It was on Hastings’ beach during the heat-haze summer of 2018 that West Hill resident Paul Moody had the idea which would launch one of the county’s most progressive and exciting start-ups.
“I was watching everyone struggling to get in and out of the sea because the pebbles on the beach weren’t just painful to walk on, they were also white-hot,” he explains. “It suddenly struck me that there was no footwear available which was suitable for swimming in but which looked great, too.”
Since then, Wavers Beachwear — the company he formed with partner Liz Beardsworth — has gone from strength to strength with their revolutionary, ultra-lightweight beach shoes, known simply as ‘Wavers’.
Thanks to the word-of-mouth success of their Instagram account (@waversbeachwear), the company has seen customer orders coming in from as far afield as Monaco, South Africa and the U.S.A. — Wavers are also stocked locally in Capsule in Courthouse Street and Afic In Bexhill.
The company reached another milestone last week with the official launch of their website by Hastings’ Mayor James Bacon — back on the beach where it all started.
“The local response we have had up until now has been absolutely fantastic, and the Mayor lending his support is amazing,” explains Paul.
“Hastings is known world-wide for its individuality, style and quirky civic spirit. I’d like to think Wavers are in that great tradition. We’re here to make world a more fabulous-looking place.”
With an instantly recognisable design inspired by the boardwalk at Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach, Wavers also come with a rock’n’roll edge. Moody’s background as a music and fashion journalist — writing cover stories for NME, Dazed & Confused and Another Man, among others — gives them a unique appeal, and he explains that he sees Wavers as heralding a ‘footwear revolution’ for a generation tired of the alternatives available.
“Personally, I think people deserve something better to wear on the beach than flip-flops,” he explains.
“They’re uncomfortable, cheap-looking and you can’t swim in them. Wavers, on the other hand, are perfect for swimming, but because they’re quick-drying and so comfortable, they’re also ideal to wear when you’re having a drink at the hotel or beach bar later. The different colours also mean you can co-ordinate them with any outfit. They’re a party for your feet.”
Already endorsed by everyone from the Brighton Swimming Club (the U.K.’s oldest established all-year swimming club) to the Hastings SUP Girls to Jay Darlington, keyboardist with Oasis, Wavers are fast becoming the sea shoes to be seen in.
For further information go to www.waversbeachwear.com.
Picture by Roberts Photographic.