Shoptalk: BodySurfing in Seattle. The Seahawks & Alki Beach

by Michelle Michalak January 15, 2015

aliki surf shop seattle

Over Christmas break in Seattle, I started my newest hobby/adventure, SurfShop Explorations.  I was lucky enough to connect with Shop owners Terri Nakamura and David Horsfall of Alki Beach Surf Shop   Not a traditional surfshop in sense of beach gear, wetsuits, and boards.   But, rather a novelty shop where you go to recharge your aloha spirit, gather beach inspired souvenirs, hold a shell up to you ear, and chat with some super rad folks.

Below are Terri & Dave respond to my Seattle Salty Human Questions:

What's the vibe like in Alki Beach?  Alki Beach has an island vibe, and is the most unique neighborhood in Seattle. People are friendlier and life feels less hurried here. Frequently visitors come in and say it reminds them of California or Hawaii.

It’s the only beach in Seattle that really feels like a beach town.

What are some of the main attractions?  Year-round along Elliott Bay, there is a spectacular view of the mountains and sound. Dedicated lanes for walkers, runners and cyclists make it a great place for longboard skateboards and roller blades. There's a sandy beach with six volleyball courts, a classic bathhouse, historic lighthouse, and on any given day you hear a wide variety of languages being spoken, because every visitor to Seattle seems to end up there.

When did Alki Surf Shop open?  Alki Surf Shop opened at the end of July in 2014. Even though it appeared on the beach well into the summer, we enjoyed a brisk business and had visitors from all around the U.S. and the world!

What inspired the shop?  The shop was inspired by a fascination for “retro hip” graphics; a love of Alki Beach; and nostalgia for surf culture in the 1960s and beyond.

What's your favorite aspect of being a shop owner?  Having an excuse to go to the beach every day. Meeting friendly people and being able to brighten their day!

What's the best known surf break in Seattle?  Paddleboarding is hugely popular. Kitesurfers come out on windy days. There is no traditional surfing at Alki, though we’ve heard tale of a crazy storm where 50 mph winds actually made it possible for people to surf. The nearest legit spot is Westport, 130 miles from Seattle.

The city has a lot of team spirit for the Seahawks, does that enthusiasm carry over to watersports as well?  Seattle is surrounded by water and people own more sailboats, kayaks and canoes than almost anywhere else. Seahawks fever is everywhere in town, including Alki Beach. I don’t know that there are Seahawk SUPs or volleyballs, but if there were, I’m sure they would sell!

What 3 suggestions/tips would you give to a surfer/bodysurfer visiting Seattle for the 1st time?

  1. Don’t expect to surf or bodysurf in Seattle proper.
  2. Be prepared to drive two hours to Westport for some good waves and make sure you have a wet suit.
  3. Visit Alki Beach around happy hour during the summer and let the party begin!

What was your first impression when checking out a slyde handboard for the first time in person?  Our first impression was that Slyde hardboards are manufactured from beautiful materials and they exhibit excellent production qualities. For someone who is an all-around surfer, the Slyde hardboards make a great addition to the options used to enjoy the waves!

Mahalo Terri & Dave spreading the stoke in Seattle! Looking forward to the Summer 2015!

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 aliki surf shop inside seattle





Michelle Michalak
Michelle Michalak

Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.

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