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Piping Hot is an iconic Australian fashion and lifestyle brand established in 1975 in Torquay, Australia. Deeply rooted in surf culture, Piping Hot quickly became the leading surfwear brand known for its revolutionary wetsuits. Currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, Piping Hot has a full product range including T-shirts, shorts and swimwear, along with footwear, surfboards, beach towels, headwear and more.
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Piping Hot, a global brand synonymous with surfing for nearly forty years came from humble beginnings back at Bells Beach in the late sixties. It was where the revolution began.
Fred Pyke and Rod Brooks, local surfboard shapers frequently surfed at Bells Beach in thick, heavy diving suits to combat the freezing cold water. It was during these times that they envisaged a better product that would provide surfers with more warmth and flexibility.
Through research and development, Fred & Rod created new and improved wetsuits, which they sold alongside their surfboards at a dive shop in Boston Road Torquay under the official name, Piping Hot. Local and international surfers who came to hit the world famous waves at Bells, would drop into the dive shop to buy these revolutionary wetsuits, quickly introducing Piping Hot to the global surf community.
Due to the brand’s popularity, Piping Hot became synonymous with quality and functionality – ingredients that quickly attracted the best surfers in the world to be a part of the official Piping Hot team.
In the late seventies, many world class surfers such as Larry Bertlemann, Nick Carroll, Nat Young, Joe Engel & Simon Anderson appeared in magazine ads and at competitions promoting the Piping Hot brand.
The eighties were integral in the evolution of the Piping Hot brand. During the Bells Surf Contest in 1981, a young Simon Anderson astounded onlookers winning the competition in the largest waves to grace the shores of Bells since 1965. The competition was nearly cancelled due to the 30-foot high waves but Simon and a handful of others braved the surf for some amazing rides. A part of the revolution was Simon’s ability to also influence technical design, which resulted in the thruster surfboard (3 fins) that is today, a staple in the surfing industry. At the time this exposure brought an even higher awareness of the brand to the worldwide surfing community.
In 1984 Piping Hot released a new and improved wetsuit, which utilized a smooth coated neoprene surface, providing less water penetration and wind chill. The aptly named “smoothie” suit was the biggest selling suit in Australia that year.
Later that year, Piping Hot opened Australia’s largest surf shop at the surf coast plaza in Torquay. This brought with it an extension of products created in the areas of clothing, accessories and surfing hardgoods. That same year, a video called “Strike Force” was released featuring some of the hottest surf talent, including Gary Elkerton, Richard Cram, Ross Clarke Jones, Mark Sainsbury, Gary Green, Rob Bain and Vetea David.
Piping Hot saw much success in the eighties, which continued into the early nineties as there was huge growth in the surf market. Surf fashion and the surfing lifestyle had made its place into the mainstream market. However, Piping Hot had already seen an opportunity to separate itself from the rest and at the turn of the decade had agreed to supply Australia’s largest retailer, Target.
After a powerful rise Piping Hot continued its momentum through this decade by developing into a broader range of product categories and increased the distribution network, keeping the focus on the products and ensuring great quality and design. The Piping Hot brand continued to grow well into the nineties with international exposure through the sponsorship of Barton Lynch and Pauline Menczer, both Surf World Title holders, bringing the brand broader exposure enforced through magazine ads and television features.
Piping Hot also increased its support of young up-and-coming surfers such as, Anthony Pols and Sasha Stocker who were giving their best on the World Qualifying Series, in addition to sponsorship of local surf contests.
Since 1998 Piping Hot has had an exclusive distribution agreement with Target Australia, which has been both exciting and fruitful. Today, Piping Hot is still heavily involved in grass-roots marketing supporting not only up-and-coming surfers around the world but also skaters, snowboarders, photographers, online pioneers & writers, models and musicians.
In 2015, Piping Hot announced globally recognized surf champion Sally Fitzgibbons as the official brand ambassador. Through the partnership, Fitzgibbons has become the global spokesperson for the brand, appearing as the face of the brand’s current marketing and publicity campaigns.
Piping Hot’s history is cemented in competitive surfing and with Sally’s passion, dedication, extreme talent and adventurous spirit; she is a true reflection of the brand.
From the humble beginnings back in the late sixties until now, Piping Hot has continued to consistently provide innovative quality surf products for those who love the surfing lifestyle.