Cold water,  a love of surfing and  some sharp ideas helped Doug Warbrick and  a mate develop Rip Curl into an iconic international brand and  a major sponsor of surfing worldwide. As a consequence Torquay, also  the home of Quiksilver,  has  become a mecca for surfers from all around the world. Doug (better known as ‘Claw’) and  his friend Brian Singer, founded Rip Curl in Torquay Victoria in 1967. The two young  surfers simply dreamt of one  thing: to live and  work near the waves. They began by making surfboards and  settled in a former bakery. Winter is harsh in Torquay, but the waves are  good  which led to the idea to expand the business by making  wetsuits. So in 1969,  with the help of a vintage sewing machine the friends  began running  up wetsuits, with emphasis on transforming diving technology into a wetsuit suitable for surfing. Rip Curl has  grown to become one  of the largest surf brands in Australia, Europe and  South America  and  is also active  in North America  and  South Africa. They have diversified  to sell surf boards, snowboards, wetsuits, clothing and  accessories to support these sports. The name ‘Rip Curl’ was  taken from a vee-bottom surfboard that Doug bought in 1968,  on which he’d written “Rip Curl Hot Dog.” The words  didn’t mean anything, he later admitted, “Except ripping was  groovy; surfing the curl was  groovy; we wanted to be groovy — so that was  it.” Doug was  also  responsible for starting the internationally recognised Bells Beach Surf Classic in 1973,  now the Rip Curl Pro, held during Easter each year  at Bells Beach. Doug’s other  surfing achievements include  being  an original member of the ASA (now Surfing Australia)  in 1963  and  a committee member and  VP of Surfing Victoria in the 1960s and  1970s. He was  also  a founding  member of the ASP World Tour and  the Surfrider  Foundation Australia. In 2010  Doug was  inducted into the Surfing Australia  Hall of Fame. After surfing for over 50 years, Doug still maintains a fierce passion for everything surfing: the industry,  sport, culture, history, contests, free surfing,  innovation, travel and adventure, as well as mentoring surfing’s great  young talents and  witnessing their exceptional performances. “Because I live and  work near the waves it allows us to remain focused on our products and  our customers,” says Doug.

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