|Twenty years ago, we opened a little surf shop in Chilham Village in Qualicum Beach. We’ve come a long way from that small store to where we are now. Twenty years is quite an achievement! It’s been an adventure, and we have you our wonderful family, friends, and customers, to thank for our success!
After leaving South Africa, with our two young boys, and deciding to make Canada our new home, we opened the doors of The Surf Shop in Qualicum Beach on March 1st, 1998. After a few months, we moved the store to a new location, in a bigger space on Memorial Avenue, also in Qualicum Beach. In 2001 we had the opportunity to purchase acreage just off Highway 4 on the outskirts of Qualicum Beach (Whiskey Creek), a location conveniently situated on the only road leading to the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Seeing the opportunity to own our own property, and re-open a surf shop there, the existing barn was renovated, stables were replaced with surfboards, and in the Spring of 2003, Island Longboards was born.
Over the next few years Island Longboards saw major growth, leading to yet another renovation. The barn, which began as a single room, saw the addition of a second story to house a bounty of new surfboards, now known fondly as the Boardroom. During this time, Island Longboards developed it’s reputation for quality, excellence, and customer service, all the while forging bonds with some of the best names in the surf industry. With the addition of the Boardroom, Island Longboards quickly became the talk of the town, boasting the largest selection of hand-shaped boards in Canada.
In 2010, we handed control of Island Longboards to long time employee Scott Barbour. In 2011, Scott renamed the business Island Surf Company,with the hopes of better reflecting his vision, namely stocking a larger selection of shorter boards. Scott’s departure in April of 2013 came as a surprise to us, and we were left with a daunting choice: take over the shop where Scott left off, or rent out the space and move on to other ventures. With years of history invested in the business, it was an easy decision to make: we would return to the barn to pick up where we had left off. The tradition of excellence and the love of surfing which we started in that little shop in the Spring of 1998 continued, and in September 2014 we added the “West Wing” which expanded the store to over 4,000 square feet.
As we head into March 2018, we look back with fondness at the last twenty years, but we also look forward to continuing into the future, doing what we love. So, whether your stoke comes in the form of an early morning session, a first great wave, winter swell, or a long weekend trip with loved ones, our Island Surf Company family will be here to help you obtain that perfect day, as we have for the past twenty years! And here’s to the next twenty!
Thank you for the journey!
Colin, Sabine, Cheyne and Calvin Kearns