Summer of 1978…
Kirk Cottrell; $15,000; 500 square feet in Pompano Beach; and Island Water Sports was born. A business used to rack out to the youth for Jesus & support a healthy surfing habit. In 1979, Kirk moved the store to Deerfield Beach, were the store remains to the day. Through trials and tribulations, Kirk and his wife, Lucinda, built a foundation for the surf community n South Florida that has lasted for the past 40 years.
Bringing us into present times…
Kirk’s children (Cheyne, Karly, & Linsey) now run the shop. They share the same dedication to the community as their father once did. Island Water Sports remains to be a staple name n the surf & skate industry. As the days of locally owned shops fad away, they vow to keep the dram alive through Kirk’s original focus… Jesus, Community & Surfing.
Island Water Sports has been your local surf and skate shop since ’78. Carrying the latest in surf, skate, skim, and stand up paddle board gear. IWS features FREE surf, skim & SUP lessons very Saturday morning at 7:00 am.
Island Water Sports is located in Deerfield Beach, on the east coast of South Florida. At Island Water Sports, surfing is not just our business, it’s our blood. We are owned and operated by second ad third generation surfers and skateboarders. Kirk Cottrell opened the shop in 1978. His son, Cheyne, took his first steps as a child inside the store, and now, Cheyne overseas the operation with the help of his mom, sisters, and close family friends. While overseeing the shop, Chen all maintains a professional surfing career. Many of our other staff members are also top rated amateur and professional surfers, which ensures that we have the most up to date product knowledge and experience!
We have the most comprehensive selection of products South Florida, for all varieties of action sports. We have dedicated our lives not just to surfing and skateboarding, but to saving the local and traveling surfer and skateboarder. We are always ready and willing to offer advice on products or just swap stories after a session.
Island Water Sports was first opened on October 20, 1978 in Pompano Beach, behind McDonald’s, off Atlantic Boulevard. With $15,000 and about 500 square feet, the venture began. That first year was very difficult. Being “off the beaten path”, combined wit the fact that we really didn’t know what we were doing, sales were slow and break-ins were common. (We had nine that year - without insurance!) However, w persevered. We also learned the the location we were in was very localized and so we decided to move the store to Deerfield Beach, where we took over the lease of an existing surf shop (750 square feet) who’s owner didn’t enjoy his customer base (mostly young people!). It was September 1979, and things started to happen. It was the year Hurricane David cam through town. Of course, everything was closed except our surf shop as the waves were good and our customers need supplies. We thank the Lord for a grand opening sales boost.
In 1982, we moved the store to the East (closer to the beach) and spaded it at the same time to approximately there times it’s size. “Surf” (the beach look) and sales grew! And even that new retail space, which we thought when we first committed to the leas was way too big, was becoming too small for ur increasing business. So, we expanded again and again and again, taking more space, building a loft, building out the back , etc. until we reached over 7,000 square feet of space. The 80’s were a time of incredible sales increase and Island Water Sports branched out by forming a franchise company. At one time, we had twenty-six IWS stores! However, unknown to us, difficult times lay ahead.
1989 was the bubble before the burst. Sales were booming, money was cheap ad the owners are leveraged. Then the 90’s hit. Sales went down, people wanted to be pad and the owners found themselves deep in debt. It was time for humble pie. We recommitted the company to the Lord (now hat it wasn’t with anything!) and got back to our surfing roots. In 5 shorts years, we were miraculously able to pay off all our debt and began to reestablish ourselves with a more conservative appeal to business, having learned our lesson.
To all of you, from all of us at Island Water Sports: That you for visiting our website .
Island Water Sports, Deerfield Beach