The surf is up at Carlsbad Pipelines


Adoley Swaniker

Carlsbad Pipelines shop on Carlsbad Boulevard.

Georgiana Gilbert, Writer

Most Carlsbad residents know that they do not have to search too far to find a surfboard, board wax or new wetsuit, due to the many local surf shops. One such shop is Witt’s Carlsbad Pipelines, located on Carlsbad Blvd in The Village. Owned by Carlsbad High graduate Witt Rowlett, Carlsbad Pipelines opened thirty years ago in 1984.

As some know, starting a business is no walk in the park. It comes with numerous tasks and responsibilities, from managing inventory to hiring employees.

“The most challenging part is being responsible for everything, and everyone that has anything to do with the business,” owner Witt Rowlett said.

Success can be difficult for independently owned shops. The recession hit Rowlett’s shop for a few years, along with many other stores in the community. Fortunately for Carlsbad Pipelines, business has increased during the last 9 months.

“Since about December business has really picked up quite a bit,” Rowlett said. “I contribute that to a couple of factors, the economy and this phenomenal weather we’ve had.”

Even though Carlsbad Pipelines had to overcome some difficulty, Carlsbad has proven to be a beneficial town to have a business in. With many changes throughout the years, Carlsbad is very different from when Rowlett first opened his shop.

“The village has grown dramatically from a very low key environment to a very upscale environment, definitely tourist driven, but not in a bad way,” Rowlett said. “The environment is extremely diverse, from fiercely loyal people to every imaginable traveler.”

Owning a business was not always in Rowlett’s plans. However, his passion for surfing helped him realize that this is what he wanted to do.

“Surfing makes me feel good; it puts a smile on my face,” Rowlett said. “It also gives me a physical happiness, mental happiness and emotional happiness that is very difficult to find. I was a plumber before this and after surfing professionally and traveling the world, I realized that this is what I wanted to make the core of my life.”