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Ali Deane - May 23 2013

In 1969, the path to Bells Beach was a dirt track, and when you surfed there it was usually just your mates out – imagine that.

It was also the year an entrepreneurial handful of surfers threw caution to the wind and decided to start surf businesses Rip Curl, Quiksilver and Speakys. A lot has changed since Terry ‘Speaky’ Lyons first opened up shop in Belmont, but much has stayed the same.

The story of one of the region’s longest running family surf businesses began with the idea to open up a surf shop, when surf shops didn’t even exist. Terry Lyons, a keen surfer, quit his technical job with the nation’s telecommunications organisation (before it became Telecom and well before it became Telstra), and the rest is history. Today, the Lyons see fourth generation customers coming through the door.

Speaky, nicknamed for being quiet, can still be found working in the store, working the floor, and still hangs out with his mates from the major labels, travelling overseas to ski and down at the beach.

Son Nathan Lyons reminisces on growing up on Bells Boulevard, and sitting amongst rows of t-shirts and hoodies, in their mobile store at the annual Bells event.
“I’ve been in the store now over 20 years and dad’s still here. There are long lasting friendships and new players, but it has a lot to do with dad being in the right place, at the right time. The family thought he was crazy.

“He had the first store in Belmont, then stores in Torquay and at Mount Buller. For me it’s been a great mix, to have that life of growing up in Torquay and the opportunity to be at Mount Buller.

“I think if you ask anyone if they expected we’d end up where we are, no one would have expected it. Back then they were living the lifestyle, and making products to enable you to surf longer, travel and to sustain the lifestyle thing. And that became very popular.”

Terry and Nathan pride themselves on choice and diversity of labels, and offering a bit of old fashioned service.

“We pick what we think is the best the brands have to offer, it’s all different,” Nathan said.

“The technology of surf boards and wetsuits is still rapidly changing, but we’ve kept a close partnership with the major brands in Torquay, and having Dragon, Gboards and Modom in Torquay means we can have a close relationship with those guys as well.”

Speakys Surf Skate Snow is celebrating its 44th year, so what better time to get nostalgic, and think back to what it might have been like, back in 1969. Speakys is offering 44 per cent off all clothing and wetsuits to celebrate its 44th year, and to say thank you to all their loyal customers.

Sale ends this Sunday at the store at 114 Little Malop Street, Geelong.

Courtesy of Surf Coast Times
May 2013

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