Mary Sprague, Pascale Froment, Kiyo Oye and Jean-Paul Froment show off a few of the board on display in Live To Surf’s new Tofino shop. (Keven Drews Photo)
By Westcoaster.ca Staff
Tofino’s oldest surf shop is new again.
After six years of planning and one year of construction, Live To Surf has opened a new two-storey, split-level store at 1180 Pacific Rim Hwy.
Saturday, the shop officially moved from a building it occupied since the early 1990s.
“I’d say we’ve been far behind the 8-ball, and we’re playing catch-up,” said Jean-Paul Froment who runs the store with his sister, Pascale Froment.
“It’s growing,” he said of the industry.
Oldest of all local surf shops, Live To Surf has faced increased competition in the past few years.
Now calling Tofino home are at least seven surf shops and schools: Westside Surf School, Bruwhiler Surf School, Surf Sister Surf School, Long Beach Surf Shop, Storm, Pacific Surf School and Live To Surf.
Now open, the new store’s bottom floor boasts separate counters for retail and rental sales and defined spaces for surfboards, apparel, footwear and skateboards.
On a balcony above the shop, customers can find wetsuits and even more surfboards.
Hanging from the walls are three, flat-screen TVs playing surf videos.
And adorning inside doors is the art work of locals Brady Folk and Kiyo Oye.
“It’s bigger, more spacious, more organized,” said Pascale Froment. “It’s nice to have the space to accommodate locals better in the summer.
“We haven’t really increased our inventory,” added Jean-Paul Froment. “Now we’re in a position to display it.”
Live To Surf was born in 1984 when the Froments’ mother, Liz Zed, opened a little cedar rental shack, currently home to Chocolate Tofino.
>From there, the shop expanded into a building currently occupied by Beaches Grocery.
In 1993, Live To Surf opened a bigger store which it operated from until this past weekend.
Jean-Paul Froment said his family broke ground on the new store last summer.
During the past few weeks staff has worked extra hours to get the new store ready, said Pascale Froment.
The Froments’ new building houses more than just a surf shop.
On its top storey is space for four commercial operations:
Three of those spaces are currently filled by Clayoquot Cuisines, Vic Van Isle Construction and Stephen Mayor Photography.
The Froments said they have not yet scheduled but would like to hold an official grand opening.