RPM History

The brand RPM

On Behind The Brand, we bring to you the stories behind our labels at Hydro Surf. If a brand isn't doesn't have a story worth tell, they're not worth selling. We thought why not start things off with our longest reigning favourite, New Zealand's very own RPM.

since 1994

Founded in 1994, RPM originated as a Snow Outerwear brand, but their roots in surfing and skating soon saw them grow broader into the market and become the iconic company we know today. Still based in Mount Maunganui, and still driven by a small collective of good nature'd creative humans! We've been stocking RPM since the begging, and have never looked back - until now... let's take a peek!

gone surfing

new zealand's premier surfwear label earns it's salt

It's hard to imagine living in Mount Maunganui if you're a surfer, because there's probably no more sheltered stretch of coast for swell in the whole of NZ, than the big B.O.P. Yet still there's such a strong history of surfing that belongs to the Mount that one cannot really right the place off. In fact, many of the country's best surfers have been raised on these sandy, sunny, north facing beaches, and if you make the effort to stay there a while you will soon find it's well worth the wait when the waves do come, and it's central location between many of the best surfing spots in the North Island continues to see it grow more popular still. RPM's always been behind surfing, and though it doesn't publish itself heavily in that way, you needn't think back long, or flick far through a magazine until you find their strong presence.

The RPM Surf Team, on an NZ Tour. 2008. Photos L-R: The RPM Collection - via Silas Hansen

Kaikoura / Dunedin Surfer, Nat Parsons blowing the top off a wave at St Kilda.

Natty P featured in a lot of exciting RPM surf imagery over the years. Here he is going sky high!

Unlike most sales representatives these days, RPM's Mike Wheeler actually surfs - really good !

Wheeler, sneaking a quick one in on his lunch break.

Oh, and the snow.

RPM also produce some of the best snow outerwear that's available any wear!!

RPM rider Nick Brown getting deep in Japan. 2016 Photo @woodygphoto 

Nick Brown, Nick Hyne and Stef Zeestraten going back country at Mt Cook. 2015.

RPM brand manager Ben Parry loves the white stuff, and plays a big part in the Outerwear Program. 2015

Behind the SCENE'S.

RPM's original, Mike Smith, busting out from behind the scenes for this classic old denim advertisement.

Mike and Emmit outside the RPM headquarters. 2004.

Mike at the NZ Snow Industries annual Trade Show. 2005.


New Zealand brand, based in Mt Maunganui.


Consistently committed to making the best quality clothing possible.

New from RPM

The 2016 Spring / Summer Range has just hit the shelves, click above to check it out.

Shop Women

Click the image above to check out the new range.

Shop Men

Click the image above to check out the new range.

Thank you.

For reading our little story on RPM.

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