Surf Industry Awards – Core Board Store Winner
Our true passion is to just surf and being amongst the constant evolution of boards and hardware.”
By Reggae Elliss

One of the most prestigious awards at the Surf Industry Awards in the Core Boardstore. This award is all about surfing and this year the winner was Aloha Manly, a shop that feels core as soon as you walk through the door.

We caught up with owner Tim Hanrahan a few days after his store had one the coveted prize.

Your store won the Core Boardstore award, you couldn’t make it to the awards, but how’d you feel when you heard you’d won?

The awards night actually fell on my birthday and I’d already made plans for a night out with my wife, Jainey. The dinner date transformed into a bigger crew as we decided to take all the staff, their partners and a couple of good ol’ thirsty, hungry mates to a friend’s restaurant in Manly. The party was in full swing when we started receiving texts from crew at the awards saying we’d actually won the Core Board Store award. Whammo, we were all really stoked and just a little proud of our efforts and somehow the civilised beer and wine drinking instantly changed gear.

Your store is something of a Manly institution, how long has Aloha Manly been going?

Aloha manly first opened in 1991, I moved from the Aloha shop in Collaroy to Manly within the first six months. That’s actually 24 years now, which somehow is exactly half my life. During the early years there were several business partners who all simultaneously had other business ventures or careers on the go. The originals of Greg Clough, John Brookes, Dooma Hardman, and Doug Lees were all on missions of their own, but we went through plenty of wild and fun times. Basically the shop was always filled with heaps of colourful personalities and some strong friendships have resulted. I reckon the list of employees /mates who have worked there is testament to why we have always had a solid base. Sure it’s a business foremost, but its always been like an institution of likeminded people who share the aloha spirit and love to surf, travel and have fun as much as possible..

Its never really been about how much money we make but more about how we live our lifestyles.”shop 2

What do you think makes a good Core board store?

I think the way we run our business is what makes a core board store. Our main emphasis is on having the best possible boards and hardware in the world. Our true passion is to just surf and being amongst the constant evolution of boards and hardware design is really exciting. There is nothing better than trying out all the latest designs from the best shapers in the world, wearing the lightest warmest wetties and clicking in your fins. That’s the core of our business and that’s how we wanna roll.

How many boards do you stock? Do you try and cater for the whole range of surfers?

We stock a heap of boards, usually between 700 to a 1000 at all times. We do our best to cater for everyone’s age, size, budget, experience and where they want to surf the board. This is the reason our inventory is so high, however this is no easy feat.

You’ve been in the industry a long time, what keeps you motivated?

I think having a really strong team of staff is very important to keep everyone motivated. It’s important to choose staff that fit in by complementing each other with their different strengths and weaknesses and right now at Aloha we have a great mix of this. We have Jainey my beautiful wife who stops me ‘dreaming” and keeps it all real and Kaz, my Japanese manager/partner, who really knows how to keep the shop running efficiently and smoothly. I have heaps of weaknesses, so those two keep a close eye on me. Staying motivated is a team effort and the better we work together and respect each other, the more we enjoy what we do. Heaps of cheeky surfing holidays help too.

Manly’s changed a lot over the past 10 years with a lot of “new money”. Has your clientele changed as well?

Yeah, Manly has change a lot, in the last 10 years – it feels as though more has changed in the last ten years than other previous decades combined. Nearly all the original local surfers have left town due to the high cost of living and only the affluent have remained. Obviously from a business point of view this is great as it allows us to retail a higher end product more easily, however it also means that Manly has lost some of its old-school character.

A lot of new residents who are ex-pats from various countries. Generally they have families so one of the biggest growth areas is in the kids learning to surf, however the dads and even lots of mums are also having a crack.

And it’s still home.

Yeah. It’s still Manly, it’s on the coast, it’s beautiful, and everyone {actually not everyone} wants to live here. There’s plenty of people, so jump in, go with the flow, don’t whinge, stay fit, be healthy, love your family and mates, and get a new board or two… Yew, Aloha.