Growing up in Brisbane, Michael Holmes spent many of his weekends travelling to the coast, in search of the perfect wave.
“Surf culture was just a big part of my generation in the late 70’s and I embraced the lifestyle,” he says.
“I just couldn’t wait to get to the coast on the weekends. Watching old surf movies, I became really fascinated by the early pioneers on the Northshore of Hawaii.”
This fascination led him to Noosa Longboards, where he became a loyal customer for many years.
“When I got back to the roots of it, with longboarding and the early pioneers on the Northshore of Hawaii, the next thing I stumbled on was Noosa Longboards which was absolutely living in that space,” Michael says.
He liked the company so much, that when it came on the market in 2000, he bought it.
“We couldn’t just let it go, we had to buy it. The brand had something special,” he says.
17 years later, with Michael managing the strategic and development side of the business, and his son, Ash, running the business operationally, Noosa Longboards is still thriving, now operating in both Noosa and Bulimba.
The father-son team have developed the perfect business formula, with Michael crediting Ash’s talent for seeking out new brands and managing the design and online presence as paramount for the longevity of the store.
“He’s had a big hand in reshaping the business the last couple of years and modernising it,” Michael says.
Step inside the Oxford Street store and you’ll find a wide range of labels including Okanui, Skwosh and Birdwell Beach Britches, as well as evidence of Michael’s deep-seated love for Hawaii.
For ten years, the keen surfer has been making the trip to Hawaii a couple of times a year to source out rare collectables and the vintage Hawaiian shirts that are so popular with their customers.
“We’re very proud of the fact we’ve made it inclusive, not exclusive. We like people to feel they’re welcome from any walk of life. Surfer or non-surfer,” Michael says.
As for the great city vs coast debate, Michael and Ash like to have a bit of both.
“I love Brisbane; I love the city culture. It always irks me the coast-city divide. It’s unnecessary,” Michael says.
“Nobody owns the beach, just like nobody owns Queen Street Mall.”
Michael’s Guide to Hawaii
Fave spot for a drink: Duke’s Waikiki
Best beach: – Waikiki
Place to stay: Moana Surfrider
Waves – Jan or Feb Northshore
“It’s a magical place; it’s the cradle of surfing”
204 OXFORD ST, BULIMBA
HASTINGS ST, NOOSA
P 3395 7111 NOOSALONGBOARDS.COM.AU
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