Billabong was founded in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia in 1973 by Gordon Merchant. At first, he designed and created the board shorts at his home and then sold them to local surf shops. Surfers soon realized the durability of Merchant's board shorts that was the result of his triple-stitching technique. Merchant understood that his company needed to expand to achieve success, so Billabong started to sponsor contests—these contests increased the public's awareness of Merchant's products and the company consequently expanded. By the 1980s, Billabong board shorts were present throughout Australia.