Author:
Eva Doll

Garry Wall of Quiksilver Talks About the Focus and the Challenges for His Company

Boardriders: Why the World's Biggest Action Sports Brand Returns to ISPO Munich

The world's largest action sports company is part of ISPO Munich 2020: Boardriders will be exhibiting with the brands Quiksilver, Roxy, Billabong, Element, Von Zipper and DC. Garry Wall, Global GM of Quiksilver talks to ISPO.com about what Boardriders is all about and what was crucial for the return to ISPO Munich.

Boardriders is back at the ISPO Munich 2020 with its Quiksilver brand, among others.
Boardriders is back at the ISPO Munich 2020 with its Quiksilver brand, among others.

Founded in Australia by a group of surfing enthusiasts in 1969, Quiksilver today is a globally operating daughter of the American Boardriders Group.  Now, Quiksilver covers the whole range of sportswear, accessories and boardsports equipment.

Garry Wall, Global General Manager of Quiksilver, has been with the brand since 1993 in a variety of key roles. His close connection to action sports goes back to his youth: back then he measured his skills in junior surfing competitions and later as a professional snowboarder at world cup level.

In an interview with ISPO.com, the Quiksilver Global CEO talks about the company and its brand focus, the significance of the 2020 Olympic Games for Quiksilver, sustainability perspectives and the return to ISPO Munich.

Be creative. Boardriders reinvents itself again and again. Find out all about the latest action sports trends at ISPO Munich 2020 and visit Boardriders in hall A4, booth 402.

ISPO.com: If you had to describe your brand in three words: what would they be - and why?
Garry Wall: Quiksilver’s three key values are:

  • Fun
  • Innovation
  • Consideration

…and these are what I think describe Quiksilver best as a brand. Everything we do as a business fits within these values, and naturally, this season is an extension of these.

Where will this be particularly evident in the products for the coming season?
You will increasingly see sustainability as a key feature across all of our product lines with the heaviest influence on Outerwear, Boardshorts and the new for 2020 Outdoor assortment. We are long term partners with REPREVE recycled and traceable yarns and are about to pass a ¼ of a billion bottles recycled as part of the program. However, we know the environmental challenge is great so we are working in many other ways to make a difference and have a long term sustainability strategy as a business.

We know it’s a subject that consumers are increasingly concerned about, so we try to put a fun and engaging take on a serious subject with our Recycled for Radness campaign. So much of what the media portrays around the environment is negative, but we believe we can positively impact climate change and we want to play a positive role in both our actions and how we engage consumers around the subject.

If we look specifically at some key product initiatives for the season, we have the Highline Pro outerwear designed for the world's most challenging conditions that is spearheading our purpose driven innovation positioning “our best for your best”.

This season we are launching a really exciting new consumer insight driven Outdoor assortment, as an extension of our existing outerwear collection, which has received a positive response in early showings. The collection has unique Quiksilver handwriting to it, but is also focused on key technical elements to make it highly functional.

Then finally we have our High Altitude capsule collection that’s an infusion of 90’s streetwear and Quiksilver DNA, built for life on and off the mountain.

Garry Wall, now Quiksilver Global GM, was one of the brand's first sponsored snow athletes.
Garry Wall, now Quiksilver Global GM, was one of the brand's first sponsored snow athletes.

"Innovate or Die"

There are rumors that Quiksilver no longer defines itself as a classic boardsports brand. How is the brand currently positioned?
Ah you have to love a rumour! We have always aimed to transform lives through restless adventure and that extends beyond just participation in traditional action sports. Boardriding is at the core of everything we do, but we feel we need to play a role in contributing to youth culture lifestyle through art and performance.

Art and performance fits to the heart of the brand, and as such we have a recording studio at our HQ to engage with music culture, and have just opened a creative space at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains for creative individuals to use and create in.

As a brand, the last thing we want to be is classical, for Quiksilver it has always been innovate or die.

 

Quiksilver is committed to partnerships with the best athletes and biggest events in board sports.
Quiksilver is committed to partnerships with the best athletes and biggest events in board sports.

What are the main reasons for you to participate again as an exhibitor at ISPO Munich 2020?
We want to build our connection with the European Snow & Outdoor community and it feels like a natural fit. It’s been a few years since we attended as exhibitors, and now as the Boardriders group, all brands agreed it was time to return to actively engage with our key partners once again.

The show will be focused on two-way dialogue - so we better understand the needs of our clients and consumers, and they have a better understanding of us in 2020 and beyond. Out of the office for innovation and in the office for execution.

Author:
Eva Doll
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