Robert Rube - Instructor, Shaper, Store Owner
I was born on a military base and grew up traveling around every 2-3 yrs. My father was in the Army until I was 15yrs old and good portion of those places were around the ocean. I lived in New Jersey, Virginia Beach, Miami Fla and on Oahu. So when my Dad retired from the Army and moved everyone back where the family was from, Iowa, I had a bit of culture shock. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that Iowa just wasn’t meant for me. I moved out to Oregon in 1984 to Bend. It was then I found out that there was a very small surfing scene on our coast. Mid-week skiing and weekend car camping surfing. I found myself in Corvallis in 1990 trying to reduce my travel times and increase my water time. Since then, I’ve surfed up and down the West and most of the East Coasts, Baja, Mainland Mexico, Costa Rica & Hawaii many times. I started doing ding repairs on my boards and slowly migrated into shaping. It wasn’t until 1996 that I officially started Robert’s NW Surfboards out of my garage in South Corvallis. Once things starting moving along, it was obvious that my single stall garage wasn’t going to cut it anymore. One day I walked into a Taco Del Mar in Corvallis and noticed that they had a beach themed store. I asked the owner if they'd like to have a surfboard with their logo on it for display and the next thing I know, I’ve got a deal to build 200+ boards for the company.
I met Al, by business partner and now long time friend while doing weekend work at the original Oregon Surf Shop in Taft in the mid 1990’s. We became friends and started surfing together. We both were still living in the valley at this time. He was up North in Forrest Grove area and me, still in Corvallis. We had chatted a few times about the idea of a surf shop. We looked around at places, but still we were living in the valley. At some point we decided that Philomath had some potential as a spot. Pretty much everyone that wants to surf the central coast in Newport area, would need to drive through Philomath to get there. We still needed a name for the shop.
In 2003, I was on a surf trip to Costa Rica. I was walking to a break called Langosta and happened upon a couple of Ticos selling pottery on the side of the road. I stopped and chatted with them and asked how things were going. They both replied “Pura Vida!!” Life is good! Next thing I remember I was trying to call Al later that day with a phone card from Central America. That was an interesting challenge back then. I let him know I found the name for our shop, “Pura Vida Surf Shop”. Not surprising it took some convincing but here we are today! We officially opened 2006 and we’re in our 17th year of business.