Our High School Business Initiative

It’s no secret that we here at Surf Collective are both proud and passionate about supporting creative inspiration and local and domestic surf-related product innovation and development in Australia.

That’s why back in 2017 we partnered with Barrenjoey High School on Sydney’s Northern Beaches to put together a specific program and competition dedicated and designed to ensure the continuation of Australia’s exceptional historical track record in this area, by directly encouraging, fostering and nurturing emerging and upcoming generations of homegrown surf industry talent.

The Winner in that first year of the program was Lily McElligott, who designed and produced a surf wax comb upcycled from discarded skateboard decks. Her brand Coastal Upcycling – part of Surf Collective’s homegrown brand family - continues to do well and now produces a diverse range of fun and functional plywood products and designs.

You can buy one for yourself or a friend here


In 2018, its second year of successful operation, we were proud as punch to introduce and announce Henri Hole and his Squid Handplanes design as the Winner of our High School Business Studies Initiative - a collaborative business/education program and competition that mentors, assists and encourages Year 10 Business Studies students to develop an actual surf-related product while learning - and experiencing - the ‘ins and outs’ of real-world business practice and requirements.

As the 2018 Winner, Henri will receive direct funding from Surf Collective to assist in the initial production of his winning Squid Handplanes product - a handmade, recycled and economically-priced alternative wave-riding vehicle that features a highly functional half-crested tail and a smoothly rounded plan-shape.

Henri’s Squid Handplanes will also receive online shopfront space on the Surf Collective website (here) - a rich stable of proudly independent Australian brands and surf-related products - and a bricks and mortar presence for his recycled wares at The Sneaky Grind Café - Surf Collective’s collaborative retail outlet in the heart of Avalon.

2019 saw us doing a program with both Year 10 and Year 11 students. The submissions at the year end Shark Tank night were all fantastic and making a decision on a winner was really tough, so in the end we split the $1,000 prize between 2 businesses being WaterSalt with a lovely line of boho style jewellery made from fair-trade, recycled material, and LovedByBeez who has a range of ocean inspired environmentally friendly waxed food wraps. Both of these brands are available online and in our collab with The Sneaky Grind Cafe in Avalon Beach.

Whilst we started the program for 2020 before COVID started it became too difficult to continue as we were not allowed to entre the school. So, we are now hoping that we will be able to run this terrific program in 2021.