During the march dumps of 1991, Richard Woolcott and Tucker Hall set off on a snowboard trip that would forever change their lives. Tucker had just been laid off work and jumped in the car on a routine trip to visit Nathan Fletcher and Mark Gabriel. After riding four days of fresh, Richard called work with the excuse that they were snowed in and extended his stay. For more than a week, they awoke every morning with two new feet of snow. It was their first real experience riding powder and the new obsession wouldn’t stop.
Two weeks later Richard quit his job to take some time off and snowboard. He and Tucker had also talked of starting a clothing company during the Tahoe trip but nothing was really final. Later that spring, the two came up with the idea of starting a riding company based around the three sports they enjoyed. With an initial $5000 from Richard’s dad, they started the process. First the name and then the stone. VOLCOM was born.
The Volcom idea would incorporate a major philosophy of the times “youth against establishment”. This energy was an enlightened state to support young creative thinking. Volcom was a family of people not willing to accept the suppression of the established ways. This was a time when snowboarding and skateboarding was looked down on. The US was in a recession, there were riots in LA and the Gulf War. Change was in the air. Nirvana and Pearl Jam expressed it best.
For the first two years, Richard and Tucker traveled around the world on wild journeys with friends riding whatever they could. The business side of things was minimal. The headquarters were set up in Newport in Richard’s bedroom and all sales were run out of Tucker’s bedroom in Huntington. The two new nothing about how to make clothes but that didn’t matter. It was all about spirit and creativity. Clothing sales for the first year were $2600.
Since those wild beginnings, the Volcom Stone has spread slowly across the world. The Company has matured internally but continues to run off the same philosophy it started with. The Volcom thinking now flows through its art, music, films, athletes and clothing