If you’ve ever wandered around Muizenberg’s Surfer’s Corner, chances are you’ve come across the iconic Lifestyle Surf shop. With a passion for hitting the waves, they’ve contributed to the surfing community for over four decades, giving expert advice and supplying excellent surfing gear. We sat down with the legendary Tich Paul to learn more about their ethos.
Nikki: First of all, thank you so much for sitting down with us! Can you tell us a bit your company’s history?
Tich: We’re 42 years old this year and one of the longest running surfing establishments in South Africa. I started it from scratch on R500 and some faith, so we’ve come a long way. Right now we’re in the glory years of the business. It hasn’t always been easy and we’ve had to put in many hours to get here. Thankfully we have a good team and my son has been involved for over 12 years as well, and has been doing very well at taking the business forward.
Nikki: I haven’t actual been around this area and I thought this would just be an ordinary surf shop, but I see a very unique board here…?
Tich: Yes that’s where my roots started. This specific board traces our history through the years and how we got to where we are now. I started as a surfboard manufacturer, as an outlet to sell my surfboards and so Lifestyle Surf shop came into existence and grew. Now Tich Paul brand still goes on and I design them. We’re still big into manufacturing surfboards, we’ve got our own factories, but I personally don’t do it. It’s not a big label anymore, and that’s by choice, because we’re not looking for big sellers, but just for history to be told.
Nikki: And you’ve been a long time supporter of LifeXchange?
Tich: Yes, from its inception actually. I watched Cobus go through Bible College and I was there when he started up LifeXchange.
Nikki: It’s a cliché but our guys love to come surfing! Do you feel like you’re making a difference this way?
Tich: We do what we do to allow LifeXchange and other organizations to use our facilities as our gift back to God. We see it like tithing in the church. You keep the pastor in business and he’s the one making a difference and you trust in God’s greater work. If we all contribute, we make it easier for those who can make a difference.
Nikki: I can hear from talking to you that you’re a Christian. Does your shop also incorporate this ethos you have or is it more personal?
Tich: It’s been very hard to maintain that ethos, because you have to deal with ordinary people. But behind it all they know the integrity of who we are and we try and run the business in a God honouring way. We’re not just after the next buck and do have a broader trust in God doing the work for us. I think you need to do what God puts in front of you and that’s all you can do.
It was clear from our conversation that Tich had established a strong value system at the core of his business, and his reaching out to organizations like ours flowed from the same vein.
For more information, visit www.lifestylesurfshop.co.za
Interview conducted by Nikki Thoresen
Written by Esther Hamman