From Torquay to the world stage

In 1969 was an exciting time by any measure.

The World sat glued to TV screens watching a man set foot on the moon.

The Vietnam War was raging and the space race was in full flight.

While the Beatles released Abbey Road the rest of the music world was in upstate New York creating the wonder of Woodstock.

The French watched the first flight of the Concord and the eyes of all Americans were on Chappaquiddick.

Monty Python hit our Televisions, Nixon was President and John Gorton was at the helm here at home.

In Torquay a couple of young Surfers decided to have a go at making a living by starting a surf company called Ripcurl. They began by shaping surfboards in back yards and garages and later took over an old bakery in Boston road where foam blanks sat on rack that had once held baker’s loaves of bread.

In 1970 they made a decision that would forever change the direction of the little company. Frustrated by surfing in the cold Victorian waters they saw a gap in the market to remedy this, they invested in an old pre World War 2 sewing machine that had been used to sew flying boots for airmen. They bought some rubber and employed a crew of locals and began sewing wetsuits. When the house behind the old bakery became available to rent they moved the wetsuit production there.

By 1973 Ripcurl was the market leader in Australian sales making Long John suits, with a profit margin of $10 per suit, they were turning out some 100 suits a week.

The story of the little Company that started in backyard garages to an international leader in the Surf Industry is a wonderful tale of success and one Torquay is very proud of.