Billabong was established in 1973 by husband and wife, Gordon and Rena Merchant. The headquarters of the company still reside on the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia where it was first set up.
The company started with the couple designing and making board shorts in their home and selling them to the local surf shop. The local surfers took an instant liking to the incredibly durable and functional board shorts, with a unique triple-stitching design developed by Mr. Merchant. In the 1980s, once Billabong had secured its place in Australian surf culture, it decided to spread its wings and try to infiltrate the North American market, which it achieved without any trouble. In the late 1980s Billabong reached Europe.
Billabong now produce mainly surf wear and other board sports related apparel such as a complete clothing range which contains board shorts, t shirts, denim, trousers and hoodies among many more items. They also produce and sell wetsuits, a snow range, surfboards and various assorted accessories including watches and belts.
The name comes from the Australian term for a lake found by a river, which is also known as an oxbow lake. The brand logo contains the monochrome silhouettes of 2 waves against a black (or white) background.