Part of my weekend was spent reading Phil Jarratt’s excellent book, Salts and Suits; How a bunch of surf bums created a multi-billion dollar industry…and almost lost it. Phil has worked in surf publishing and the surf industry for more than 35 years, including five years as the head of marketing in Europe for Quiksilver. He seems to know and have talked to everybody in the industry over a period of years, but just got around to putting it all together in this book, published in Australia around April of this year.
It’s very Australia centric, though anybody in the industry will know of or have met many of the individuals who figure prominently in it. It has not been released in the U.S. and you can’t, to my amazement, buy it at Amazon. However, it looks like you can order it from Australia and here’s one link where you can get it.
Most of the surf shops sold boards and wax, and that was about it. I knocked on Dewey Weber’s door twenty times before he’d talk to me, and then he goes, ‘Okay, I’ll take them, but only white and only in my size, in case they don’t sell.’ Then one day I had a coffee with the guy at Hobie’s and I told him my trunks would make him forty percent of the sale price. I asked him how much he made off of a surfboard sale. It was half that, and the boards were taking up all the space! He got that, and soon all the guys started to realize that trunks would pay the rent.