Return of the Icons??

Return of the Icons


In the late 80’s many surf brands saw rapid expansion as a way forward but this road led to the demise of



By reaching out to a brand hungry market, some brands aligned themselves with department stores and lost

brand credibility as a result.


Once common brands like Golden Breed, Hot Tuna and Piping Hot fell fowl of this curse and were barren

from the beaches that built it.


Expansion brings financial risk but most surfers longed to see these iconic brands back on the



How does a brand re-connect with it’s roots, re-connect to the core values that once built it up?


Golden Breed set about rebuilding and now has stores in Noosa, Mooloolaba and Byron Bay.


In what may seen as a strange twist of fate, the original designs and styles that built Golden Breed

are now in demand as retro styles, so in effect they can reproduce the older styles as their current

stock lines.


Piping Hot is another brand slowly rebuilding it’s street cred after losing much of it when it aligned with Target.


This probably made economic sense but alienated it’s core market in the process, who wants to

wear it as a hardcore brand when people could buy Piping Hot at Target or Golden Breed at Lowes.


Both Piping Hot and Golden Breed are making ground again as a niche brand which suits the target



Piping Hot have built a good stable of sponsored surfers and the signing of Sally Fitzgibbons

will bring back a decent amount of cred however go to their website and click to look at products

and it takes you to Target Australia’s website.


One product missing from the Piping Hot range is the wetsuit that built the company.


As for poor Hot Tuna, it has almost disappeared but can still be purchased through Sports Direct

in the UK or on it’s E bay Page.


Many of us would love to see these brands back and stronger than ever but economics

overrides sentiment and nostalgia.

2 thoughts on “Return of the Icons??

  1. As a grom kid in the states, I was always amped when I was picked up by an aussie company who repped one of my heroes. Piping Hot being one and at some point, Peak Wetsuits. I also rode for the Trac-Top…the company that changed the traction pads from thick slabs of foam to having arch bars and raised sections.

    Then they fell off the face of the earth! I never knew that some just tanked out and became department store lines. Crazy.

    Well, if they want to make up for lost time because I am now in my forties…I will be waiting! Ha ha!

    Good read!


    • Yeah it is crazy, some brands were bought out by the bigger ones but many died trying to expand too big too quick, am doing Billabong next. A few I even looked into getting the licence for and restarting them.


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