by Michelle Michalak July 06, 2017

Gather round, there's a new surf shop in town.
Slyde dives into Saltwater Shed, a newly opened family business & surf shop in Charlestown Rhode Island.

When did Saltwater Shed open? What was the inspiration behind starting the shop?

We opened Saltwater Shed Memorial Day Weekend 2017. Jeff has always shaped and glassed boards for himself and close friends. It started with us looking for a shaping space in South County RI.

We happened upon the space in Charlestown and it had a great front room as well. We realized we'd also be lucky enough to have a show room for his boards and a retail space. Charlestown was a good choice because it didn't have a surf shop, and we love the mix of beachy and rustic the town offers.

What's your favorite aspect of being a surf shop owner?

Our favorite aspect of being shop owners is connecting with people. Many of the connections we have made started with people  stopping in just to check out the space. People who don't surf have come in just to express their support.

One of our top priorities is to connect people in the area and share our passions with them.  Whether it be high quality surfboards and hand planes, local art, handmade items, natural body products, coffee, or conversation. What is in the shop is a representation of us and what we believe in. 

What's the vibe like in Charlestown Rhode Island?  Why did you chose Charlestown to open your shop?

There's  a good mix of people in town. The common ground is that everyone wants to get outside and do whatever activity they love. 

A lot of people of surf/bodysurf, fish, boat, or bike. As far as the vibe for surfers and body surfers, we really want to make sure that people feel open to ask questions, get out there, and connect with people. We don't want the assumption to be that if you're not from the town you don't belong.

What are some of the main attractions?

Some local attractions are East Beach, Ninigret Park, Daves Coffee for small batch RI coffee, and it is a short drive to Yawgoo Valley to ski or snowboard in the winter.

What is it like working with your significant other?

Jeff and I met working for Burton Snowboards. He was my boss for quite a few years. Whenever I don't listen to him at our shop I'll say "Don't you miss when you would ask me to do something and I would listen?" It isn't always easy.

It takes communication and give and take. Days when we can spend time together as a family and work at the same time make it worthwhile. We are proud to be a family business.

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

  • Pick up some reef safe sunscreen at Saltwater Shed. 
  • Head to the closest beach with waves .
  • Don't take yourself too seriously-just have fun. 

What is the best handboarding break in Rhode Island?

We tend to see the most handboarders on town beach in Narragansett. It's starting to catching on here on the east coast!

What was your impression when checking out Slyde Handboards for the 1st time in person?

Our first impression of the handboards were how light and dynamic they were. They look so cool! We couldn't wait to send them home with someone who's ready to have fun and take their body surfing to the next level.

We were also pretty psyched to brag about our friends that own Slyde Handboards

Slyde's Angela met Nina working in the Sports for Kids program in Boston Sports Club back in 2008.  Cheers to Jeff & Nina on their new adventures and continued stoked in 2017 & beyond.

Rhode Island With Salt Water Shed

Rhode Island With Salt Water Shed

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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