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Restoring the Roots of the Surf Industry with Paul Naude

Modern Throwback of the Brand Vissla

The Founding of Vissla

Paul Naude CEO of Vissla

When Paul Naude started Vissla, he was looking to do something different. After decades of being one of the surfing’s leading entrepreneurs, Naude knew had an intimate understanding of how the industry worked. He grew up in Durban, which is the center of the South African surf scene, and spent his early years involved in virtually every aspect of the surf business. He repaired, glassed, and shaped surfboards; started Zigzag Magazine, held the regional license for Gotcha in South Africa, and eventually became president of Billabong.

A Different Approach

Although Paul Naude enjoyed a lot of success in his career, he also saw certain things in the industry that he didn’t necessarily like. Too many brands were “pump-and-dump” endeavors. These businesses that were racing to the bottom—developing a following by dumping a glut of low-quality products into the market, then going public in an IPO before eventually reaching the end game, which was to sell out to a major umbrella corporation. 

Emphasis on Quality and Sustainability

Vissla Logo

Paul Naude wanted to do something that got back to the roots of the surf industry, so he started Vissla—a brand that was all about surfing, style, and community. Over the years, he has grown this boutique, avant garde brand into a cultural movement, with an emphasis on quality, sustainable products and a refusal to sell out to corporate shareholders.

Unlike a number of big-name surf brands that have become little more than licensing brands that churn out cheap plastic products and seek to wring as much profit out of the market before being absorbed or shut down, Vissla is in it for the long haul. 

Unique Products and Collaborations

The Vissla brand’s team riders are all interesting, unique characters who have as much style as they do ability. The products are things that we actually need—and that actually last—rather than just one-season garments that end up clogging landfills at the end of the winter.

(For instance, the cocotex boardshorts, which are made from coconut husks, are sustainable, environmentally conscious, and actually prevent odor from building up, even when they are stuffed in a board bag while still wet on the way home from a surf trip.) Vissla also collaborates with a bunch of interesting artists, both here in Hawaii and over in California, leading to super unique designs and product lines.

A Modern Throwback

Ultimately, Naude wants Vissla to be a modern throwback to the early days of the surf industry, when brands were owned, repped, and used by real surfers with real surf needs. This is why we are so stoked about the brand here at Hawaiian South Shore. As a boutique surf shop in the heart of Honolulu—where surfing started—it’s refreshing for us to see a company that is dedicated to making cutting-edge products, but doing so in a way that stays true to the ethos of surfing. Hopefully there are a few more people out there like Paul Naude and the Vissla crew, who can help save the soul of surfing .

SHOP VISSLA ITEMS HERE ⬅ 

 

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