The Roots of IPD: How Bob and Bill Hurley Revamped an Idea from the 1980s and Turned It Into Surfing’s Newest Old Brand
Bob Hurley’s new brand IPD (International Pro Designs) has been generating a bunch of buzz in the surf industry. But as we mentioned in a blog, IPD actually isn’t new at all! The “brands” started in 1982 when Bob Hurley was looking to create a guild of surfboard shapers who would share ideas and work toward a better future for surfboard design. Unfortunately, not many shapers at the time were willing to share their ideas, so it mostly ended up being Bob who put the IPD logo on his boards. The brand then sort of got lost in the hubbub of his work with Billabong and Hurley, but it has always been there in the back of Bob’s mind.
In the meantime, Bob gave the IPD trademark to A39 Surfboard, who have been making boards with the logo for the past 30 years. But recently Bob and his brother Bill decided that they wanted to do something with IPD again. They went to A39 and asked if they could have the trademark back for a clothing line, and the guys at A39 were happy to share it with them.
Armed with the trademark and a lot of free time during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hurley’s set to work creating the IPD apparel line, which is what you see in stores right now. Their goal with this brand is to keep things simple and grassroots—to get back to the core of what surfing is. They saw a lot of bloated, mainstream surf brands that were facing the challenges of an interrupted global supply chain and the burden of being too big, and decided it was time to take things back to the old school days, when Bob first came up with the IPD idea.
That is exactly what IPD has become today—a small, nimble, grassroots brand that represents everything core about the surf community. Rather than going big, with huge distributors and oversized budgets, the IPD team has kept things in-house, doing their own deliveries of product, face to face, and strengthening relationships in the process. The company is staying true to its values, and that comes through in its products. It’s cool to see one of surfing’s biggest names do something niche like this—focusing on his passion and leveraging all of his experience and expertise to create something that is both old and new at the same time.