Surfers are all about the present, which is why we tend to forget that the who's who of the surf industry has changed pretty radically over the last 30 years. Many of the brands that were big back then don't even exist today. The various economic crises over the last few decades have exacted their toll on the surf industry - pretty much what it's going through again right now. Let's hope the brands around today fare a bit better and manage to survive the economic downturn a lil more successfully than their predecessors.
Anyone that was around in the 80's will remember Instinct, Gotcha, Catchit, MCD and Hot Tuna amongst others. They were the threads on our backs and the stickers on our boards. Lumo was in - for the first time. So were Rayban wayfarers and Oakley Frogskins.
Brands like MCD - s spin-off from Gotcha - were radically outta the box. The brand (started by Shaun's cousin Michael Tomson) was built around the very best (and often most controversial) surfers ofthe time - Dino Andino, Sunny Garcia, Derek Ho, Michael Ho, Gerry Lopez, Brock Little, Matt Archbold and Martin Potter. The MCD team of Gotcha was recognized internationally as “the mother team” of all surf brands and came to be known as the “Superior Mothers.”
But no matter how innovative MCD was, despite having a stellar surf team, the economic crunch still got em.
So how will today's brands survive the current belt-tightening period? Who knows. Let's just hope they've learnt some lessons from those that went - and fell - before them.
Gotto say I really miss those old surf brands - for one thing - they had some insane ad campaigns! Like this one from Gotcha....