The Critical Slide Society, or TCSS as it’s better known as, began in a sleepy seaside village on the Central Coast of NSW Australia. The cruisey lifestyle of the longboarder not only influenced the name of the brand, but is strewn throughout the laid-back style of the label.
Launched in 2009 by a couple of surfers and artists, Jim Mitchell and Sam Coombes, the founders had the vision of an authentic, creative label as a platform that celebrates an emerging alternative movement within surf culture: one that’s less about the winner’s podium and more about the simple joy of a deeply engaged surfing life.
Sam Coombes brings the business brain to the brand as he got his entrepreneurial streak growing up watching his Dad running his own companies. Along with TCSS, Coombes also has his hands in a brewery, cider company and coffee company. Jim Mitchell brings the artistic side to the brand, as he was a key contributor for over 10 years for renowned Australia surfwear brand, Mambo. The two mates met during Sam’s 5 year stint also working for Mambo.
Art and creative outlets is still a key part of what makes the TCSS brand. They work with like minded artists and creatives around the globe, Whether it’s for artwork and graphics for their collections, or for creating surf films or photographic content.
Their collections all feature that cheeky Australian sense of humour seen in the graphics and slogans. While colourful, stylish and easy to wear, it also features that technical side needed for surfwear. The brand won Stab’s Best Boardshort of the year two years running, and are now stocked in some of the most respected retail stores around the world.