The brand began as a surf school in 1999 when they discovered a secluded surf spot that would be a perfect place to teach people how to surf. Being firefighters, John Pregil and Kevin Miller were trained in water safety and rescue, add that to their love of surfing, and you have the beginnings of Hawaiian Fire Surf School.
“Keep ʻem safe, teach ʻem how to surf, and have fun!” said veteran fire Captain John Pregil, also co-owner of Hawaiian Fire Inc.. It was is such a success that the school was featured on Live with Kelley, video below. Everything that they are doing with their success continues to make Hawaiian Fire so special to have.
The brand Hawaiian Fire is exclusive to their school and store but the store itself was an after thought. People kept asking if we had any t-shirts or hats so we decided to start making some. They also had a little help from some friends, the designs are from other fire fighters. The first store was opened in Kapahulu on Campbell Ave. It was originally the office for the surf school and the meeting point for the shuttle to the schoolʻs secluded beach, a perfect opportunity for clients to grab their souveniers.
The clothing then sparked the idea to make something out of the decommissioned protective gear, pants and jackets. They found a friend whose husband is a firefighter and she makes bags. When they receive the retired gear, they send it over to have bags made. Each bag is different and unique, “Itʻs like Christmas when a new shipment is received, said store manager, Ashley, ” We never know what we will get.” They also carry a line of accessories and key chains, called HERO, made from recycled fire hoses. A portion of the proceeds goes to support the Honolulu Firefighterʻs Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting.
Another thing that makes this brand so special is that it is only available at the store. They have considered selling online but as it is, with the surf school as their main priority, the new store in Ko Olina gives people another place to stop when they head out west. Check them out on Facebook or their website.