Roots: Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1972 in Ventura, CA.

Patagonia's involvement with surfing isn't as celebrated as it's relationship with climbing and alpine sports, but it's recent shift towards the sport of kings means it's poised to be a huge player in surf culture. The company is pioneering a new wave of board shaping and design, and are some of the first to use of environmentally low-impact materials in their products.

In an age when surfers are hyper-aware of how their sport both harms and has the potential to benefit the environment, Patagonia's positive vibes now have the cred that make people want to rock the brand with pride. And the high quality and performance record helps, as well. Their wetsuits, boardshorts, and other gear are all top of the line without breaking the bank. The simple but stylish apparel is some of the best out there, and always gets a co-sign whether you're a beginner splashing around in shore-break or charging monsters with reckless abandon.