Billabong was founded on Australia’s Gold Coast in 1973
Billabong was founded on Australia’s Gold Coast in 1973 by surfer and surfboard shaper Gordon Merchant and his then partner, Rena. From humble beginnings – designing boardshorts at home, cutting them out on the kitchen table and selling them in local surf shops – the brand quickly gained traction with surfers preferring the superior functionality of the Billabong boardshorts. They were found to be far more durable courtesy of the unique triple-stitching technique developed by Gordon.
Local surfers drawn to the brand became involved in marketing Billabong, and -brand sponsored contests and special events soon followed. By the 1980s, Billabong had firmly established its place in Australian surf culture and was ready for international expansion. The initial focus was on the large North American market and, again, the brand enjoyed success.