Tide changes for surf industry

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TWO of the biggest names in the surf industry have quietly moved onto the Mornington Peninsula.

Rip Curl came first, buying out Peninsula Surf and next month Billabong takes over the Trigger Brothers store at Sorrento.

Recognising the strength in local branding, Rip Curl still displays prominent Peninsula Surf signs at its Frankston, Mornington and Rye stores and Billabong is set to do the same with Trigger Brothers in Sorrento.

“After the Rip Curl buyout of Peninsula Surf stores six months ago Billabong needed to ensure rack space or real estate on the peninsula,” Phil Trigger said.

“They approached us and we came to an agreement where they would take over the running of our Sorrento store on 5 September, with us keeping a small percentage of the business.

“Unlike their other takeovers they plan to make our 50 years of surfing the peninsula a highlight of the store. Most of our amazing staff will stay and all our clothing and surf and skate hardware will remain.”

Phil trigger and his brother Paul will keep running their stores at Point Leo and Frankston.

Peninsula Surf founder Ted Bainbridge said the “time seemed right” in late 2015 to sell out to Rip Curl, one of the surfing world’s major brands which grew from humble beginnings at Torquay.

“With ageing directors and the stores all performing well, despite the downturn in retail, Rip Curl was the best option to take over Peninsula Surf,” he said.

“We’d stocked their wet suits from the beginning and surfed over many years with founders Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer.

“Having employed more than 700 peninsula kids since starting in 1974 it was a priority to have a company which allowed our staff to have a career path if they stayed in the surf industry.

“Rip Curl is an international company with heaps of opportunities.”

The latest move by the Trigger brothers follows the closure of their original store in Chelsea in 2005 (including auctioning 80 surfboards that were hanging on the walls), along with shops at Prahran and Mornington.

The shop at Point Leo also includes a shaping bay where custom boards are made and dinged boards fixed.

Point Leo was the site where the Triggers organised a vintage surfboard day which, in 2012, had 30 exhibitors and attracted about 1500 viewers.

“Two years later we held another one, this time we had a display of 30 Kombies, they came in a convoy as far as you could see up Point Leo Rd,” Paul Trigger said.

“In almost 40 years of manufacturing with the help of John Jolly and Al Francis and so many shapers, we have made about 30,000 surfboards.”

First published in the Frankston Times – 15 August 2016

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