History of the
Narragansett Surf and Skate Shop
It is hard to believe anything anymore on the internet, since most of what you read is fiction. This is especially true in the business world, where there is more exaggeration and unrealistic numbers and dates thrown around than anywhere else.
Ask people for evidence of their boasts, and they will give you more made up stories with no evidence to back them.
The Narragansett Surf Shop was opened by Bill and John Spicer in 1966, and operated at a location right across from the sea wall on Beach Street. It was an exclusive dealer for Hobie, Greg Noll, Bing, and Phillips. When Corky Carroll came to visit the shop, in the summer of 1967, he attended several contests as a judge, and also to recruit new members of the Hobie Surf Team.
At that time, he recruited Peter Pan, along with Jimmy Perkins.
During the following summer, the Spicers offered Pan the opportunity to run the shop, while attending the University of Rhode Island. Peter managed the Narragansett Surf Shop until it closed, as a result of the urban redevelopment in the early 1970’s. At that time, he continued to do business with Hobie Surfboards and had them ship his personal boards to his house.
Since there were virtually no surf shops open by 1974, Pan began to have stock Hobie surfboards ship directly to his house on Othmar Street in Narragansett. Soon, he was selling wetsuits, skate boards, and surfboards out of the garage. When he wasn’t around, his friend Dave Levy would sit in the garage on weekends, and wait for customers. Pan called this business “Gansett Surf Supplies,”a continuation of the Narragansett Surf Shop.
In the spring of 1976, Pete and Dave opened the Watershed Surf Shop on 541 Main Street, in downtown Wakefield, carrying virtually all the brands that Spicer had carried as the Narragansett Surf Shop and as Gansett Surf Supplies.
Pete and Dave operated this business for 25 years, moving it to 409 Main Street in 1978. By 2000, Dave was into full production of his own custom surfboards and wanted to dedicate his time into building boards. Peter and his family decided to move the shop back to where it began, in Narragansett, when the opportunity appeared on 74 Narragansett Avenue.
Ted Pan took over initial operations in 2000, and then passed on the job to Tricia and Peter in 2010. At this point in 2017, the Narragansett Surf Shop has finally come full circle. It began two blocks down the street across from the beach, and now it is located not too far away from the original location.
The shop still sells what the original shop sold in 1966, including Hobie surfboards, Body Glove wetsuits, surf racks, baggies, and teeshirts. It is also the home of Levy Surf Designs, and always has a good range of custom built surfboards made in Narragansett, by Dave Levy.
It still maintains, just as it has done for over 50 years, a team of the top area surfers and skateboarders, who dominate both local and regional competitions.
And our best asset is our customers, who are the riders who are always out in the line-ups and skate parks, regardless of conditions, ripping and shredding. We keep it real.