History

Narragansett Surf & Skate is a small family owned and operated RI surf & skate shop with the most experienced and friendly staff in the north east!

We are located in Narragansett, Rhode Island, just a short walk from the famous Narragansett town beach. We carry a full line of quality surfboards, skateboards, accessories, apparel and wetsuits, check out our products page for more information.

Narragansett Surf & Skate is the only shop around that offers year round surf lessons and equipment rentals, check out our lessons & rentals page for more information or contact us now.

LEGENDS

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Narragansett Surf & Skate

The History of

Narragansett Surf and Skate

What goes around, comes around.  That is the story of Narragansett Surf and Skate.  In 1967, Peter Pan became a team rider for one of the biggest surf shops in New England, the Narragansett Surf Shop, located right across the street from the Narragansett Town Beach.  Owned by John and Bill Spicer, it was one of several Narragansett Surf Shops located in Newport, Cape Cod, and Massachusetts.  The shop group was the biggest Hobie and Greg Noll dealer in the Northeast, as well as a main outlet for Bing and Phillips surfboards.

During this period, the Narragansett Surf Shops also boasted the best competition team in the Northeast, featuring such legendary names such as Kal Farley, Warren “Waggot” Gerraty, Jim Perkins, Dennis Tully, Dave Levy, Gary Gama, Mario Frade, and Frank Cook.

Pan took over the duties as shop manager in the spring of 1968, while attending the University of Rhode Island.  It was here where he established himself as a dedicated Hobie team rider.  With the advent of urban redevelopment and the destruction of Beach Street in the summer of 1972, there were no surf shops in Narragansett.  Pan began to import Hobie surfboards and various brands of skateboards into the area, and sold them out of his parent’s garage.  This went on for several years and business continued to increase to the point that he was actually beginning to keep several new boards and wetsuits in stock on a continuing basis.  He called this venture “Narragansett Surf Supplies,” and advertised in the Eastern Surfing Association magazine, Eastern Lines, as the Hobie source in the northeast.

Meanwhile his partner in this venture, Dave Levy, was promoting sales from his perch as a Narragansett Town Beach lifeguard, and directing sales to the garage store.  In the spring of 1976, they decided to open up a real surf shop in the area.

After checking out all options, including a small location in the new Pier Village, they opted to open up in a small shop on Main Street in Wakefield (shop now adjacent to the Pizza shop).  They came up with the name, Watershed, after some discussion on the subject.  After two years at this location and the rent inching upwards, they began to look for a more permanent location in town.  Meanwhile, the business expanded rapidly as surfing became more popular.

One afternoon, Nancy Salemi, one of the store managers rushed into the shop announcing that the antiques shop building was for sale at the end of the street.  Both Dave and Pete took a quick trip two blocks and took a quick tour of the place.  They immediately called the owner, Ed Caswell and put a deposit on the building.  Town records stated that the original building was built in the 1860’s and featured a smokehouse in the basement.

396 Main Street became the official headquarters of the Watershed Surf/Skate and Snowboard shop for nearly 25 years, always maintaining a strong relationship with Hobie, O’Neill, Body Glove, Burton, Greg Noll, Hotline, Surf East, Bic Sport, and Oxbow.  The surf, snowboard and skateboard team during this period was virtually the best in the northeast, featuring the top riders of their time.

Some of our team riders over the years included Fred Smith, Eric Pupecki, Ted P an, Tricia Pan, Ed Logee, Mary Logee, Sue Lloyd, Kal Farley, Gary Southwick, Jay Maxwell, Neil Whiting, Ryan Richer, Conrad Ferla, Matt Fraza, Kyle Halavik, Dave Levy, Gidget Ferrera, Gary Stevens, Mike Lardner, Mario Frade, Curtis Niles, Dave Vanderlaan, Paul Bennett, Sue Lochiatto, Cathy Foor, Billy Goodrich, Chrissy Cherms, Mike Paugh, and Rodney Evans.

It became apparent that our location hurt business and the store was located too far from the beaches in the 1990’s.  It was decided to sell the building in 2000 and relocate the surf shop to a location within walking distance from the town beach on Narragansett Avenue.  This was a vacant store front in 2000, but the potential for a successful surf shop location was evident.  At this time, Dave Levy decided to opt out of the shop and go into full time surfboard building.  Peter and his children took over the operations and opened up the new shop several months before the Watershed closed it’s doors for good.  This new building was built at the turn of the century (probably around 1910) as a residence.  It became zoned for business in the 1930’s and operated as a grocery store and market for many years.

Originally named “Gansett Juice” for the teeshirt design created by Peter in the 1980’s, the store operated as such until January of 2009, when the name was changed to Narragansett Surf Shop / Narragansett Surf and Skate.  The shop is now one of the largest skateboard dealers in the northeast, and showcase for Levy Surf Designs, Hobie Surfboards, Bic Sport Surfboards, Oxbow Surfboards, West Wetsuits, Body Glove Wetsuits, Hotline Wetsuits, and Hyperflex Wetsuits.  Also featured at the new location are Chemistry Surfboards, JC Hawaii Surboards and a full range of standup paddle boards from Oxbow and Bic.