Rip Curl President on New San Clemente Office and Wetsuits Request

We reached out to Rip Curl North America President Dylan Slater to find out more about the brand’s move to San Clemente, if the high demand for wetsuits continues and how he thinks the surf wave will have an impact. on the industry in the future.

Why move to San Clemente?

Dylan Slater, President of Rip Curl North America: After 15 years at our head office in Costa Mesa, we moved beyond our distribution center, which happened to be attached to our offices.

We made the decision to partner with a third-party logistics specialist, NRI Distribution, to absorb these critical functions, leaving us looking for a new home for our office.

San Clemente has always been a special city for Rip Curl. In 1981, our founders Brian Singer and Doug “Claw” Warbrick established their US business in San Clemente. Our authentic wetsuit logo proudly displays “Torquay, Trestles, Hossegor” to represent the brand’s major global surfing hubs. Being able to reconnect with those roots and our vision for the future really inspired the decision.

Which old Stance office did you move to?

Rip Curl’s new offices in San Clemente. Most staff are still working remotely due to COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Rip Curl.

Dylan Slater: We have the best neighbors in the world located next to Stance, and I want to thank John Wilson and his team for their partnership in making San Clemente our new home.

We are in building 193 Avenida La Pata. Stance is next door, and we even share an employee retail store right now!

(Editor’s note: Stance remains in his main seat with the basketball court. Rip Curl has moved into an additional building that Stance had rented in the same complex.)

Is the company still working remotely or are people working in the office again? How do you decide when people should come back?

Dylan slater: The offices are still currently closed and the overwhelming majority of our staff are still working remotely. A few essential functions such as our Service Center for the repair of suits and watches are active in the new HQ, but that’s it.

The current return schedule is still unknown. It all depends on the safety of our crew and the relaxation of national and local guidelines.

Did the switch to a 3PL for warehousing services have an impact on the decision?

Dylan Slater: Yes. Since we only needed office space, we needed a much smaller footprint which provided a lot more possibilities. And it really allowed us to think about what kind of environment would be best to fuel our future creativity, our product focus and our growth. San Clemente ticked all the boxes.

On another note, does Rip Curl still see a crazy demand for wetsuits?

Dylan Slater: We continue to see unprecedented levels of demand for wetsuits in all segments. It was one of the best winters in terms of waves and conditions in recent memory, which served as a real tailwind for the class.

Owning our own wetsuit manufacturing facility has also proven to be a strong competitive advantage during this time, for which we are grateful.

Are you hoping that all of these new entrants to surfing are tenacious and can have a positive impact on the industry in the future?

Dylan Slater: Absoutely. There has never been a better time to be a surfer, and I believe that regardless of the level of performance, surfing has served as a sanctuary for so many people in these trying times.

Given the environment in which we currently live and operate, I believe the trajectory of increased participation will only continue, which is sure to have significant benefits for our industry in the long term.


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