California is well known for being the heart of the world's "surf scene". It is the location from which many famous surfers launched their careers, and there are many brand names in surf gear that originate in California. One of the most famous of them all is Hurley, and it has an interesting background.
Relatively young to the world of surfing and outdoor gear, the brand actually began with another equally famous company - Billabong. The way it started is actually simple. In 1979, a group of surfboard designers and business investors decided to found a firm known as Billabong USA. It was an overnight success story, and in less than twenty years' time the company had more than $70 million in sales.
However, among the founding members was Bob Hurley, who at the time of the company's creation was already famous as a surfboard shaper. When the licensing rights for Billabong came up for renewal in 1998, Hurley and a few of the other partners decided to shift out of the firm and create one that was more in line with the American market's demands.
What had happened during those first years in business was noticeable to the team, and they decided to create something new in order to address the changes in the surf culture. They realized that modern surfers were becoming fashion conscious, getting into alternative sports like skateboarding, and really aligning themselves with art and music. This, plus the advent of the Internet and mobile tech meant that a new brand with a new identity was called for.
They created the company now known as Hurley in 1999, and it too was an almost immediate success. Built on the emerging culture of surfing, skateboarding, art, music, and plain old-fashioned fun, it had an instant audience.
Within just a few years' time, however, it had grown so substantially that Nike came calling. In 2002 the firm was sold to Nike as a subsidiary, but the larger company left the operations of Hurley in the hands of its founding members. This has allowed the company to continue to develop according to the plans established at its founding, and today it is still seen as a unique and innovative brand.
Though still true to its surfing and skateboarding roots, the firm focuses mostly on clothing, footwear, and gear. They offer men's, women's, and children's lines, and fully customizable options. Their current menu of products include:
Men - Boardshorts, footwear, shorts, t-shirts and tanks, pants, long sleeve and thermal tops, shirts and flannel tops, hoodies, jackets, hats, wetsuits of all kinds, and accessories such as hats, packs, belts and wallets
Women - Wetsuits, footwear, swimsuits of all kinds, and clothing such as boardshorts, t-shirts and tanks, jackets, hoodies, shorts, jeans, pants, dresses, shirts, and beachwear. They also offer accessories for women such as packs, hats and wallets
Kids - Designed for boys only, their lineup includes boardshorts, tops, hats, and wetsuits
Because the Hurley line is so closely affiliated with the natural world, the firm has many outreach initiatives meant to create awareness and solutions to common problems. Their programs include their Hurley H2O program that educates about global clean water issues and offers a range of programs and even products.
They also have the Waves for Water projects that aim at providing access to clean water throughout the world. The program is built around large scale events and fundraisers that heighten awareness, provide critical funding, and implement programs.
The Ecology Center is a major project funded by the company and is a well known hub for education and experiences that help students and guests to discover practical solutions to environmental problems.
Hurley, being so in touch with its youthful and modern consumer base also maintains a long list of interesting and relevant blogs. These include surf, art, music, skate, video, the Hurley H2O blog, and a special blog just for girls who are fans of the brand.
With a mindset of fun, health, and engaging fully with the environment, Hurley continually creates unique products well-suited to its audience. It is a strong brand with a reputation for quality, and it is positioned to just continue growing well into the future.
Hurley. Blog. Hurley.com. 2014.