Ocean’s was PE’s first suburban surf shop, opening its doors in the Kine Park Centre in Rink Street in Sept 1979. Til then, all the surf shops had been located down on Main Street (nowadays Govan Mbeki). Rink Street was a prime location back then, and you didn’t get more prime suburbia than Kine Park, with its Spur steak ranch and Ster Kinekor cinema’s
John MacLeod had started his Macski brand back in March 1979, and soon worked out he needed a retail outlet, and Ocean’s was borne. The plan was for Denys, John’s wife, to run the shop. Things got off to a bit of a rocky start when on her first order she bought 700 pairs of polyshorts! Remember those short silky joggers the ou’s used to run in? Yip, those.
They ended up having to give most of them away. Lesson learnt.
Just 3 months in and a curve ball arrived, Denys was pregnant with Dylan. She suggested to John that her mom take over the shop. John wasn’t at all keen on the idea as argued that how could a grandma run a surf store!? Nonetheless he agreed to give her a 3 month trial. And what a treasure Mrs B turned out to be!
She was a natural-borne saleswoman, and instilled her practical sales skills to many of the surf kids who worked there, including Ernest Bendeman and Arno Lane – who now manage Billabong and RVCA in South Africa.
In about ’82 the shop moved upstairs in Kine Park, opposite the entrance to the movies. Then in about 1986 the premises on the corner of Rink Street and Park Drive became available, and the shop moved over the road into its double storey 200m2 “superstore”.
Cheron Kraak had just started up Country Feeling in Jbay – sewing her patchwork shirts and corduroy shorts at home. The MacLeod’s approached her about supplying the shop. They never used to have to order, Cheron would just send stuff in – and it would sell! The shorts went for R6.95 a pair.
Other clothes in the store included Quiksilver, Bear, Banzai and Instinct. And who can forget the lumo gear by Steve’s Original’s. Wish I still had my neon chequered shorts – they were epic! Boards were by Larry Levine, Wedge’s by Peter May, and Lyell Coney’s Country Rhythm. Wetsuits were Piping Hot imported from Aus.
Skateboards took off, and the shop stocked a wide range, and sponsored skate comp’s at the amphitheatre at Kings Beach - that cool possie between the putt-putt and the kiddies play pool. Bodyboarding was also getting big, and Macski made their own fibreglass bodyboards – complete with removable fins. They quickly evolved into the foam boards, and Wave Warrior was borne – about 1989.
Greencare’s and the Bridge had developed into the main retail centres in PE, so in 1991 Ocean’s moved to the Bridge, opposite where the movies are. This is where it stayed until they sold it in 1995, when John and Denys became too busy running their health hydro.