On The Beach Surf Shop was founded by Kelly Sorensen. Kelly loves both surfing and the lifestyle that goes along with it. The goal of On The Beach is to bring the equipment and accessories of the surfing lifestyle to people of all ages who have the same love for the surfing life in their hearts.
Kelly grew up in Fresno, California. Ever since he was a young boy he’s had a fascination with the ocean. Unfortunately, the ocean was hours away from where he lived, but he did enjoy skateboarding on the streets in his neighborhood. When Kelly was 9 years old, his parents sent him to Kennolyn summer camp in the Soquel Mountains of Santa Cruz. Every Sunday at camp was Beach Day and Kelly got to play on the beach and in the surf.
At the age of 13, Kelly’s parents took him to Hawaii where Kelly truly fell in love with the surfing life, warm water, great waves and good times. After Kelly returned from his Hawaii trip, he continued to go to the Kennolyn camp every summer. At camp he hung out with boys from Newport Beach who also shared his love for surfing and the ocean.
At 15, Kelly went to Santa Cruz with some friends to surf, but unfortunately there were no waves. So instead of surfing, Kelly found himself at Portola Surf Shop. There Kelly met Mike Locatelli, the owner of Portola Surf Shop. Time went on and Mike became a good friend to Kelly, a mentor if you will.
Fast forward to April 24, 1986. Kelly, now 20 years old, and one of his dreams became a reality. He joined forces with Mike and opened On the Beach Surf Shop (OTB) on Ocean and Mission in Carmel, California. Three years later and with much success, Kelly bought Mike’s portion of the business and became the sole owner of OTB. On Memorial Day weekend in 1993, Kelly opened a second store on the corner of Lighthouse and Prescott in Monterey.
Due to changes in the Carmel Business District, Kelly decided to close the doors to the Carmel store in February 1999, leaving the one store in Monterey. However, because the building is so old, it had to be either re-retrofitted for earthquake safety or torn down. The owners of the building decided to tear it down! So for the next couple of years Kelly had to find a new location to set up shop. Luckily, only a couple of blocks down the street on Monterey’s Cannery Row, there was a location available which worked out perfectly and Kelly opened on Cannery Row July 31, 2002, to continue business uninterrupted – until, on November 26, 2004, Kelly re-opened the doors at 693 Lighthouse Avenue. Now, 18 years and three moves later, Kelly had the ultimate surf shop of his dreams.
OTB was designed by Kelly Sorensen (OTB Owner / Founder) and Chris Murren (Contractor). It is almost 6,000 sq. ft with a tropical theme – bamboo everywhere, Tiki huts filled with clothes, beach sand mixed into the floor, and classic surfboards from the Pete and Cathy Noble collection. OTB feels like a surfer’s paradise, filled with tons of clothes from all of the coolest surf and skate companies, a great selection of surf and skate accessories and featuring a huge women’s department.
OTB has come a long way since the first days of the Carmel store and Kelly has come a long way from his days growing up in Fresno and Santa Cruz. Kelly always says to follow your dreams because that is what he did and he is very lucky because he achieved just that. So come and visit On the Beach Surf Shop and experience a surfer’s dream come true.