In the spring of 1998, The Surf Shop was opened in Qualicum Beach, B.C. by Colin and Sabine Kearns. After two and a half years at their downtown location, a struggling economy and expiring lease encouraged the pair to find an alternative means of continuing business. The Kearns opted to close their retail location, but continued renting surf gear to their many loyal customers directly from their home.
In 2001, Colin and Sabine had the opportunity to purchase acreage in the outskirts of Qualicum Beach (Whiskey Creek), a location conveniently situated on the only highway leading to the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Immediately spotting the business potential, the existing barn was renovated, stables were replaced with surfboards, and come 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 as the Boardroom. During this time, Island Longboards developed its 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, ILB quickly became the talk of the town, boasting the largest selection of boards in Canada.
In 2010, Island Longboards ownership changed hands, moving into the control of 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, and Colin and Sabine 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 their decision came as no surprise – they would return to the barn to pickup where they had left off. As the business is back under the ownership of Colin and Sabine, the tradition of excellence and the love of surfing they started in 1998, is back as well. 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, Colin, Sabine and Island Surf Company family will be there to help you obtain that perfect day. Stop by the shop, meet Lorne (our manager) and the staff at ISC, and be a part of our next chapter.