McTavish was founded in 1962 by Bob McTavish, an Australian surfer and surfboard designer, and has been based in Byron since the early ‘70s. Located in the Byron Bay Arts and Industry Estate, the surfboard manufacturer is surrounded by hundreds of small, local and independent businesses. “We’ve been in this building for the past 20 years. Before that it was in a smaller factory in the other side of the estate, in Lennox Head and in Ballina. As the operation has grown we’ve slowly taken up more and more floor space, and now we occupy our entire building with board manufacturing, warehouse, offices, retail and a cafe,” says McTavish CEO Ben Monroe. Just last year, the shop underwent its first renovation ever, including a cafe that opened this February. “We added the cafe and a fresh retail space, along with a nice courtyard and some landscaping. It’s nice for all the beautiful boards and apparel to finally have a nice place to be showcased. We wanted to create a unique space that not only showcased the product, but was a welcoming hangout for local and visiting surfers. Coffee is a natural pursuit after an early-morning surf so it was a natural fit: Get up, surf, coffee, pastry, off to work—or, if you’re lucky enough to be on holiday, just hang out and look at all the boards, chat with the guys.” McTavish prides itself on embracing the social side of surf culture, starting days with early surfs and coffee, finishing them with loud tunes and cold beer, and always making time to roll out the movie projector for a good film. They do all of this while maintaining the quality and craftsmanship they’re known for. “I guess what sets us apart is that we have a lot to offer alongside the custom surfboards. You can come in here and order a board, have a coffee and flip through a magazine, pick up a new tee or a cap, or attend one of our movie nights. There’s a lot on offer here on any given day.”
Grab a copy of Issue 003 to read more about McTavish and other shops around Byron we fell in love with.