Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview that might shed more light on our shop and brand:
Who founded Nikau Kai? When? We launched our lessons business back in the spring of 2011 and then launched our e-commerce site that fall, our Brick and Mortar shop followed in the spring of 2012.
What was the inspiration behind the opening of the shop? We really just wanted to have a place where no matter how you like to enjoy the ocean or your skill level, we could help you get stoked. Be it lessons, supplies, gear, suggestions or, on occasion, advice.
What's the shop's specialty? What are the most important products? We are known for our stand up paddle boards because that's a personal passion of mine. But our goal is to have the toys you haven't had a chance to try yet. We have a fantastic Handplane business… In the summer we have trouble keeping them in stock. We've also got a nice collection of Paipos and Alaias and even our own private label surfboards and Stand Ups. To us it's not about just riding one thing, It's about the quiver… So our goal is to help folks round out theirs. Prone paddling, outriggers, SUP, surfboards, bodyboards, bodysurfing… you name it we've got the supplies, gear and boards.
What does the shop mean to you? What is its larger purpose? In general we are of the mindset that local (not to be confused with localism) is a better way to go. For instance, we make all of our boards, and branded apparel here locally because that's just better for everyone at the end of the day. We are really here to share what we love most after family… the water. The best is watching someone embrace catching a wave and really get stoked… Folks will come in and tell us all about their last session and the great wave they almost caught or the best one of the day… how could you not want to be part of the happiest part of someone's day. I guess that's what we're here for, to help enable that stoke.
How do your customers and the surrounding community view the shop? Our community has been extremely supportive of us and they know we are doing everything we can to bring them something they haven't seen before, be it on the apparel side or in the water.
What sets Nikau Kai apart from other surf shops? We are fortunate in the South Bay to have quite a few surf shops in the area so, the standard bases are already covered. We strive to offer something a little more unique in both our brand offering and our style. We've got a rather laid back approach. We've been accused of being more of a surf boutique (sans attitude)… and that's alright with us. I guess that's why we called our spot a waterman's shop and not a surf shop.