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Apr 19, 2011




LARRY GLENN FROM RIPCURL

I recently had the pleasure of having lunch With Larry Glenn. Larry is one of Ripcurls long time Reps. A great guy and lots of fun, whether business or pleasure. Here is an interview with Larry.

How long have you been working for Rip Curl?

I have an account in St Augustine, The Surf Station, that argues that he and I started in 1984. I still think it was July, 1983. When I got hired, I flew to California for training. Not even five minutes after I walked into the corporate headquarters I got a call from Tory Strange, the owner of the store. He told me he just opened his store and wanted to get Rip Curl. When I got home, and received my samples, he was the very first store I went to see.



What are the main differences you notice about Ripcurl from when you started with the company until now?

When I first started, Rip Curl was just a wetsuit company. They started making them in 1969 in Torquay, Australia, which is where Bells Beach is. The Rip Curl Bells ASP event is the longest running World Tour surfing contest that they started sometime in the early 70’s. I can’t remember the exact year but at that time just about every pro surfer in Australia wore a Rip Curl wetsuit. Rip Curl was the first company over there to make wetsuits for surfers so they came up with the slogan, “Made by surfers, for surfers”.



There were three guys in Torquay that started the brand. Brian Singer, Doug (Claw Warbrick), and I’ve forgotten for sure but I think the third guy’s nick name was Greeny. I know Brian and Claw, but I’ve never met Greeny because he founded Quiksilver a year or two after they all started Rip Curl wetsuits. Claw and Brian, had a gentlemen’s agreement with Greeny, for about 15 years. Greeny wouldn’t make wetsuits and Rip Curl would not make boardshorts. Claw or someone told me that he and Brian invested money with greeny for Quiksilver and they owned a nice chunk of it. A few years later, Claw traded his shares for a piece of property overlooking Bells Beach. Those shares are worth a fortune now compared to that one piece of land. I’m not sure what Brian did with his share but I seem to remember someone telling me he sold or traded his for something also, quite a while ago.



Speaking about Claw, here’s a funny story. Claw is in his 60’s now and is still as stoked as anyone when it comes to surfing and also snowboarding. He really gets excited, starts jumping up and down, and he has some great stories. He’s probably one of the coolest people you could ever meet.

I was down at the Rip Curl Search event in Puerto Rico last year. Everyone from Rip Curl, from all over the world, was at this event. It was the event that Kelly Slater won his 10th world title at and also the one that Andy Irons didn’t quite get to before he died. I remember watching the contest and they were calling Andy’s name out for his heat. He never showed up.

There was a restaurant at the Marriott that everyone ate at, and I saw Claw, and his girlfriend, sitting and speaking with Tom Curren, and his wife Macki. I had completely lost my voice from going to a Halloween party with everyone on a bus to San Juan, the night before, and could barely get a peep out. I really wanted to speak with Claw and see what he and Tom were talking about. I told them I couldn’t talk, and I wanted to hear what they were talking about if they didn’t mind. Tom made me some hot tea with honey in it.

Then a young teenager walked over and he was wearing this tee, Rip Curl had just made, to sell a couple of months before. It had a surfer in a barrel covering the whole front of it. Tom’s wife, Macki, said Larry, who’s that on the t-shirt. I already knew and looked at her and said, that’s Claw!

Claw immediately went into the story about where that picture was shot from. He said he was surfing in Java, in 1975, and they got there by boat. He and another friend were surfing and it was around 10 to 12 feet. It was a completely deserted area on the beach. He and his friend got worked by a set and decided to go on the beach and rest for a bit before paddling back out.

While they were sitting there, a big tiger came out of the jungle towards them. Before the tiger got to them, they jumped into the water and were paddling for their lives. Then Claw said “ TIGERS CAN SWIM!!!!”. It was so funny, the way he said it. He and his buddy eventually got away from the tiger and eventually got back on the boat. He said they could see that tiger just pacing up and down the beach waiting to see if they might come close to the beach again. The name of that beach is actually called Tigerlands, or Tiger something. Now, Rip Curl makes just about everything, instead of just wetsuits and the line keeps getting bigger

What is your favorite Ripcurl boardshort of all time?

There are too many, so I can’t say. Boardshort technology keeps improving, and each line has been getting better. I usually end up liking something from the new line, better than anything from before, or that I can think of.


What Ripcurl boardshort do you normally wear?

Stretch is the big thing right now. Our Mirage boardshorts are ultra light and super stretchy. A lot of people love them. I don’t like wearing stretch boardshorts though, because they tend to cling to your body when they get wet.


What is your favorite wave to surf?

I would have to say I like my home break at the New Smyrna Beach inlet more than anywhere. Since it is in Florida, it doesn’t get as big and good as a lot of other places, but it does get really good sometimes and there is nothing like surfing your home break.


How many Surf Expos have you attended?

I’ve lost count. I started with Rip Curl when Surf Expo was at the Tupperware Center in Kissimmee, Florida. I think I showed there twice before it moved to the convention center. I know I’ve attended more than 50 of them. Now Rip Curl is skipping some of the Surf Expo’s and putting that money into our surf team. We have an amazing line up of team riders right now.


Any thoughts on the Hybrid Walkshorts?

They have given a big boost to the walkshort business and some people are buying them instead of boardshorts now.


Where do you see the future of boardshorts going?

They are getting shorter. Rip Curl has a couple of really nice styles in the 19 and 20 inch lengths and I’m selling a lot of them. A year ago I wasn’t selling hardly any in those lengths. Most of our boardshorts are in the 21 inch length now and a couple of years ago they were all 22 inches. As far as surfing goes it makes sense to have them a little shorter because if you aren’t a fairly tall person a long boardshort tends to catch on your knees when you try to stand up. Besides that, I’m not sure what might be next.

Thanks Larry!
Surfdog

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Laura















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