Meet the bloggers: Jeff Allen

We are extremely lucky here at GVSCO to have started working with the legendary explorer and Journeymen that is Jeff Allen. With his very unique skill set and passion for the outdoors Jeff strives to bring the nature and humanity back to its symbiotic relationship where by we can enjoy the beauty of the natural world but also respect it, view it and live with it in an educated and thoughtful manner.

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Jeff is the founder of the International Sea Kayak Guide Association (ISKGA), which is a commercial guiding organisation, specialising in training and assessments of commercial sea kayak guides.

Jeff is also the founding director of several successful commercial sea kayaking businesses, specialising in tuition, guiding and expeditions by kayak/canoe, these businesses include Expedition Paddler, Sea Kayaking Cornwall Ltd and Gylly Adventures. In 2008, working with David Whiddon (Sea Survival Trainer RNLI) Jeff developed the first sea survival programme aimed specifically at the sea kayaking industry, this two day course has since been emulated by various organisations around the world in Canada the US and Europe and he is regularly consulted in areas of rescue, survival and incident management. Jeff is the technical advisor to the DGI, Denmark’s leading sea kayaking organisation as well as to various other sea kayaking businesses. He teaches and presents regularly at sea kayak symposia around the world Within the sea kayaking industry, Jeff is considered to be a technical expert in these fields and due to this recognition is also a regular contributor and columnist to the Ocean Paddler magazine.

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Jeff draws not only on his proffessional awards in training the service, awards which include the highest levels of proficiency and coaching of the British Canoe Union – but also on his experience, to date Jeff has accumulated more than 20,000 miles of practical expedition sea kayaking experience, including a classic first un-supported circumnavigation of Japan, the first British Circumnavigation of South Georgia, a combination Ski and Kayak circumnavigation of the Scandinavian Peninsular and a world record breaking speed circumnavigation of Ireland as well as many other personal and commercial expeditions to the Mediterranean, North & South America and Europe. He plans the logistics and itineraries for these expeditions which run in a variety of climates where temperatures have ranged from -20 (Winter in Northern Norway) to + 35/40 (Sub tropical Japan & Mexico) Celsius and has an understanding of the requirements for conducting small boat expeditions in a whole variety of environments.

So it is clear to see that the man and legend that is Jeff is a force to be admired and not to be messed with 🙂 . With such a broad skill set and huge vault of experience to draw upon is there anything that he can not do ? We are extremely excited and honoured to bring you these adventures as they unfold so keep your eyes out for Jeffs blogs ….. they are sure to make you rethink and get up and outside.

Please visit his website and get in contact he would love to hear from you:

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Stay stoked





Meet the Labels! Tails and Whales

Founded in 2015 by Luis Vaz, Tails and Whales is dedicated to creating products that focus on form and function, as well as versatility, durability and most importantly, the user experience.


The brand name originated from the whale, the giant mammal of the deep sea that has adapted it’s form over time to flourish in its natural environment with a strong tail that propels it’s functional movement. This is the core behind the brand identity and what we aim to achieve with some elements of biomimicry to the whale: adaptability, movement, balance and simplicity. Each product resembles and reflects a whale species closest to its design. The Bowhead, a multi-function backpack, is the first product to sprout from Tails and Whales.


The name represents durability, thickness and a ruggedness that Bowhead Whales possess. As the oldest mammal, the Bowhead represents longevity and quality – a product that is made to last. The Bowhead is the swiss army knife of backpacks, designed to alleviate the pains of organizing and storing surf gear  – on your back, in your car and on and the airplane –  making it  it easier to travel to  your favorite surf-spot, regardless of the distance. The Bowhead is made of water-resistant Cordura, and provides a 35L of total storage space while still being FAA-compliant for carry on travel. The bag is divided into compartments so surfers can keep their gear organized and maintain a separation between wet and dry gear: it includes 5 separate storage areas (2 large, 1 medium and 2 small), all secured with reinforced waterproof YKK Zippers.


In addition to the standard shoulder straps, the Bowhead features a hook and strap mechanism that allows surfers to attach their bag to the backseat of the car in a matter of seconds. This helps you to organize all your gear while maintaining trunk space, and allows for easy access to the pockets. This unique design also allows the customer to unfold the back into a flat plane that can be used to protect your surfboards while travelling, used as a chair at a busy airport, or as an additional division to store more items. The Bowhead provides all of the features that people have come to expect from a high-quality backpack, and adds a unique level of functionality and performance designed for active explorers that require a higher level of versatility, durability and efficiency.

