Dennis Olsen

If you found surfing in your life at a young age, as I did, and have any hint of entrepreneurial spirit, you’ve considered starting your own surf company.  Growing up I always thought it would be a hell of a career to work in. But when I got a taste of the surf industry, I knew it wasn’t for me. Initially it seemed like the cool dudes ran it, but when I toyed with the idea of making a career out of it, I couldn’t bring myself to be 100% passionate about pushing someone’s brand. Maybe if I started it myself, or was part of something when it began it would have been more exciting. That’s been part of the mission statement of Surfer Life since we started the podcast. We want to tell surfer’s surf stories, not focus on what brand pays for a surfer to slap a sticker on our board. I feel like surfers in general are a fairly conscientious sort, but our loyalty to brands is disingenuous to the core to our character. It all leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Still, if you’re a surfer it’s difficult to not get wrapped up in the excitement of working within the industry. If anything, it’s not a bad working environment to coordinate with like-minded people who share the same passion. So this will be a rare Surfer Life episode. We’re going to break from the mold and provide you with a unique podcast simply because we think it’s pretty darn interesting. It’s going to be about the industry that’s pretty hard to avoid if you’ve made the activity of surfing part of your life. We sat down and spoke to Dennis Olsen of Kona Surf Company. We spoke with an insider like Dennis because the company he works for is at a really exciting period in their evolution. They’ve been a brick and mortar store for decades, and just last week they launched a website and are attempting to start a legitimate surf brand. Most boardriders have considered it, but these guys have done the research and are actually doing it, in a modern era where your contacts in China might make more of a difference than your surfers stumbling into your shop for wax. When I spoke with Dennis you could see the excitement in his face and the exuberance in his character. It’s intoxicating. At the end I almost asked him how do I invest.