Jamie Johnstone, owner of Dick Pearce & Friends bellyboards and his family stayed with us in Kerala over Christmas and New Year so we took the opportunity to sit down with him and find out about the revival of this legendary brand.
Where’s home? Newquay, Cornwall
What brought you to S&S India?
We came for a big family Christmas all together. We like surfing and we like belly boarding and some of us like yoga. We go away most years for Christmas, always somewhere new. We’ve been to Sri Lanka and Indonesia but we’d never been to India and as all of us love curry this seemed like the perfect fit.
What do you do when you’re not surfing and stretching?
I own a company called Dick Pearce and Friends who make bellyboards and I work for Wavehunters who are the biggest surf school in the UK. We do sea safari ribs to see dolphins, run surf schools etc. and that’s all year round. My real passion though is bellyboarding and surfing. Dick Pearce & Friends has been making bellyboards since the 50’s. When he died in 2010 my friend Andy and I took over the company and are now helping people to fall in love with the sport again. The production techniques are the same but we’ve revamped the branding and the finishing. It’s going really well and is all really exciting!
Bellyboarding is still so underground so we want to bring it into the mainstream, get people off the rubbish polystyrene boards and using proper sports equipment that’s good for the environment. When we were kids we started on bellyboards, it was how we learnt to read the waves. It takes skill but it’s still so much fun and we just really want people to fall in love with it as much as we have because it’s a way of being in the water that’s accessible to everyone. It’ll be the World Bellyboard Championships down in Cornwall this summer so we’re hoping to be involved with that.
What does Soul mean to you?
Soul means having fun with those that you love who love you back.
Jamie was kind enough to donate not one but three Dick Pearce & Friends bellyboards to us when he left India which are available for all of our guests to use. For more information see www.dickpearce.com