Narragansett Surf and Skate
In the new era of fake news, you can never tell what the truth is and what is
pure fiction. People and businesses make up nonsense and the public will
believe it. The following is a true account of the history of our surf shop and
its current standing in the industry. The Narragansett Surf Shop was the first surf shop to open in Rhode Island, in early 1962, by Will Somers. He was an avid surfer from New Jersey that felt the area had great potential to operate a successful surf
shop. The shop was located on Kingstown Road, in Narragansett. Will
signed up with the biggest and most popular California surfboard
manufacturer at the time, Hobie Surfboards, as the exclusive dealer in the
In 1964, he sold the shop to Bill and John Spicer of Stonington,
Connecticut and the shop moved to Beach Street, right across from the sea
wall. The shop had several managers, including Peter Pan, who ran it for
several years under the Spicer brothers.
During that period, the Hobie Surf Team of Narragansett featured the top
riders of the time, including standouts such as Jimmy Perkins, Cal Farley,
Dennis Tully, Wag Gerraty, Mario Frade, Peter Pan, Janice Cronley, Dave
Levy, Dale Terranova, Gary Gama, Donna Johnson, and Mary Logee.
When urban renewal leveled Beach Street in 1971, Peter Pan moved the
shop franchises to his house, close by. For several years, under the name
Gansett Surf Supplies, he serviced previous customers from the Spicer
shop. He then partnered with Dave Levy, who was a top lifeguard at the
town beach, and continued to supply Hobie surfboards, skateboards, and
wetsuits to local clientele.
In 1976, Levy and Pan opened the Watershed Surf Shop, on Main Street in
Wakefield, and soon became the top Hobie dealer on the East Coast. The
shop also carried all of the popular surfboard brands as well as wetsuits. In
the winter, the shop turned into a full-blown snowboard operation.
Watershed was the first Burton dealer in Southern New England, and
offered a huge selection of the company’s clothes, boards, bindings, and
Not only did the shop sponsor an outstanding surf team but was also home
of the best skateboard team in the northeast. Over the next 25 years, both
teams produced several East Coast Champions in multiple divisions.
The first East Coast pro skater, Fall River’s Fred Smith was sponsored by
the shop, as well as East Coast Champions Ted Pan, Billy Gaza, and
East Coast Champion surfers sponsored by the shop included Mario Frade,
Sue Hogan, Robbie Pearson, and both Levy and Pan.
In 2000, it was decided to close shop in Wakefield, and move the
operations to a location close to the town beach in Narragansett. It proved
to be a wise move, as the new location has helped the store flourish over
the past 23 years. The Narragansett Surf Shop has now gone full circle
from its beginnings on Kingstown Road, back to the next block over on
The new shop continues to offer the largest selection of custom Hobie
surfboards on the East Coast and is the longest running Hobie dealer on
the East Coast (61 years).
We continue to be the largest dealer for Henderson Wetsuits in New
England, selling their products since 1978, as well as Hotline Wetsuits and
Body Glove Wetsuits (since 1977).
Narragansett Surf Shop is also the largest Bic Sport/Tahe/SIC-Maui
paddleboard and surfboard dealer in the northeast, with the biggest
selection of both racing, touring, and recreational stand-up paddle boards
in the area in stock. We are also the exclusive dealer for Chemistry surfboards, and home of LSD custom surfboards, hand shaped by top East Coast Shaper Dave Levy of Narragansett (since 1976).
Our skate team continues to be the best of the east, led by Evan Mansolillo
and Sean Egan. The surf team is led by the Bennett family, which takes
charge at all the ESA contests.
We started the surf camps for the town of Narragansett in 1978 and have
expanded it to Matunuck as well over the past 30 years. The shop runs 4-
day surf camps all summer at both locations, as well as skim board camps.
We also run 5-week programs for both adults and children in the spring and
We thank all our loyal customers who have stayed with us over the years at
our different locations and keep us in business. Whether it is Narragansett
Surf and Skate, Narragansett Surf Shop, Watershed, Gansett Juice, or
Juice, it is all the same to us.