Our Story

Tails and Whales is owned by Canvaz Design Studio, based in Matosinhos, Portugal. Canvaz was founded and is run by Luis Vaz, an avid surfer, traveller and professional UI/UX designer with over 10 years of experience in branding, marketing, advertising and mobile/web design. Canvaz focuses primarily on developing best-in-class digital interfaces and crafting seamless user experiences for consumer products. Tails and Whales was founded as the Studio’s performance brand, and will focus on the design and development of fashionable and functional gear for outdoor sports – specifically, surfing. The Studio includes a workspace that serves as the company’s headquarters, as well as a showroom for Tails and Whales branded product; all 500 meters from the Beach.



My profession is as a UI/UX designer, and my passion is surfing. I have spent many early mornings warming up with a cup of coffee just before dawn, trying to preheat my body before jumping into the cold water for a sunrise surf session. I’ve also spent countless hours travelling – driving, flying, walking – in search of the best swell in isolated places. Being able to pick up and move quickly to wherever mother nature decides to create a swell, requires a certain amount of efficiency and discipline in one’s preparations. You don’t want to rush to the beach, only to find that you’ve forgotten your surf wax, or finish your session and not have anywhere to put that soaked wetsuit. But you also have to be cognizant of not overloading or over-packing your bag – being quick, nimble and versatile is the name of the game. To that end, I was always struggling to find a bag that suited my needs; being both large enough to carry my gear, but comfortable and compact enough to travel easily with, and of course durable enough to take a beating. The Tails and Whales performance brand, and our flagship product, The Bowhead surf bag, was born out of my own desire to solve these issues for myself.

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“I started out to create a backpack that allowed me to keep my surf gear organized – large enough to fit the necessities, but compact enough not to slow me down while I went searching for the swell. After selling a number of my own prototypes – literally right off my back – I decided it was time to make a business out of it, which is how Tails and Whales was born.” – Luis Vaz, Founder of Tails and Whales

You can find these guys here and we will also be stocking them in our long awaited store!


Bowhead Product:








Scrap Surf – By Schwood

Experiment No. 3 – Scrap Surf from Shwood Eyewear on Vimeo.

Shwood founder Eric Singer teams up with friends to create a unique wooden surfboard. Watch how Singer and company process and shape this functional one-of-a-kind board using reclaimed wood found on the Oregon coast.

The construction process was guided by the expertise of Joe Blecha, a bona fide virtuoso of custom surf and snowboard construction.

Kahana Kalama, professional surfer turned shop-owner (, was there to test the limits of the handmade board upon its completion.

Based in Portland, Oregon, Shwood creates handcrafted wooden eyewear using fine exotic hardwoods. Shwood’s in-house manufacturing process merges precision technology with classic skilled craftsmanship to create a timeless art form. Every step from veneering and precision lens cutting, to shaping and finishing is conducted in our own Portland-based workshop to promise an entirely handcrafted eyewear piece. View the collection at

Joe Stevens

Additional filming:
Wes Scheler

Sonny & The Sunsets – “Too Young To Burn (Instrumental)”

The Black Tambourines – “27-25 Blues”

Meet the Carftsmen! WAW Hand Planes


Handplanes for the Planet!

A surf brand that is committed to giving back.

WAW Handplanes founder Rikki Gilbey, grew up on the sunny coast of Devon, England and moved to Sydney Australia in 2010. He took with him, his love for sea and created a company that combines his passions for woodworking, surfing and environmental protection.

Hand-planed handplanes – it makes sense right? And so does our commitment to giving back.

Bodysurfing is about as organic a pastime as one can undertake and to keep it that way, we make our handplanes out of 100% sustainable, recycled & reclaimed materials. Plus! We plant a native tree for every handplane we sell through the Carbon Neutral Charity Fund #onetreeonehandplane, which means you can get barrelled without leaving a trace.

WAW’s timber handplanes are expertly designed and technically sound.

Timber is not only an environmental choice; It is also well regarded as the best material for performance handplanes. Neutrally buoyant and long lasting, we pride ourselves on a product for life, which is why all WAW Handplanes come with a lifetime warranty.

