Working class heroes present insight
Insight was established in 1983 by Greg Webber and Rod Dahlberg, who were producing surfboards for the pro riders of the day, such as Greg Day. Originally based in Angourie, Insight surfboards moved to the North Beaches of Sydney and continued to make boards for the world's best surfers, including Sunny Garcia and Kelly Slater. Insight was producing concaved boards and concaved fin systems before 1986 (way before FCS) always pushing the progression of surfboard shaping to new levels of innovation. Some of the world's best surfboard shapers have made their mark at Insight such as Matt Penn, Luke Short, Maurice Cole and Al Merrick.
Outside of Australia, most people have come into contact with Insight's clothing rather than their boards. In the late 1990's, Insight clothing was originally added to supplement the surfboard side of the company, but has taken the brand far from the shores of its' creation, exporting to over 40 countries worldwide - from Italy to Israel, Biarritz to Barrow-in-Furness (wellâ€¦ Ulverston really, but Barrow sounded better).
The clothing range from Insight is not your standard cliched surf-wear T-Shirt Company, it has a lot more substance than that. The range draws inspiration from much further afield including skate, art, culture and fashion, somehow combining all this to produce ranges of clothing that are slightly more leftfield than the rest, but still accessible.
Insight Clothing are not very keen to start shouting about what they stand for or what their ethos is, as Steve Gorrow, Insight's creative director explains ,"Insight have come to the conclusion that we need not lecture you through hip, modern-day manifestos. Our tongues would only be firmly planted in our cheeks."
Nor do they wish to rest on their laurels, exploiting their heritage and relaying on their past surf industry heritage to carry them through to success. Insight is not just a surf company, or a clothing brand, but a place where likeminded artists, skaters and surfers can come together to create, be free-thinking without the usual commercial constraints found elsewhere.
It is a fresh approach to running a company and the clothing it produces, from shorts to t â€“ shirts, have a fresh uniqueness to them, helping Insight's commercial success. Insight merge clothing production with art and design to produce wonderful campaigns such as â€˜Dopamine': underwater installations in wave breaks to create very surreal images of surfers riding above an eerie world of naked bodies, vintage cars, furniture and motorbikes. A lot of the images taken in this campaign find themselves on the best-selling Insight t-shirts.
The 'Untitled' campaigns include work from Steve Gorrow, Rad Dan and Simone Decker who produced images of knitted guns, Vespers mixed with Insight's almost obsession with nudity for some great t-shirts in the Garage Artist range.
With plans to start distributing surfboards outside Australia and the continued growth and success of Insight clothing, it looks like the idealistic, free-thinking artists and surfers from the shores of Sydney have hit on a winning formula.
Working Class Heroes.