As a surfboard shaper, Gordon made a huge breakthrough when he introduced a surfboard with a tucked-under edge, a development that aided Joe Larkin’s team-riders Michael Petersen and Rabbit Bartholomew in their ascension to the top world surfing.
In 1973 Gordon and Rena Merchant began producing handmade boardshorts under their flat overlooking his beloved Burleigh. They were tough as teak, able to withstand not only the elements, but also able to absorb the sort of punishment that local juniors Guy Omerod and Rabbit Bartholomew would put those first issued
From those humble beginnings, Billabong was born…
Gordon buried himself in his North Burleigh factory for the next few years and Billabong gradually made ground on the more established labels.
Billabong grew steadily until his little homespun factory literally burst at the seams.
It became obvious to the Australian Surfing Industry that here was a man, driven by the desire to produce the highest quality, best cut boardshort on the market, and by the early 80’s Billabong had achieved it’s primary objective.
The logo for Billabong shows 2 waves that are not running together and are motionless. They choose the name due to the uniqueness to Australia and the aboriginal meaning of an oasis.