Iconic surf brands: alive and pumping

The surf industry is growing steadily for a long time. The oldest surf brands have evolved and are now operating in a global scale. Trademarks like Quiksilver, Rip Curl, Billabong and O'Neill have survived the passing of time and dominate more than 75% of the market.


The remaining thousands of brands develop surf wear, surf gear, surf apparel, wetsuits, board shorts, accessories and even surf technology. Many are still opening new markets and niches, but others could not survive surf capitalism.

There's also a third wave: surf brands that were iconic, fell, almost died and then were revamped and are trying to reconquer the notoriety of the successful times. Some of these brands are certainly recognized by the Generation X of surfers. Do you remember Sundek and Lightning Bolt?

The first surf brand was born in 1957, in sunny California, and gained reputation for its iconic rainbow board shorts. After a rising period in the 90's, Sundek was less seen in the beaches. Now, the custom made boardshorts are a sign of resurrection.

Lightning Bolt was born in 1968, in Hawaii. After more than two decades of sponsoring top competitions, globalization almost killed the famous surf brand. Now, surf veteran Jonathan Paskowitz takes the Lightning Bolt ship to new locations and continents and the mythic brand is living again happy times.

Sex Wax. Everyone knows it and many surfers can guess it without looking at the logo. The unforgettable smell is the trigger to Mr. Zogs' Sex Wax success, born in the 70's. Today, the surfer's wax has a complete line of products, for every taste and temperature waters.

OP and HB also resist. Ocean Pacific keeps authentic to the 1972 foundation year. It was classy surfer's favourite brand in the 90's. Hot Buttered, the Australian trade mark, has diversified the offer and stands strong in the Asian/Oceania region.

For windsurfers, two brands that start with a 'M'. Mistral and Mike Davis produced the best windsurfing gear in the world for many years. They still exist but without windsurfing in its core business.

Last, but not least, remember Morey Boogie and Churchill? The first brand initiated modern bodyboarding; the second one produced the most iconic bodyboarding fins ever. These brands are alive and still delivering top quality gear for wave riders.

Take a look at the most famous surf company logos.