by Caitin Zarafa - Noosa News
WHEN you think of Noosa's surf culture, one iconic store springs to mind.
Noosa Longboards has been bringing Hawaiian flavour and a retro surf vibe to town since it opened 25 years ago.
As one of Hastings St's longest standing stores, being on the strip for 19 years, walking inside is like taking a step into a 1960s surf shack on famous Waikiki Beach.
A family-owned business with passion running through its veins, owner Michael Holmes said they work to emulate a soulful and authentic atmosphere.
"We look back at the '50s and '60s and we are retro inspired. That's the feeling we hope people get,” he said.
"People connect with it, and in a digital and online world we still think there is a place for that tactile and bespoke experience.”
Noosa Longboards prides itself on sourcing vintage shirts and brands.
"We go to Hawaii two or three times every year, so we know where to source the best vintage aloha shirts,” Mr Holmes said.
"About half the Hawaiian shirts in the shop are vintage from the '60s, '70s and '80s. People love the authenticity of it and say 'I'm buying a shirt that was around Waikiki in the '60s when Elvis was alive'.”
Describing the shirts as an art form, Mr Holmes said each design had symbolic meaning to the native Hawaiian people.
"It's fun and freedom and tropical lifestyle, but it's also got a substance and a heartbeat behind it.”
Mr Holmes said Noosa lent itself to longboarding, so no wonder World Longboard Champion and seven- time Australian champion Josh Constable, who has worked at the store since he was a junior, calls it home.
"If (Noosa's) not the best longboard break in the world, it's awfully close,” MrHolmes said.