Surfing Culture

Beginning in the late 1960s and and 1970s, Geelong and the surrounding Surf Coast saw the rise of surfing culture and related iconic surfwear design labels such as Rip Curl, Billabong and Quiksilver. This heritage was captured and showcased to the public through the Australian National Surfing Museum, which opened in 1993.

Rip Curl

In March of 1969 two surfing friends Doug “Claw” Warbrick and Brian “Sing Ding” Singer, from the Surf Coast area near Geelong, met and founded Rip Curl from a garage. In April 1969, the first boards were made. In November of that year, with a steady stream of orders, the pair upgraded to the Old Bakery in Torquay. Inside they set up a proper shaping bay, glassing and sanding rooms and lifted production to 12 boards a week. The rest is history, with Rip Curl now an iconic boardsports design brand on the world stage.

ripcurl logo


In 1969, Alan Green produced wetsuits with a $2500 loan from his father. Quiksilver’s logo, designed in 1973 by Green and collaborator, John Law, in 1973, was inspired by Japanese painter Hokusai‘s woodcut The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

Quiksilver also has a sister brand for young women, Roxy. The Roxy logo itself is derived from the Quiksilver logo to form a heart.


Founded in 1973 by Gordon and Rena Merchant, the company first traded on the Australian Securities Exchange on 11 August 2000. The name “billabong” is derived from the Wiradjuri word “bilabaŋ” that refers to a “creek that runs only during the rainy season”, a fitting echo of the area’s indigenous design heritage. Billabong too is now an iconic surfwear design brand.

Billabong Logo

Australian Museum of Surfing

Founded by Torquay surfers Peter Troy, Vic Tantau and Alan Reid, the Australian National Surfing Museum is a place where the act of wave-riding is celebrated and commemorated. Opened in December 1993, the ANSM was quickly acknowledged by the International Surfing Association as one of the most significant centres of surfing heritage in the world. As the home of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame, the museum also honours the most significant Australians to have contributed to the growth of surfing from a pastime enjoyed by a very small number of people to a passion of millions around the globe.