WAILUA — Two young entrepreneurs have moved up in the world and into Kinipopo Shopping Village.
Now, Charlie Rifenbark and Kelsey Espina — owners and operators of gear-rental business Scotty’s Surf Co. — are ready to make the most of their newfound space.
“It’s been so much fun. It fits my personality real well,” Rifenbark told The Garden Island. “I get excited to stoke people out here on vacation.”
Rifenbark, a former football coach from Oregon, took a desk job on Kaua‘i in 2016. He then started a part-time mobile delivery service called Charlie’s Surfboard Rentals, after purchasing a secondhand quiver.
Rifenbark renamed his venture Scotty’s Surf Co., in honor of his late father, when the coronavirus pandemic shut the world down in 2020.
“As soon as tourism came back, we really started to do well,” he said. “It was getting to the point where I was getting maxed out, as far as I could grow by myself.”
That’s when Espina, Rifenbark’s longtime surf pal, “finally broke down” and became a business partner.
The duo moved out of a small space in the Kapa‘a Sands Resort and into Kinipopo Shopping Village on April 1.
Rifenbark and Espina’s new storefront stood empty for three years before they set up shop. It’s now kitted out with kayaks, boards, ebikes, umbrellas and more. (The full inventory, when rattled off by Rifenbark with characteristic aplomb, seems endless.)
Espina shares his friend’s outgoing personality and aloha, traits that have shaped their approach to Scotty’s Surf Co.
“We want to be like, ‘If you had friends on Kaua‘i and they had the stuff you needed, you’d call them up,’” Espina said.
“That local family vibe — ‘Hey, you can borrow my stuff.’ But we gotta charge you,” he continued, laughing.
Scotty’s Surf Co. is open six days a week Thursday through Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To book equipment or make an inquiry, call or text Scotty’s at 808-346-1304.
Online booking will open sometime in May.
w Info: scottyssurfcokauai.com
Scott Yunker, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island