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What are three words to describe your shop? Salt Water Therapy.

“To leave all your worries on the sand and to have the salt water wash away everything, leaving you with nothing but good vibes.”

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Leo, the owner of the Currumbin BoatShed Bait & Tackle for what was probably the most relaxed and easygoing interview that has ever happened. The interview consisted of sitting on a bench overlooking the Currumbin Creek while wearing shorts and thongs. It is not hard to imagine that the little shop sitting on the edge of the beautiful Currumbin Creek created this relaxed setting. You can see why people come here—to get their salt water therapy.

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Leo sitting next to me was especially easy going, and why wouldn’t he be? Owning your own shop on the edge of the Currumbin Creek sounds like a dream come true. For Leo and partner Alicia, this dream was only realized a couple of years ago. The tradesman of 30 years (and avid fisherman) decided to make a life change and jumped on the opportunity to buy the BoatShed once he found out that a lifelong friend had it for sale.

The shop has grown a lot since its humble beginnings five and half years ago. Starting out as mainly a bait and tackle shop with a few paddle boards and kayaks, they now have over 80 paddle boards. Not only do they have more in quantity but they also provide quality, as 95% of their products are made in France fabricated from premium materials.

Along with new products, there has also been more community involvement from the shop. This year they sponsored the Bleach* Festival by supplying paddle boards. They also held a day with 92.5 Gold FM to stand up (on paddle boards) against domestic violence, where over 100 paddle boarders were on the water standing up for the cause.

When I asked Leo about what he wanted to achieve with these community events, he was nonchalant and said something along the lines of, “I’m not Mr. Community. But this community has given a lot to me, and so I want to give back to it.” You can tell that he’s not trying to prove to be something that he’s not, but is simply just a good person who owns a great shop which is where all the good vibes come from that surround the area.

Leo says he works to see that “paddle board smile”—the look that people come back with after having successfully paddle-boarded when they initially thought otherwise.

There are regulars who come to the BoatShed a few times a week to get their dose of salt water therapy (but beginners and visitors are always welcome). The BoatShed also offer free tuition because they want everyone to gave a bit of general knowledge about SUP before they venture off.

The inviting music of either blues or reggae will be playing in the background, kids will be having fun, and everyone no matter their age, shape or size will be out on the water enjoying themselves. So leave your worries on the sand, and let the saltwater wash away everything!


By Julia Baird-Oryshak




Currumbin is a beachfront community in the southern Gold Coast, where Currumbin Creek waterway links to the rainforest mountains to the west. The creek offers a protected and patrolled haven for water sports, such as stand-up paddle boarding, rowing and kayaking. The rock wall offers abundant flathead and bream fishing, while the beach offers tailor.

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