Company Profile: Quiksilver

Quiksilver are one of the original surf brands. Plastered across pages of surf magazines from the early eighties you’ll see the wave and the mountain logo. They came a long way and were, for a while, the premiere surf company. Sponsoring Kelly Slater and Lisa Andersen, they represented the finest talent surfing had to offer. They produced the Young Guns and boosted Dane Reynolds to prominence. Quiksilver has always produced quality surf gear including wetsuits, booties, boardshorts and rash vests. However, as they expanded around the world the focus shifted to fashion and you could find Quiksilver Boardstores everywhere from London to Mumbai.

Quiksilver has subsequently merged with Billabong to create a super surf conglomerate called Boardriders Inc. Discover important facts, milestones and products in this article.

History of Quiksilver

When was Quiksilver founded?

Quiksilver was founded in 1969; 52 years ago in Torquay, Australia.

Where was it founded? 

Quiksilver was founded in Torquay, Australia.

Who were the founders? 

The founders were Alan Green and John Law.

Why was it founded?  

Quiksilver was created because Alan Green wanted to make and design boardshorts better than others.

Important milestones in the company’s history

For Quiksilver Australia:

In 1976 Jeff Hakman won Bells and looking for a way to fund his surfing lifestyle negotiated an agreement to sell Quiksilver in the States along with Bob McKnight.

In 1983 the brand was distributed in Japan, 1984 Europe, SA and Asia.

In 1990, Quiksilver launched its sister brand for young women, Roxy.

The parent company changed its name in March 2017 from Quiksilver, Inc. to “Boardriders, Inc.”, and is the owner of the brands Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoes.

In 2018, Boardriders acquired Billabong International Limited, gaining the Billabong, Element, Von Zipper, RVCA and XCEL brands.

In 2013, Quiksilver initiated a turnaround plan after suffering financial losses for six years. However, by September 2015, the company filed for bankruptcy. After emerging from bankruptcy in early 2016, the company once again became privately held, with Oaktree Capital Management as the majority shareholder.

Quiksilver purchased Skis Rossignol for $560 million in 2005, but sold Rossignol on 12 November 2008 for $37.5 million (30 million euros) in cash and a $12.5 million note (10 million euro).

Quiksilver owned golf-equipment maker Cleveland Golf up until 31 October 2007, when it sold the company to a Japanese sporting goods company.

In 2009, Moody’s included Quiksilver on its Bottom Rung list of companies most likely to default on its debt.

As of 2013, Quiksilver operated 834 stand-alone stores in major cities across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. At that time, there were two types of Quiksilver-operated stores, known as either “Boardriders Club” or “Factory” stores. Their products were also sold in many other outlets across the world, such as PacSun, the Fells Point Surf Company and the Ron Jon Surf Shop. With PacSun’s decline in retail prominence, Quiksilver and other brands suffered diminished sales. In addition, the company operated a number of separate Roxy and Quiksilver Youth stores.

As of 2013, the company suffered a financial slump for six years and initiated a turnaround plan in an attempt to resolve this.In September 2015, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Quiksilver emerged from bankruptcy in early 2016, and the company once again became privately held, with Oaktree Capital Management as the majority shareholder.[15] By the end of 2016, their retail presence had significantly diminished after restructuring by Oaktree.

For Quiksilver USA:

1980s Expansion

McKnight’s commitment to his business strategy successfully carried Quiksilver through its fledgling years, creating a firmly established company by the beginning of the 1980s. The 1980s witnessed a host of sweeping changes that reshaped Quiksilver as it maneuvered through its corporate adolescence, beginning in 1981 when Hakman exited the business, leaving on amicable terms with McKnight to return to Australia and surf. Four years later, a turning point in Quiksilver’s history occurred when McKnight took Quiksilver to the next plateau of the retail apparel business and began distributing Quiksilver merchandise to department stores.

1990s Diversification

As the company entered the 1990s, it continued to record robust sales gains. Sales in 1990 neared the $100 million mark, fueled by the continued success of the company’s traditional line of surfing apparel, but the early years of the decade signalled a disruption in Quiksilver’s rousing 1980s rise.

1993 Acquisition of The Raisin Company

Women’s sportswear became a key facet of Quiksilver’s business following the company’s November 1993 acquisition of The Raisin Company, Inc., a manufacturer of women’s swimwear and sportswear. Aided by the addition of a strong European business, a return to the specialty and surf shops, and the expansion of its apparel lines, Quiksilver survived the recession and stood firmly positioned as a market leader by the mid-1990s.

Any other important people who contributed to success?

  • Robert B. McKnight and Jeffrey Hakman – McKnight and Hakman’s surprising success with the Quiksilver brand name.
  • Danny Kwock – Together with Bob McKnight, they revived the sister brand of Quiksilver, Roxy.

Company mission, vision and values

Vision StatementQuiksilver has the vision of making a difference to community and environment through the Quiksilver Foundation
Mission StatementQuiksilver’s mission is to build authentic, active brands into significant, sustainable success and increase shareholder value.

The Company Today

Who is the CEO?

Arne Arens is the CEO of Boardriders.

The number of employees of Quiksilver is 5,700.

How much revenue do they earn?

Quiksilver’s revenue is US$ 1.81 billion (2013).

Where are they located?

The company headquarters is located in Huntington Beach, USA.

Do they have a foundation / non-for-profit arm?

It’s foundation is the Boardriders Foundation. The Boardriders Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to improving quality of life through global and local community initiatives that share our focus on the environment, education, science, water, wellness and sustainability.

Which products do they specialize in?

Quiksilver’s products are swimsuits, clothing, footwear and accessories.

The Ambassadors

Who is sponsored by the company?

Jeremy Flores, Mikey Wright, Kanoa Igarashi, Leonardo Fioravanti, Ezekiel Lau, Koa Rothman, Marc Lacomare, Kael Walsh, Kehu Butler, Lennox Chell, Rio Waida, Tom Carroll, Mark Richards, Dede Suryana, Travis Rice, Bryan Fox, Mathieu Crepel, Austen Sweetin, Jesse Parkinson

Jeremy FloresFacebook
Mikey WrightFacebook
Kanoa IgarashiFacebook
Leonardo FioravantiFacebook
Ezekiel LauInstagram
Koa RothmanFacebook
Marc LacomareFacebook
Kael WalshFacebook
Kehu ButlerInstagram
Mark RichardsInstagram

Any interesting quotes from executives or ambassadors?

We’re always going to lose more than we win. The question is: How are you going to handle the losses?

Zeke Lau

11 million plastic bottles are recycled every year to make our products

Lennox Chell

Now I have no idea how this has come about – probably a rumour spread by my enemies – but apparently there’s a general belief among some sections of the surf community that I am a bit of a drop-in artist.

Tom Carroll


Do they produce any eco-friendly products or have a sustainability focus?

Campaigns and Partnerships

Are they doing anything interesting in terms of campaigns or partnerships?

Showcase products

For more information

Visit the Quiksilver website.