THIS ALL STARTED WITH A DREAM
Both owners had a passion for the ocean, surfing and board building. 40 Toes Virginia Beach Surf Co is veteran owned and operated, and our motto around the shop quickly became “Charlie Mike,” or continue mission, after we opened up and immediately faced the COVID impacts. As with so many other Americans and small businesses across the country during this time, we persevered and thrived under adversity to get to where we are now.
Charlie Mike is not only our surfboard brand, but our lifestyle, and our no quit attitude and relentless pursuit of excellence is guaranteed to give you the best product every time.
We aren’t a retail store that just sells clothes and big name brands; this is a Surf Shop, where we make our own boards and support local brands and local shapers from a grass roots level. We always had a vision of creating an experience and environment that fully immerses our customers in the board building process and this shop, with our welcoming and knowledgeable staff, will provide you with that. We have the best teachers, the best staff, and the best Surf Shop; period.
We have the privilege of working with other veteran owned companies around the Hampton Roads area like Salvage USA and Makai Metal Works with one goal in mind: giving back to our local community, veterans, active duty service members, police and first responders.
Through partnerships with amazing companies like these we will continue to conduct amazing events that give back and help make our world a better place. Stop in and become a part of the mission, passion and family that is 40 Toes Virginia Beach Surf Co. Life, liberty, & the pursuit of waves.
I have to thank my family for inspiring me to get into this business. Originally from Sanborn, New York I did not have any options for surfing growing up. But the thought of riding waves and connecting with the ocean on a surfboard has always called to me. Through the military I was able to really discover surfing, and the obsession was almost instantaneous.
Several years ago my brother found a bunch of old, beat up epoxy foam in a factory in Buffalo, New York. He loaded up his truck, found some designs he liked online, ordered the materials he needed, and just like that my family was all in with board building. With that old foam from Buffalo, my father, brother, and I started a hobby that eventually would turn into my way of life.
I then met Randy Stewart, who also shared the same dream to start a shop that would give back to the community and provide people with the same joy that we experience from making surfboards. The rest is history.
Born & raised in VA Beach and have been surfing the east coast for years. I started in the industry back in 2014, pulling a board out of a trash can, stripping the fiberglass, & re-shaping it.
That’s when I found a true love & passion for the craftsmanship of board building. While surfing at the 15th street pier, owner of Foamworx surfboards Matt Tattum approached me about coming to the shop to check out his brand of boards. This led to an internship at his factory starting out in the sanding bay. After just two weeks I became the lead sander of the company, finishing & polishing for well known shapers such as Bill Frierson, Simon Anderson, Aloha, Jeff McCoy, Matt Tattum, Surf & Adventure, & more. I had no time to miss a beat with the demand of quality that was expected. I was able to learn the art and dynamics of surfboard design & hand shaping through sanding many different shapes. Working for 7 years in a factory setting, I picked up all the steps in board building & learned to glass with both poly & epoxy under Matt Tattum.
Throughout the 7 years of board building I also ran a flooring business- burning the candle at both ends. When Foamworx relocated south, Bill Frierson needed someone reliable with the ability to produce quality work, and I was chosen to carry on with the contracts- A huge honor coming from such a well renowned shaper! During that time I met Bryan who was looking to open a surf shop. Talk about timing! We wasted no time creating a mission plan for success and establishing a solid foundation to make it happen.
In order to make 40 Toes VB surf Co everything it could be, I had to put my flooring business to the side. I had my first child while we opened the shop, and the level of intensity I experienced getting up and running with a new beautiful child and surf shop helped me become the best business owner I could be. While starting the shop, Bryan & I would brief every day to stay on par and Bryan would always say “Charlie Mike”. Once we were established, we started creating our own boards and when the time came to name our boards, my response was quick and easy- “Charlie Mike”! Never quit & continue mission was our motto from day one.
My knowledge of east coast waves has carried over into the shape designs for the Charlie Mike Brand, along with being in tune with the local community of surfers & board builders in the area. You can catch me at the shop for information on board building or to watch it all go down. I enjoy sharing my knowledge & passion of the art that is board building....