P: +61 7 5455 5695
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No stranger to controversy, Noosa-based author Phil Jarratt knew he would ruffle a few feathers in surf company boardrooms when he decided to write the “warts and all” insider’s account of the amazing rise of the surf industry from cottage industry to global industrial complex. After all, for 40 years Jarratt had been friends with many of the surf brand founders, had worked at management level for two of the major brands, and had witnessed first-hand many of their best and worst moments. Why put those friendships at risk now?Says Jarratt: “Firstly, I take the old journo’s defence – it’s a bloody good story. Secondly, I think it’s a very positive story about a bunch of surf bums who survived wipeouts (in the surf and the financial markets), drug busts, and the constant pressure to act like grown-ups, to create a multi-billion dollar industry. Thirdly, I think the surf industry has matured enough to handle a bit of in-depth analysis. If anyone gets really pissed off, it’ll be interesting to see if it’s a salt or a suit.”The “salts” and “suits” of the book’s title are industry jargon, referring to the process of replacing surfers with business professionals as the companies grow beyond their cottage roots. Says the author: “That’s been a long and bloody battle, but interestingly the academic institutions where they create ‘suits’ just love the case studies I’ve presented here, and have asked me to address groups of business majors. Having been peripherally involved when the world’s first surf industry degree course began at Plymouth University in the UK more than a decade ago, and having been at Stanford University in California with Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight for the presentation of an MBA surf industry case study, I’m delighted to see Australian universities and colleges getting on the surf program. And I hope my book helps that along a bit.”
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