|E: 52° 22′ N: 45.0804”|
Alexander van Orshaegen is the founder of the Slate Surf brand. We met him in our home town of Amsterdam to hear how he built his own surf brand. This adventure started during a trip through Latin America and finished in Herentals, a picturesque village near Antwerp.
The beginning of this story is set in Central America. In search of a true surfers paradise, Alexander Van Orshaegen starts his long trip through Guatemala. He ends up in a fishing village called Iztapa. What could have been one of the most beautiful surfing places on earth was now overwhelmed with trash and vermin. The problem of polutions had gone so far that the boat they were paddeling wa getting stuck in the thick rubbish, even a dead dog came floating by. It is not surprising that that region is known as the bull shark amusement park.
Surfing in Central-America
While surfing, I – Alexander – got to know Nathan Sheahan. We soon discovered that we shared the same passion for nature and surfing. Together with Nathan and Corey, another Ozzy, we started traveling through Central America, from surf spot to surf spot. The great thing about this trip was that everyone could do what they wanted. There was of course a lot of surfing and in addition everyone bonded over the fact they all had their own side project. Nathan spent his free time as a freelance designer. “His work really appealed to me, as did his experience with major brands such as Volcom, Vonzipper and Testpilot. I wanted to put his designs on my shirts, not with the idea of creating an organization here, but for the fact that I want to wear them myself. ” There was a lot of interest from friends with the result that a new brand was born.
What is Slate Surf ?
Slate Surf offers surf clothing, which result from collaborations between Alexander and several other designers. The intention is to release a new design line from different designers every period. The clothing is all produced ecologically and socially responsably by our suppliers, which is an important element for us when it comes to the standards and values of Slate Surf.
A collaboration with the Surfrider Foundation – to which part of our proceeds donate – is therefore a logical consequence. We also work together with the Kovalam surf organization. They offer underprivileged children in India a better future, where they use surfing. We also work together with SurfaWhile, with whom we have been in line from the first moment in terms of thinking about surfing and the world at large.