Leading Australian surf wear designer and manufacturer, Rip Curl, announced on Monday it has appointed former Qantas Airways chief executive James Strong as its new chairman.

Rip Curl co-founders, Brian Singer and Doug Warbrick, said Mr Strong would add business and international sporting administrative expertise to the firm as it moves into the next phase of its development.

"Rip Curl is at a very exciting stage and James' appointment is part of a close internal review of a wide range of key strategic issues for Rip Curl's future," Mr Singer said.

"We believe James will be able to contribute significantly in areas relating to corporate structure and building our management team. What is best for Rip Curl will emerge from our continuing detailed examination of those key issues."

Rip Curl was founded 34 years ago and is now one of the largest privately-owned surfing companies in the world.

Mr Strong is also chairman of Woolworths Ltd and NRMA Insurance Group Ltd and is a director of the Australian Grand Prix Corp which runs the Australian Formula One Grand Prix and the Phillip Island Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.