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February 17, 2016 4 min read

You might recognize the name SALT SURF from ablog post a couple weeks back about the “THE BEST SURF CLOTHING & GEAR FOR 2016” or you might just recognize them because they make great gear for the surfer in mind- and your that kind of person. (A Rad one).

We are personal fans of the brand and their cool clothes/gear. So naturally  we wanted to know more about the business, the Salt Surfvibe, and any other tidbit they would share with us.  They were pretty chill and took the time to answer some of our questions.

Take a look at the full interview with Owner/Founder/Fellow stoke creator Nabil, who provides us with just enough business, casual, and a whole lot of salt.

So you were born, but then what happened?

I really wanted a dog, but my parents wouldn't let me get one for a long time, so I would pretend to walk one with a tree branch as a leash and an invisible dog.  The rest of the story tells itself.  

What ignited the spark in you to start Salt Surf

I always liked the idea of working for myself.  Earlier on I had a lot of business ventures that never quite made it.  I picked up knitting and planned on selling handmade hats at the farmers market.  I started an "event planning" business with my cousin.  We made business cards, a website, registered the name and we even bought plates and cups for our events.  

Then we planned our family Thanksgiving one year (it was a hit by the way) and then sort of gave up. There were even more ventures that I won't get into.  Those were all trial runs for the big event.  SALT SURF was the one that stuck.  It combined my passion of surfing with my desire to be an entrepreneur. All those attempts at starting other businesses were learning experiences so that when the real thing came, I was ready.  

How did the idea for salt surf come about?

SALT SURF was born out of an idea to create a unique space around surfing and surfboards in particular (because we started making mostly just surfboards).  We wanted to create something that brought people together and connected them around a common love for the sport, with an inclusive attitude.  The rest was pretty organic.

salt surf clothing know kooks

If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Be born with a trust fund.

The coolest thing about your job? The worst thing about your job?

The coolest thing about my job is that it gives me a platform to work with and meet other interesting cool people.  And in turn, hopefully collaborate with those people in some form, to incorporate their talents into SALT SURF.  

The worst thing about my job is figuring out how to run a business.  I was never very focused on making money. My passion has always been to create.  Owning a business forces me to think about money, and it doesn't come naturally to me.

Who are your customers? Why are they cool?

I’m always figuring out exactly who the SALT SURF customer is.  I have an idea in my mind, but I'd rather not define it.  Every time I think I've got them figured out, someone or something comes along that surprises me.

I like the idea of the SALT SURF customer being someone that is evolving with us.  On a journey, figuring out where we're all going together.  

What influences you creatively?  Who inspires you and gets you stoked?

The other day I got inspired by the pale mint spit cup at the dentist (it was the perfect mint).  Otherwise I really like being connected to young people.  The teens and early teens.  They often do things without over thinking.  They do what feels right, or what their peers think is cool, without thinking too much about the larger implications of their decisions.  So, in a way their choices are pure, not too much of a filter process. It’s sporadic and exciting and genuine.   

What are you listening to, watching, reading?

Currently listening to Made in Heights a lot.  On repeat.  Also really like The Growlers. They sound like what Southern California feels like to me. Also on repeat.  A lot.  

I also recently became obsessed with Spongebob Square Pants.  I know I'm a little late to the party on this, but I love it so much.  He's a good guy. He's a loyal friend. And he works at a burger shop.  He's the best friend everybody wants.  

What do you do when you're not working?

It's funny, because someone else recently asked me this, and I couldn't come up with much else besides work and surfing.  I'm not bummed about it.

How do you know you have “made it”?

Making it has meant a lot of different things to me throughout my career.  Initially, "making it" meant recognition from other brands, peers, magazines, press, etc.  I quickly learned that that didn't mean much. It was an ego boost.  

I think now, what makes me feel like i've "made it" is seeing a young grom in Australia posting a photo of themselves wearing their new SALT SURF t-shirt they just received in the mail.  They're stoked.  They want to share that stoke with their friends. And we somehow managed to played a part in creating an idea or an identity that that grom felt connected with.  That makes me feel like I've made it.  It's something greater than me, or any one individual.  

If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?

What's your favorite Emoji?  

The screaming cat face.  It works on all occasions.

Parting Words of advice or nonsense?

Don't get a job.  Working sucks.  Be young and reckless for as long as you possibly can. Then find something you like to do, and make that your living.  


salt surf clothing

salt surf clothing

Adam Whitten
Adam Whitten

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See the Stoke

682 reviews
Hand slyde

The leash works amazing i won't go out without my leash on....

Bula hand board

This handboard is exactly what I was looking for. The size and craftsmanship is fantastic! I have gotten some great rides with this board. Super fun.

Ready for the Senior Tour

I received my Slyde Phish just before 2 weeks of gloomy weather. Now that I’ve had a chance to road test it, I can’t wait to get back in the water.

Growing up in Long Island NY, body surfing was my first wave gliding experience. Typically we would drive straight to shore so surfing the diagonal has been a learning curve.

I look forward to many great sets this summer.

Matthew Papish (59)
Laguna Beach

So much fun!

These little boards are amazing! We bought a couple to bring with us to Hawaii and had a blast.. super easy to travel with, just fit right in my backpack. Made riding the waves so much fun and worked just as good as a full sized boogie board one of my friends had. Highly recommended. Can’t wait to try it out again!

Love my Bula!

I recently been spending a lot of time on the North Shore of Oahu, and there’s nothing better than the Bula for bigger more intense surf. Too much fun brah! Mahalo nui loa!