Rui Ribeiro is the creative director/owner of Magic Quiver in Ericeira, Portugal. Frustrated with the shortboard/thruster scene, Ribeiro sought out alternative shapes and the result was the creation of his surf shop. We spoke with him to learn more.
What is your background as a surfer?
I’m 37 now. I got started in bodyboarding at 14 and got into surfing in my early 20’s. I was never a great surfer, surfing mostly on weekends and after my kids born. I just never seemed to have enough time. About 6 years ago, I was looking for alternatives to my shortboard. Tired of fighting with small thin boards that needed a skilled and more fit surfer to work well, I started looking at the web for alternatives.
What was the tipping point?
When I was able to talk to Rich Pavel. He sent me to Rainbow Surfboards, and I ordered a couple of Speed Dialers. It was the summer of 2007 when I ordered my first batch of boards. Half a year later, I ordered 4 Hynson BKQ and things really started to happen. Not too many people were riding this type of board in Portugal because price and lack of knowledge was a problem. In 2009, we brought Josh Hall to Portugal and in 2010 we brought over Ryan Lovelace. The seed was planted and we started getting orders from far away countries like Finland, Sweden and Israel.
How did Magic Quiver come about?
While the original idea was just to get some good boards for me and my friends, I began to see a business opportunity. Opening a shop has been a dream of mine since I started surfing. But with Portugal being a very small market, I was doing this for the love I have for surfing and surfboards. After 13 years working at a TV Station, the opportunity knocked and I decided it was time to go after my dream and make Magic Quiver a real shop. I left a safe and well paid job and started working hard to make it happen.
What makes Magic Quiver unique?
Magic Quiver is about surfing, but without the commercial and big brands crap. It’s all about the surfboards, the culture, classic roots, and the feeling of riding waves. I don’t sell thrusters or big flashy logos. Only the best shapes from guys like Ryan Lovelace, Josh Hall, Jeff McCallum, Neal Purchase Jr, Wavegliders, Addiction, and soon Bing and Von Sol. No crappy glass jobs, just the best Europe can offer. We also sell clothes from smaller brands like Rhythm, The Critical Slide Society, Rake, Hippy Tree, TwoThirds and a small selection of Vans.
What are some of the challenges?
Everything in the shop follows the same concept, the same vision about surfing. This is not California or Australia. Portugal is dominated by the shortboard/big brands scene and everything outside the mainstream isn’t well accepted or understood. A big part of my day is spent explaining the shapes, trying to get the visitors to understand what the shop is about. Most of our customers still see all this shapes as retro stuff, good looking to hang on a wall or surf summer weak waves. They don’t see them as a genuine surfboard. This will take time, but it’s something that I have. We have to build a good foundation so the business has a future. I really have no intention to get rich fast.
Where is the shop located?
The shop is located in the center of Ericeira, the best place to surf in Portugal and the home of some of the best waves in Europe. It was designed to be cozy, yet modern – mixing modern furniture on the walls with vintage ones. It’s a place to visit and not just to buy. We will be hosting photography and art exhibitions, live music and movie screenings. We want to keep a certain dynamic around the space. It’s not just a shop, It’s a place to hang out, to talk about surfing and surfboards. That’s one of the reasons we have couch in there!
Find out more about Magic Quiver here. Photography provided by Magic Quiver.