How a bunch of surf bums created a multi-billion dollar industry
Published by Hardie Grant Books, 2010.
We were back living in Noosa where we’d opened a surf art gallery and store, I’d taken up the reins of the Noosa Festival of Surfing again, and I’d developed an alliance with Melbourne-based Hardie Grant Books, who had been the distributors of my Kelly Slater book, about which more in a moment.
But the world was on the brink of the global financial crisis, and the big surf companies were feeling the pinch. Quiksilver was trying to offload Rossignol for a fraction of what they’d paid for it while Billabong was buying up bricks and mortar retail outlets even though the world was going on-line. I sent Hardie Grant a slab of my material for The Mountain and The Wave, and explained how I was perfectly positioned to tell the inside story of an industry on the precipice.
When Salts And Suits was published, chapter heads like “The chairman is an asshole” and “The blowtorch brothers” didn’t win me many friends within the industry, but it was all true and it made a fascinating story that won several awards and was short-listed for a prize for business literature. The Sydney Morning Herald published an excerpt from “The chairman is an asshole” (changing the name) which you can read here.