Yvon Chouinard: Riding the Waves of Success as a Surfer and Entrepreneur

At 83, it’s easy to say that Yvon Chouinard has lived a full life. But this self-made entrepreneur, surfer and rock climber isn’t done conquering new records, whether it’s on the sea or in his business.

Who is Yvon Chouinard?

The founder of one of the most successful outdoor wear companies in the world named Patagonia, Chouinard was never one to stick to the norm. He was all about breaking barriers and discovering new innovations.

He is known to be one of only a few entrepreneurs who never compromised the environment on his way to success.

In fact, working at Patagonia means you get to have days to surf or climb mountains and that would be considered work. Chouinard also steers clear from using email or modern gadgets as part of his pact with nature.

Before he became a successful entrepreneur, Chouinard was already in love with mountain climbing and  surfing at a young age. At 16, he climbed the Gannet Peak in the Wind River Range alone and that hobby inspired him to start his own company that initially sold his self-made carabiners.

Surfer, Mountain Climber and Founder

With his passion for the outdoors growing, the surfer and mountain climber established Patagonia, the brand that’s now known to be one of the best when it comes to outdoor gear.

These days, Chouinard is still doing the things that he loves, especially surfing. When asked about his favorite thing to do, the entrepreneur revealed to Inc: “I have two homes: one in Ventura, California, and the other in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I split my time between them.

If I’m in California, and the waves are good, I’m surfing by 7 A.M. If the  surfing is good, I might stay out all day. I like being able to see the horizon. When I am sitting in the water facing Antarctica, waiting for a wave, it opens my mind.”

Passion for the Outdoors

Chouinard is showing no signs of stopping any time soon. After all, he’s one of those entrepreneurs that younger prodigies need to follow. His love for the outdoors has inspired him to create a brand around it without forgetting about the one thing that made him the man he is today, nature.


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