The History Behind Billabong

By | April 13, 2017

Who is Billabong?

Billabong is one of the leading brands in the surfing industry dating back to the 1970s. In any surf or beach shop Billabong is one the brands you will always find. They have a range of products from board shorts, to bags, to bikinis, to jeans and much more.

Who founded Billabong?

Billabong was founded by Australian surfer Gordon Merchant and his wife Rena Merchant. They started designing and making their first board short in their home on the East Coast of Australia and sold them to local surf shops.

The uniqueness which set Billabong aside from other board shorts which were available was the famous triple-stitching technique developed by Gordon, which made the board short far more durable.

Where did the name Billabong originate from?

The name Billabong can be split into 2 parts, billa and bong. ‘Billa’ is an Australian word meaning river or creek and the word ‘bong’, means ‘to die’. So the definition of the 2 together means ‘an area of water from a river or creek that is stagnant and no longing running’.

The logo for Billabong shows 2 waves that are not running together and are motionless. They choose the name due to the uniqueness to Australia and the aboriginal meaning of an oasis.

How did Billabong become an International success?

From the success Billabong experienced in their first year they opened their first factory in 1975. Year after year they produced their merchandise and increased sales and moved to larger premises, in 1981 they reached the milestone of $1 million in annual sales. They began to sponsor the World Final Surfing Contest (the largest surfing competition still today set in Hawaii). This gave Billabong the international recognition they were after and began exporting to Japan, the United States, New Zealand and many more. From here the brand and the sales grew to what it is known today, as one of the leading names in the surfing industry.

Source by Beth Dawson

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