Check us out on our  Instagram,   Facebook  and  Website







Meet the Labels ! Dusty Pirates

My name is Stefan Anderson, founder of Dusty Pirates Apparel.

Being of the sweet young age of 24 with the working background which includes 5 years in painting and decorating and 3 years in scaffolding (1year fly in fly out) which has helped me to fund this clothing brand venture of mine. From a young age I’ve always had a creative mind as well as an eye for fashion, so I’ve put the two together and started a clothing brand. The designs I have sketched to a basic extent myself, and then a friend, Zoe Quatermine from Quartz Design, has helped me achieve the final product of the print designs. As last summer was my 1st full season on the shelves at Common Ground in Fremantle and a local surf shop in Palmrya, Mocean Surf, I believe it was a successful season. Now moving onto my 1st winter,  I’m super excited about my older brother coming on board to assist with fulfilling orders, which is super helpful.

The name Dusty Pirates where did its come from?


A very common question I’m asked, it came from one of my hobbies which is 4X4 driving and camping, and I was in the process of creating a 4×4 club a mate and myself  were going back and fourth on  ideas and I wanted the name to have some involvement with the ocean and land, since I dig pirates and old school nautical art,pirates stuck and then obviously we ended up with Dusty Pirates. What makes my brand unique from other brands is that when in get and idea for a shirt print I like to make sure it hasn’t been done before and also this winter range will defiantly be the test as I will have some unique pieces that haven’t been done on the Perth fashion scene, the vibe for my brand is generally aimed at adventurers campers, surfers and the off roaders which I believe the market in Perth has been left wide open and Dusty Pirates is here to fill the gap.
My long term goal for this brand is to have everything hand printed by myself or my brother and printed to order (online sales) so I’m currently in the process of sourcing the equipment and researching the process of screen printing.


Contact Info:
Insta: Dustypirates
Online Store

Meet the Brands! Donk Clothing

Our goal is to create innovative product that can withstand any adventure you can.


Donk Clothing has been created to inspire and promote travel and exploration, and we want you to join us and share our passion for this way of life and join us on the search for your Essence of Chill! We strive be the best surf and travel lifestyle brand around and create the highest quality gear ready for any adventure!


Ultimately, Donk Clothing is a brand that wants to make a difference. We want to tell stories, promote a positive message and create a community that encourages others to live their passions and chase their dreams.


You can find these guys here.



Meet the Craftsmen! Salt & Silver by Katie


Introducing Katie Rudd an inspired crafts woman behind Salt & Silver Jewellery.


Salt & Silver Jewellery

Salt & Silver Jewellery is a small, handmade jewellery company based on the East coast of England, owned by Katie. In 2013 Katie began making jewellery as a hobby and made gifts for family and friends, the word spread quickly and in early 2014 she designed her first collection and officially set up the company and began trading.


Having always lived by the coast and having enjoyed surfing in her teenage years Katie was naturally drawn to beach style designs and still draws her inspiration from the ocean and natural environment. Her style of jewellery has a rugged and organic finish, while maintaining timeless elegance, always. Each piece has been individually designed and handmade in her home workshop, in the small coastal town of Cleethorpes. This handmade approach makes each piece entirely unique.


Passionate about protecting the world we live in and the creatures who live alongside us Katie has created most of her jewellery from recycled 925 sterling silver (Eco Silver), and has designed a collection using beautiful pieces of sea-glass and beach pottery that she has collected when scouring the beach and removing rubbish and junk that has washed up. All packaging is made from recycled paper and card, waste from her jewellery making process is minimal and any waste that is created is then melted back down to be re-used.

Things have moved quickly since the business was set up and Katie has been inundated with orders from the collection, even so she always sets time aside to create bespoke creations and custom orders, working closely with her client to create something truly special.



Instagram- @saltandsilverjewellery

Meet the Craftsmen! SBS Boards

Introducing Snell Brothers Surfboards.

SBS are a surfboard design company that are based in the South coast of the UK and have been developing surfboard & SUP designs since 2010. They are a small company but they have big dreams!

As brothers being brought up by the coast it was natural that the water became our second home and after surfing for many years throughout the UK and the world, they started to find themselves becoming more interested in board design and changing/developing the boards we had. So a natural progression was then to start to modifying their own surfboards and experimenting with designs to suit the varied surf conditions on the south coast and the rest of the UK, so after few years of research, design, prototypes and testing sessions later, they have found their designs to not only be some of the most responsive and easiest to catch waves but with great durability, style and great value. One of SBS’s key concepts is to push and pursue new, modem designs & shapes that reflect the new school style of surfing as well as testing materials to match the 21st century surfers needs.

