Doug Warbrick

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Doug Warbrick
Born (1942-12-30) December 30, 1942 (age 77)
Queensland, Australia
Other namesClaw
Occupationentrepreneur, surfer
Years active1960–present
Known forCo-founder of Rip Curl
Home townTorquay, Victoria

Doug 'Claw' Warbrick is an Australian businessman, founder of the Rip Curl brand.[1] and notable figure in the sport of surfing. Warbrick is credited for bringing the longest running surf event in history, the Bells Beach Surf Classic,[2] to the professional surfing circuit. He is a founding member of the ASP World Tour, [3]surf aficionado [4]and athlete mentor. [5]

Early life[edit]

Warbrick was born on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia. Warbrick began surfing as a child in Maroochydore. Warbrick's family moved to Melbourne, Victoria and Warbrick attended Brighton Grammar School.[6]


In 1967 Warbrick opened the Bells Beach surf shop.[7] In 1969, Warbrick founded Rip Curl with Brian Singer.[8] Warbrick shaped surfboards from Singer's garage.[9] Later, Rip Curl started producing wetsuits and moved into the famed 'Old Bakery'.[10][11] Warbrick and Singer had discovered what Jack O'Neill had discovered a few years earlier: cold water surfers need wetsuits. [12] In 1980, Rip Curl moved to its current headquarters on the Surf Coast Highway in Torquay, Victoria Australia. [6]

Tim Baker writes: Claw was walking down the main street of Torquay when he bumped into his old mate Singer."He said, 'Do you want to make surfboards?' and I said, 'Yes,'" Singer explains simply.[7]

The name "Rip Curl" was taken from a vee-bottom surfboard that co-founder Warbrick bought in 1968, upon which he'd written "Rip Curl Hot Dog." The words didn't mean anything, he later admitted. "Except ripping was groovy; surfing the curl was groovy; we wanted to be groovy – so that was it."

— Matt Warshaw, Encyclopedia of Surfing[13]

Warbrick was an original member of the ASA (now Surfing Australia) in 1963 and was a committee member and V.P of Surfing Victoria in the 1960s and 1970s. He was also a founding member of the ASP World Tour and the Surfrider Foundation Australia.[3] Warbrick is responsible for bringing the Bells Beach Surf Classic aka the Rip Curl Pro, held during Easter each year at Bells Beach, to the professional surfing circuit. Warbrick has mentored notable athletes such as Tom Curren, Micheal Peterson and Mick Fanning[14]


In 2010, Warbrick was inducted into the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.[3]

Warbrick was inducted into the Brighton Grammar Hall of Fame in 2008.[15]


  1. ^ Greenblat, Eli (7 October 2014). "Rip Curl pumps". Australian Business Review.
  2. ^ "Interview: Doug Warbrick". Surfline. 15 April 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Coastalwatch (Feb 21, 2010). "Doug "Claw" Warbrick Inducted into Australian Surfing Hall of Fame". Coastalwatch. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  4. ^ Gordon, Michael. "Solitude is swell in the Mentawai Islands".
  5. ^ "Australian Surfing Awards".
  6. ^ a b Baker, Tim (2019). The Rip Curl Story. Penguin Australia.
  7. ^ a b Baker, Tim (25 March 2019). "How Rip Curl went from garage brand to global empire". Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  8. ^ Tan, Gillian (17 September 2012). "Australia's Rip Curl". Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^ Gluckman, Ron (30 November 2016). "Australia's Silicon Valley of Surfing". Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  10. ^ "The Short History of Wetsuits". Surfingworld. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  11. ^ Greenblat, Eli (25 September 2013). "Surfing buddies who rode rich wave step ashore". Sydney Morning Herald.
  12. ^ Warshaw, Matt (2011). The History of Surfing. Chronicle Books.
  13. ^ Matt Warshaw (2005). The Encyclopedia of Surfing. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 508. ISBN 0-15-603251-1.
  14. ^ Stoltz, Greg (23 March 2018). "Mick Fanning is heading to Bells Beach for his final competition wave". Courier Mail. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Brighton Grammar Hall of Fame". Retrieved 20 September 2016.