Limited for about US$100 million.
The company moved into a new 2300 m2 (25000 sq ft) headquarters along the Columbia River in Hood River in June 2013.
Also in 2013, Billabong sold Dakine for $70 million to Altamont Capital Partners.
As of 2016 Dakine has offices in Oregon, Oahu, Haiku and Annecy France.
Any other important people who contributed to success?
Repped by the likes of slope-style freeskier Sammy Carlson, snowboarder Jill Perkins and freeride mountain bikers Graham Agassiz, Thomas Vanderham and Carson Storch, Dakine is the kind of niche brand that consumers are after these days.
Dakine headquarters is located at 603 Portway Ave, Hood River, Oregon, 97031, United States.
Do they have a foundation / non-for-profit arm?
Dakine is supporting or in partnership with the following non-profit organiztions:
Camber Outdoors: Working toward more inclusive, innovative active-outdoor industries by promoting gender diversity in the workplace. Our CEO has also signed the Camber CEO Pledge.
Trek Dirt Series: Mountain bike camps that offer personalized instruction, professional programming, and an incredibly skilled and supportive coaching staff. Throughout Western Canada and the US — women’s specific and co-ed, cross-country and downhill, and beginner through advanced.
Boarding for Breast Cancer: Empowers young people to make positive choices that promote lifelong wellness through outreach, prevention, sustainability, and support programs.
Kiteboarding 4 Cancer: Harnesses the power of wind and water to impact lives affected by cancer. We support Project Koru, which helps young adults move forward in life after cancer through community and the outdoors.
Surfrider Foundation: A community of everyday people who passionately protect our playground – the ocean, waves, and beaches -that provide us so much enjoyment.
Protect Our Winters: Founded by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones in 2007, Protect Our Winters works with businesses, athletes and the community to harness the collective power of the outdoor sports industry to take meaningful action against climate change through educational initiatives and political advocacy.
Public Land Solutions: Working with outdoor industry and gateway businesses to protect recreation assets.
Rob Machado Foundation: Through environmental education and sustainability solutions, they work to keep single-use plastic out of watersheds while giving children access to clean water.
Which products do they specialize in?
Dakine builds backpacks, bags, outerwear, gloves and accessories for surf, skate, snowboard, ski, mountain bike, windsurf and kite.
In the News
Any mainstream news articles referencing the Dakine brand?
Any interesting quotes from executives or ambassadors?
When I’m snowboarding, I just feel stronger and more flexible and more able to trust my instincts – because there are times when you really do have to be mindful with the jumps you’re hitting and the conditions that you’re riding in.
Bike Team: Graham Agassiz, Casey Brown, Carson Storch, Thomas Vanderham, Yoann Barelli, Iago Garay, Marco Osborne, Brendan Howey
Surf Team: John John Florence, Johanne Defay, Bruce Irons, Albee Layer, Joel Parkinson, Ian Walsh, Carissa Moore, Evan Geiselman, Shane Dorian, Zeke Lau, Luke Davis, Yago Dora, Koa Rothman, David Economos, Ian Gentil
Snowboard Team: Louif Paradis, Jill Perkins, Elias Elhardt, Mark Wilson, Sam Taxwood, Kazu Kokubo, Jamie Anderson, Bryan Fox, Victor Daviet, Wolle Nyvelt
Ski Team: Chris Benchetler, Eric Pollard, Karl Fostvedt, Taylor Lundquist, Lucas Wachs, Sammy Carlson, Torin Yater-Wallace, Jeremy Pancras, Tom Grainer
Kite Team: Reo Stevens, Eric Rienstra, Melissa Gil, Sam Medysky, Rob Douglas, Ben Wilson, Marc Ramsier
Windsurf Team: Wyatt Miller, Morgan Noireaux, Ingrid Larouche, Graham Ezzy, Tyson Poor, Sarah Hauser, Levi Siver, Philip Soltysiak, Fiona Wylde, Bryan Metcalf-Perez, Tatiana Howard, Kevin Pritchard, Jay J Lee, Peter Garzke, Kai Katchadourian, Bernd Roediger, Florian Jung
The best thing we do is make great product, but even the best product has an impact on the environment. So, we’re always working to reduce that impact while still providing durability and functionality. Every year, our knowledge and our material options improve, making it easier to approach product design with a variety of techniques that prioritize optimal performance and minimize impact on the environment.
When building Dakine product, our first priority is durability. When gear is built to last, it’s less likely to end up in a landfill.
Environmentally Friendlier Materials:
We do our best to utilize materials that reduce our impact on the environment and the people working with them. Every year, we build more products considering the following friendlier options:
Dakine has been using recycled PET materials for a long time and every year we strive to use more without sacrificing durability. Our PET polyester fibers come from post-consumer recycled plastic water bottles and get used in products from backpacks to apparel.
The bluesign® system (www.bluesign.com) validates the entire supply chain of a material to ensure it uses the most environmentally friendly chemistry and processes. We utilize bluesign™-approved materials throughout our line.
PFC’s are chemicals commonly found in Durable Water Repellant treatments (DWR) used on performance gear and apparel to make textiles water resistant. Some of these PFC’s have been shown to contaminate waterways so we are working with our partners towards an increased use of PFC-free and PFC(ec)-free DWR finishes.
The health and well-being of the people that build our products are critical. Our Code of Conduct Agreement and our Restricted Substances List (AAFA v19) ensure that all of our factory partners take employee safety, environment, and rights as seriously as we do.
Campaigns and Partnerships
Are they doing anything interesting in terms of campaigns or partnerships?
Dakine Launches Ohana Means Family, A Give-Back Campaign in Support of Students and Education