An essential garment for all regular surfers is a wetsuit. This is a tight-fitting outfit made of neoprene—a stretchy, synthetic rubber developed by DuPont. The wetsuit, which was first created in the 1950s, works on the concept that the wearer does not need to stay dry to stay warm.
Also critical for surfers are board shorts, which are swimwear items for wearing in warmer conditions. Board shorts are generally worn long and baggy, and are made from quick drying technical fabrics such as those made from polyester or nylon.
Board shorts have also achieved considerable success outside the surfing community as fashion wear. As such, they are considered to be the “killer product” in the beachwear market.
Three major brands dominate the surf wear market: Quicksilver, Billabong, and Rip Curl. All three originated in Australia, although Quicksilver, the largest player, is now US-owned and USA-based.
The growth of the surf wear industry since the 1990s is largely attributable to the increase in the number of female surfers—and those who aspire to be like them. However, in a fiercely competitive market, surf brands have had to diversify into other board sports such as snowboarding and skateboarding with the aim of generating sales all the year round.
Other forms of stand-up surfing
SURFING AND WATERSPORTS APPAREL
DEVELOPMENT OF SURFING
RASH VESTS AND INSULATED VESTS
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SURFWEAR MARKET
GROWTH OF THE FEMALE SURF MARKET
CHANNELS OF DISTRIBUTION
KEY PRODUCERS AND THEIR PRODUCTS
Surf wear and surf-inspired clothing
List of figures
Figure 1: Living the surfer lifestyle
Figure 2: A female full suit
Figure 3: Long-sleeved rash vest
Figure 4: Board shorts—the killer products of beachwear
Figure 5: Female surfers have fuelled the growth of the surf wear market.