Troy Eckert’s Radical Voyage

As employee No. 1 at Volcom, he helped take the brand to the stratosphere. But real life was even more interesting.

In 1991, at the age of 18, Troy Eckert became employee number one at Volcom, where he spent the next two decades reshaping the landscape of surf, skate and snow culture. As the head of marketing, he assembled one of the most colorful team rosters in history, rewrote the book on grassroots amateur events, produced more than 15 films, and seeded a company culture that was the envy of the industry. The magic they bottled, and the impact they made, is the kind of stuff marketing professors teach today

Eckert worked hard, but he and his team played always played harder.

While this episode covers the Volcom story, it’s even more about the lessons he’s learned since. On paper, Troy seemed set for life. After all, Volcom’s market cap topped a billion dollars at its peak in 2007. But life has a way of messing up plans. He finally exited after 20 years and moved his family to Hawaii, ready to start a new chapter. But once there his marriage fell apart, he lost a big chunk of his fortune on “bad, ego-centric bets,” and to cap it off, a mysterious health problem hit him like a freight train. Within a few short years, the dream life he built had crashed down around him. 

Eckert with Volcom founder Richard Woolcott, Circa 1994

But Troy’s proven to be nothing if not resilient. After some deep soul searching and self-care, he’s reemerged back in Southern California happier, healthier, and more grateful than ever for the challenges that have made him the man he is today — the new man…Troy 2.0. Now, this renowned surfer, skater, snowboarder, businessman, and yogi is teaching others how to face adversity and find out what really matters, through his new venture, Radical Voyage. There’s plenty to absorb in this episode, so settle in.

“Don’t worry. Everything’s out of control.” — Troy Eckert

Troy Eckert 2.0

2 thoughts on “Troy Eckert’s Radical Voyage”

  1. Hey Chris-

    Thanks so much for getting Troy’s story out in the pod-esphere. Much for me to relate to as a 50yr old, who as a Valley flirted and skirted around the edges of Santa Cruz’s greatest generation of surfers in the 80s-90’s. Have been a surf-life coach full time for the last 10yrs, working with the occassional pro (John Mel) to tech professionals & executives. The practice of surf as a means to respond “better” (more consciously, gracefully) to the energy coming at you is an essential skill today.

    PS- I recall your big contract w OP and can only imagine the inner journey you traveled as athelte, editor, etc. in the surf industry.

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