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 from work but that wouldn’t
stop him from attending his routine Tahoe trip to visit Nathan Fletcher and Mark Gabriel. After
riding four days of fresh powder, 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 there.
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 finalized. Later
that spring, the two came up with the idea of starting a riding company based around the three sports
they enjoyed (snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing). With an initial $5,000 from Richard’s dad,
they started the process. First came the name, then came the stone and 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 upon and the U.S. was in a recession with riots in LA and the Gulf War
breaking out. Change was in the air.
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 Beach in Richard’s bedroom and all sales were run out of tucker’s bedroom in Huntington Beach.
The two knew 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 $2,600.
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.