History of Soul Octopus

In 1983, surfboard shaper Kevin McClelland was shaping under his current label "Chomp Chomp" surfboards and was looking for a new sea creature to replace his current logo. Using a shark as the logo on a surfboard wasn't very comforting while sitting on your board waiting for a wave... So, his next choice was the lovable octopus. He made one board for himself branded with a new octopus logo that he sketched up and rode for about 5 years.

One afternoon while relaxing after a long surfing session the idea of spelling something with the octopus legs hit Kevin, but what? More surfing the next day then like a message from above the word "soul" came to him. He rushed home and started scribbling things down until he came up with a design that he thought was "the one". Over the years, the logo has gone through many incarnations. (we will re-issue these designs randomly, stay tuned!)

In 1988 Kevin whipped out 2 new shapes for his brother J.P. and himself, using the new "Soul Octopus" logo which created a buzz around the beach. Orders started coming in from friends and soon even some real customers. It wasn't long before the design was to be put on t-shirts and hats in small batches around Christmas time. From garage-type sales the products would sell out. Its popularity grew beyond the local beaches and into different states as well as countries like Mexico, Japan and parts of Europe (thanks to my traveling customers!).

Even though it sounds bigger than it is, Soul Octopus has always been fairly small, it has never been a true business up until now it has sort of been a hobby/cult/underground thing. At the constant urging of family, friends and customers to get "serious" with this, Kevin has teamed up with a few like minded individuals to finally dive in head first with this project.

We have created this website for your pleasure to shop, or stay current with all things Soul Octopus through our blog and news feeds. We hope you enjoy the site!

Thanks for your interest and support!
Sincerely, Kevin and the rest of the Team

The Early Days


The Shaping Room


Boards and Action


Soul Octopus