Bob McKnight grew up on the beach, making home movies of surfers that would eventually help put him through college. A vacation in Bali introduced him to an Australian surfwear company called Quiksilver, to which he and a friend acquired the U.S. rights. The partners finished their first board shorts by hand, then drove out to the beach to sell them. "The marketing was easy. Give free pairs of shorts to hot kids who surfed," he recalls.

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