Normandy – France
The first first french surfwear company was born in 1985 in Normandy. Oxbow emphasizes the idea of movement and the wake that is shared by every boardsports. A reference which settles Nature as a founding value of the brand, surprises and seduces
From its HQ in Normandy, the brand started a fashion revolution with its avant-garde style that stood up to the rigours of surfing yet sported a refined and colourful look. The logo positioned above the shoulder and the chequerboard printed fabric became a true trademark style.
OXBOW moved closer to the Pyrenees mountain peaks and the ocean. As a harbour city and capital of the Aquitaine region, Bordeaux still remains the anchor point of the brand today, with strong attachments to the local area.
The OXBOW sweater is an institution.
It expresses all the brand's expertise. Beginning with POHONO followed by SKOLPEN, these designs were designed for mountain riders. Thick jacquard sweaters with hand-drawn patterns made OXBOW a highly renowned brand.
These sweaters cost 1000 francs at the time, with over 20,000 being produced each winter in the Tarn region of France. A real revolution in the fashion world.
OXBOW makes its mark in the surfing world by organising the OXBOW Lacanau Pro. This was also the year that the team expanded with the addition of Mountain riders.
Surfing or Snowboarding; either way, the OXBOW style became a must-have in Europe. People were already clamouring for the first edition of the legendary catalogues.
A flower inspired by a trip to India featuring four petals to represent the four corners of the globe where all riders are impeccably kitted out, but also representing four key sports: the brand logo was born.
Surfing, Windsurfing, Snowboarding and Motocross all share a similar vision, the same way of life. This cross-over comes naturally now to many sporting enthusiasts, but back then it was way ahead of its time.
OXBOW products were originally the principal method of brand communication. These unique and different products were the hallmark of exceptional quality that still applies today. Particular attention was paid to the choice of colours, and fabrics underwent specific developments to make OXBOW clothing truly unique.
Gaberdine coats, windcheaters and T-shirts were treated like unique pieces featuring new colours: pink, clover, purple and deep orange.
With the first OXBOW Longboard Championships led by the legendary Nat Young, the brand celebrated a discipline that it considers to be more of an art than a sport.
The event was hosted on the Basque Coast at Biarritz, a natural choice as this was the birthplace of French surfing. Legendary surfers from the 60s took part, but it was the new kid on the block Joel Tudor who made waves with his graceful and fluid style.
As one of the world's most accomplished watermen, Laird Hamilton was among the first to work in partnership with OXBOW.
His desire to surf ever more gigantic waves led him to perfect the technique of tow-in surfing. He began by driving down the massive swell at the North Shore, before tackling Jaws, the "monster" of Maui. Perched high in a helicopter for the perfect view, the photographer Sylvain Cazenave captured these historic moments forever. The images left the whole world incredulous. And Laird still continues his legendary career...
Following on from water and snow, it was time for dirt tracks to take centre stage. The terrain may be different, but the vision is identical. With turning and trajectory skills similar to those of surfers, windsurfers and snowboarders, Jean-Michel Bayle made history in French motocross riding.
And the OXBOW Motocross at Reygades in the Corrèze region of France which brought together European pro-am riders in a relaxed atmosphere swept away any preconceptions, proving that the sport embodied many of the elements that were close to the brand despite its motorised aspect.
Tavarua – Fidji
The pioneers of professional surfing in the 70s travelled to one of the world's most stunning locations for the OXBOW WORLD MASTERS which was a huge success for all surfing fans.
Teahupoo – Tahiti
En route for the airport after a stay involving plenty of surfing against a stunning backdrop, the surfers, photographers and film-makers noticed that an enormous swell was forming. A detour to Teahupoo was inevitable... Laird Hamilton was all set. It turned out that the morning session, which had already been pretty amazing, was just a warm-up for the main event. A set was rolling in, and as an experienced waterman Laird could see what power it had. He launched onto a monster wave and cut it with his rail before being swallowed up... emerging crazier than ever. Laird Hamilton had just surfed the Millennium Wave. It was an amazing moment that has gone down in surfing and sporting history.
Puerto Escondido – Mexique
OXBOW SOUL & STYLE marked a change in direction for the brand. The concept of the unmissable longboard event still remained, but began to evolve: 13 of the world's best riders competed in style in tubular waves and were judged by 'legends' of the sport based essentially on artistic criteria, encouraging more freedom of expression with fewer set rules.
A successful experiment. OXBOW laid down the rules for a new generation of events where surfing spirit and style complemented pure performance.
With its 'Four Flower' logo symbolising the four corners of the globe, Oxbow moved into the world of images with an ambitious project: the ESCAPE TOUR.
To mark the occasion, OXBOW organised a World Tour of boardsport spots. 12 months of adventure, 12 destinations and 12 DVDs produced exclusively for the occasion. Breathtakingly awesome images with the entire OXBOW team filmed in action.
16 years after the first Wolrd Longboard Championship in 1992 in Biarritz (Côte des Basques) and eleven other internationnal longboard events, OXBOW confirms its commitment in longboarding. The OXBOW World Longboard Championship in Anglet attracted the best riders in the world : Nat Young, a real surfing legend, Bonga Perkins and Colin Mc Phillips, former world champions or the hawaiian icon Duane de Soto, not to mention Antoine Delpero, local hero and OXBOW rider.
Constantly in search of new territories and exceptional experiences to share, OXBOW Back to Powder is an event that takes backcountry back to its roots.
Bringing together six professional snowboarders and six skiers, the originality of the concept lies in the fact that the riders judge themselves throughout the different sessions, selecting the best in each discipline at the end of the week.
This third edition of the event took place on the Arêches-Beaufort estate near Albertville.
OXBOW's 20-year history couldn't have been written without Laird Hamilton, the epitome of the perfect Waterman.
He truly is an exceptional, pioneering and innovative athlete. His influence completely changed the way surfing is practised, in all its forms, and he has done more than any other to raise the profile of this discipline beyond the surfing community.
We are proud to have sponsored him throughout his unique career and to have shared his passion for the ocean.
With Waterman as his middle name, it was obvious that OXBOW would one day cross paths with this boardsport prodigy.
Kai single-handedly sums up the OXBOW spirit. The ultimate Waterman! Excelling in Stand Up, big surfing, Kitesurfing and Windsurfing, Kai Waterman Lenny represents this new generation of watermen.