Surf’s up Hobart!

After trading at Liverpool St for 27 years, Red Herring surf has found a new home in Hobart.

The Hello Hobart team headed into the brand spankin’ new Red Herring shop at 104 Elizabeth Street to get the low down on the fresh digs.

Red Herring Surf, previously known as Seaworld, was the very first surf store to open Tasmania and has been a massive part of the Tassie surf culture since Bill Thwaites established the business in 1971.

We met with manager, Luke, who has been working for the company for just short of five years but has an extended history with the business.

“I first worked at Seaworld when I was 14 years old – so I feel as if I’ve come full circle by coming back!”

The new space is light and bright, with an upstairs level that is nearly exclusively surf boards and surf equipment – plus a surfing museum!

“We offered part of the upstairs space to Surfing Tasmania for their museum and it’s all come together really well – the opening of the museum coincided with the launch of the new store.”

Luke is also heavily involved in Surfing Tasmania, running all their events in his (albeit limited) spare time.

“We are a big supporter of surfing in Tasmania but also of Surfing Tasmania and their events – so it’s great to have the two linked through the museum at Red Herring Hobart.”

The new store opened on 18 November 2023 and is now located in Hobart’s MidTown area in a beautiful heritage listed building with huge picture frame windows (previously Area 52).

“This store is north facing so we get a lot more sun streaming through – it’s also got more of an earthy feel which suits the surf product. We’ve been getting so much great feedback on the look and feel of the new store.”

So, is being able to surf a pre-requisite for working at Red Herring?

“It’s not essential but it helps! A fair few of our staff surf and surf well – some of them even compete.

“They know about surf gear because they have first-hand experience – this means that customers can be confident they are getting the best information and top recommendations.”

What are people looking for when they come into Red Herring? What brings people into Red Herring?

“There are two main groups of customers. Your core surfers – who come in to buy hardware and surf gear – and the general demographic of people who come in to buy surf wear and surf fashion to keep up with trends.

“A classic Rip Curl or Billabong t-shirt is always a popular Christmas present, for instance.”

In 2018, Red Herring Surf Co joined the Wilson Retail Co family, alongside other retail brands, Saltwater Wine and Stormriders.

“You may have noticed that a Stormriders store has conveniently opened at the site of our old store on Liverpool street. Stormriders is our sister store [we who share the same parent company.”

So, what’s the difference between Red Herring and Stormriders?

“Stormriders is more street, skate wear and music focused – it’s more fashion forward whereas Red Herring is more Core Surf.”

When the team aren’t helping you choose your next board, they’re out surfing, competing or organising upcoming surf events.

The next major event on the Tasmanian surfing calendar is the Pro-AM taking place on the January long weekend (26-28th of January) down on the Tasman Peninsula or South Arm Peninsula (depending on where the best surf is!).

“We’ve got a lot of people coming from interstate to surf it – it’s our second year running the event and there will be over $10K in cash and prizes up for grabs.

“The 27th of January also happens to be the Triple J Hottest 100 day so we’ll be throwing a family friendly beach party – we’d love to encourage everyone to come on down – it should be a great atmosphere!” To find out more about the 2nd Red Herring Surf Pro Am head to www.surfingtas/events

Next time you’re in town, don’t forget to check out the new Red Herring store or say hi to their sister store, Stormriders.