In the first installment of our Country Folk series, where we interview locals on the North Shore with an interesting story to tell, we’ve tapped the shoulder of Kyle Spencer. Originally hailing from Maui, Kyle spent nearly a decade in Orange Country working as a designer and director for surf brand like Etnies, Hurley, and DC Shoes. Recently, the North Shore began calling his name and he and his wife, who’s originally from here, made the pilgrimage back to paradise. With their roots firmly planted in the sands off Pupukea, the duo have taken over the creative reigns of Island Fin design, among other projects. Between work and an afternoon surf session, we spoke to Kyle.
So what’s the best thing about moving to the North Shore?
Surf and family. We get to see both of our families more than ever and nothing beats that. We work hard but living on the North Shore makes it really easy to enjoy life, too.
What’s it like working on a brand like Island Fin Co.?
My wife’s dad started Island Fin Design in 1979. For years we’ve talked about helping him on the creative and marketing side and now that we’re back home we’re finally doing it. We’ve created a new logo, website, social media, collaborations and started an apparel collection to name just a few. There is so much history with the brand and he has made such a quality product for so many years that it makes our job pretty easy. How many other companies have thank-you letters from Gerry Lopez for making them the best fins ever?
What other projects are you working on besides Island Fin Co.?
Our creative agency has been fortunate enough to work with some really cool brands like Dakine, Clark Little, T&C Surf, HE>i, Aloha Exchange and Mucho Aloha. We have some other exciting things in the works as well.
When you’re not working or in the lineup, how do you pass the time on the North Shore?
Hiking, golfing, running rocks at Waimea, and cave diving at Sharks Cove. Now that the Banzai skate park is back open I’ve been trying to roll around without getting hurt over there. I didn’t realize how much there was to do on the North Shore besides surf.