Interview with Peter Melhado from Isla Surf School

Posted by William Becker on

Right down the road from our Folly Beach headquarters, our friend Peter is teaching kids and adults how to surf.  He started his own boutique school school called, Isla.  Peter has changed many peoples lives over the years by introducing them to surfing.  Shred Season and schools such as Isla go hand in hand because we are the first 2 steps when getting into surfing; finding a used surfboard and learning the proper technique.  We caught up with Peter and interview him.


Hey Peter, tell us a little about yourself: 

Hi guys! I’m a 24 year old entrepreneur here in Charleston, SC. I’m from NY and came to Charleston for college and never left. 

What made you want to learn to surf:
As a kid I spent my entire life at the beach or doing something ocean related. My uncle was a big surfer and we looked up to him so we just naturally followed in his footsteps. 

How did you learn:
My brother and I started off boogie boarding and started riding our boards standing up and then from there straight into surfing. 

What was your first board:
I think it was a Lost RNF but not one-hundred percent on that. Maybe some sort of foamy came before the Lost. 

What is your favorite everyday board to ride:

I just got a 5’6” swallow tail from Cloud Nine Customs. Been my go to for the last two months or so. 

What is your favorite place to surf:
Scoring waves back home on Long Island with all the boys is the best.

When did you first start teaching surf lessons:
I started teaching for Nantucket Surfari when I was 15 and have done it ever since. Nantucket Surfari, Locals Surf School, and the Surfari shops are all owned and operated by good friends so we have a cool little network of East coast schools and shops.  

Tell us about Isla Surf School:
I like to think of us as a boutique surf school. We offer a huge variety of packages and services like door-to-door service that make us really unique and different. We also pride ourselves on giving the highest quality lessons and experiences around. We have high standards and an amazing crew which has people coming back again and again. 

How and when did you launch: 
We launched in August of 2015. I was working for my good friends at Locals Surf School on Rockaway Beach and one day realized I should start my own company. 

What is the mission of Isla:
We provide adults and kids with high quality and fun surf lessons and hopefully improve peoples lives by introducing them to surfing or by helping them progress. No matter the conditions we always have fun and have people smiling ear to ear. 

What can we expect in the future for Isla:
Our season just came to a close, but in 2017 look for some cool collaborations and tons of unique offerings starting April 1!

What are your personal goals for the next few years: 
I want to continue to grow and positively affect everyone who comes to learn from us. I’m also working on a few other projects which I want to be successful. I also want to travel a lot more in 2017. We already have some fun trips in the books but there’s always more exploring to be done. 

How can people follow you and the business:
Any type of social media. We’re on Instagram, Facebook, Vimeo, and of course our website. 

Link to your website:
Yew!  Thanks Peter!