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Tag Archives: Quiksilver

Quiksilver story: the Greens, an album and Rick Griffin

According to The Quiksilver Story, a book by former Tracks editor Phil Jarratt, Barbara Green came up with the name for the iconic board short brand in 1970. She’d read a definition of the word quicksilver which matched the personality of her boyfriend (and later husband) Alan Green who founded the Quiksilver company.

The name was also inspired by a favourite album of Alan and Barbara by San Francisco psychedelic rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service.

On page 47 of the The Quiksilver Story, there is a copy of an advert from the November 1974 issue of Breakway. The caption reads “first print advertisement” In fact, Quiksilver took the inside back cover of the April 1974 issue, advertising their sheepskin jackets and ugg boots.

Their first board short advertisement in Breakway was a quarter page featuring the ‘mountain and wave’ logo with the title ‘NUMERO UNO’ in the August 1974 issue. On the opposite page is a cartoon by Paul Harris titled Cruisinon. Harris’s creative mentor was the Californian artist, Rick Griffin, and much of his drawing style and inspiration for his Breakway cartoons came unashamedly from Griffin’s work. As homage, Harris drew a portrait of Griffin in the top right of the Cruisinon cartoon. Interestingly, the portrait’s eyes appear to be looking across at the Quiksilver board short advertisement. Artwork for the Quicksliver Messenger Service album that was sitting on Green’s turntable in 1970 was designed by Rick Griffin, who, as well as designing the masthead for Rolling Stone magazine, started the Murphy cartoon strip for Surfer magazine in 1961. Did Barbara Green also get a subliminal message when she came up with Quiksilver’s brand name?

At 16 Tommy Carroll was chasing the cash

Tom Carroll won the Australian Junior Title in 1978, the Pro Juniors in 1977 and 1980, the 1983 and 1984 ASP World Tour, and the 1987 Pipe Masters. He became the first surfing millionaire after signing a contract with Quiksilver in 1989.

Surfing press polls have rated him among the top 10 surfers of all time. He was 16 in December ’78 when Hugh Hamilton taped an interview for Breakway at Carroll’s home beach of Newport.

You’re both really aggressive in the water.

Well, when we surf we look upon aggressive surfers. People like. Michael Peterson, aggressive radical surfers like Col Smith and a few smooth surfers like Nat Young in an old movie I saw, this was when I was a small kid. And I thought the only way to surf was to watch someone and learn. That’s the way I learnt, just watching in the movies and stuff.

Anyone influence you heavily?

Derek (Hynd) was a heavy influence when I started. He was a bit of a snob when I first knew him. I just watched him surfing. He was a lot better than most surfers at Newport then.

What do you think of commercialism in surfing, turning surfing into a major sport at last?

Surfing should become commercial if it’s going to survive. Otherwise it’ll just go off into its own little world, and just completely empty out. If they try to keep the prices low business is just going to run out. They’ve got to raise the prices in boards or they’ll go out of business.

Do you think it could become a Olympic sport?

Yeah. Surfing should become like skiing, tennis or golf. Its so unrecognised now.