They  keep in touch with all of their customers & take on any ideas for improvements to create the ultimate boards..


Our main focus at SBS is to dedicate ourselves to creating great performance and quality throughout all our boards at the most affordable prices.


You can find the guys here, take a look at their site and who knows – you might want to treat yourself to a board!


They also have a youtube site which you can find here




Enterprise Nation – Festival of Female Entrepreuners 2015

It has been just over a month since GVS Co. visited the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs  in Bristol. This event was organised by Enterprise nation and was an opportunity to hear talks from a mix of different speakers, get advice from companies who offer help to start-ups and to meet other Female entrepreneurs.

The schedule was jam packed so we had to pick between all the events to make the most effective plan for the day and it looked a little bit like this:

  • Show me the money
  • How I built a business online
  • Massive milestones – how to achieve your goals
  • Finance your business
  • How to turn a blog into a business
  • Social media for small businesses


The image below is of the ‘How to turn your blog into a business’ talk. These woman had created three very different businesses online and it was interesting to hear how they had got there. For example we heard from Sophie Bush who set up My Warehouse Home and she had quite a direct route into the business, as she had come from a publishing background and sounded like she knew exactly the strategy she was going to take and where she wanted to get to.  Natasha Courtney Smith however had fallen into it more by accident as it was a by product of her journalism career, but now her blog is a booming business and provides most of her work.


We also heard from the lovely lady who set up ‘Too Fat to Run’. Julie created this blog after she had started to run and was faced with a lot of negativity and a lack of support and information for people in a similar situation. She did a talk about hitting major milestones and in fact she was doing one herself by standing on stage and talking to a packed room of people. I had the pleasure of talking with her after and she explained how terrified she was by the whole thing and how she had been training for the past year to get her to that point. It was very motivational to hear about her journey and how successful she has become and I really loved the fact that she inspires people to get active and gives them a positive role model in occasions where might be very few to turn to.

The biggest thing that I took out of the day however, was my discussions with the Start Up Loans Company. I had always been quite worried about considering a loan as being in debt is always something I try to stay away from, however after speaking with people from the company and listening to a talk from someone who had received a loan, it definitely mad wit seem a less daunting idea and is something we are going to consider in the future. The other great thing about the Start-up Loans company is that they provide you with a dedicated mentor for a year to help you along the way and to ensure you are doing everything you can to create an effective business.

Two people that I also need to give a nod to are Emma Jones, the founder of Enterprise Nation, who is such an approachable person, an absolute font of knowledge and is happy to stand and chat to everyone, no matter how big or small your idea is.  The second person is Alison Edgar, who has recently become the Enterprise Nation Champion for the South West and runs a company called Sales Coaching Solutions. She also was more than happy to introduce me to loads of interesting people and it was so useful to speak to someone with so much knowledge!

We really had such a great day at this event. It really kicked started a lot of progress for GVS Co. hence why it has taken us so long to write this post! As ever the company keeps progressing and we step ever closer to being able to launch the brand. We are very excited!

GVS Co. x



Boardmasters 2015

This week is going to be a big one for us here at GVS CO. because on Wednesday night we (Alec and Nicole) are going to start our journey down to Boardmasters in Newquay.


Boardmasters is the biggest surf and music Festival in the UK and will be full of people in our target audience, so our plan is to get down there, scope out our competitors and do loads of market research. We will also be taking the opportunity to get loads of photos and content for our website and social media sites – so we should have some lovely pics to load for you guys next week!

As always with GVS Co. it wont all be business! Headline acts include Faithless, Bastille, Rudimental along with a bunch more throughout the weekend so we will be getting our fill of live music too!


One of our major milestones in our business plan for next year is that by this time next year we will be going down to Boardmasters to have our own stall and we will be showcasing our first line of clothing. This is why this trip will be invaluable as we will be able to see how everything works and prepare us for what the Festival entails.

We have also made quite a few major developments in the past couple of weeks with designers, film shoot plans and website but I will keep that for another post!

In the meantime though, have a great week and we will back to update you on all the Boardmasters fun shortly!