Although he climbed the corporate ladder at a sprinter's pace in his young life, Kirk Robinson understood the only place he belonged was out on the ocean. He was known to his coworkers as a superior business mind⎯that is, when they actually managed to find him at his desk and not at the beach windsurfing. So, after reading The Road Less Traveled and Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow, Kirk found the inspiration to start Captain Kirk's Inc. in 1992. He then quickly gathered a team that also possessed his passion for watersports, including his kiteboarding wife, Kitty, and set up shop.
Today he and his crew show others how to get the most out of the ocean through kiteboarding, windsurfing, and standup paddleboarding lessons. Additionally, Captain Kirk's retail includes all the supplies needed to master those three activities. Completing the trifecta, Kirk also owns CK's Beach Resort in La Ventana, where guests can bask in the beauty of aqua waters, a private beach, and luxurious lodging while experiencing everything from kiteboarding and standup paddleboarding to windsurfing, sportfishing, and scuba.
Jacques Cousteau had barely slipped the first scuba tank off his back when Pacific Wilderness opened its doors in 1953. Since then, the shop’s staffers have used their collective expertise to outfit divers with high-quality equipment from brands including Aqualung, Oceanic, Scubapro, Seaquest, and Zeagle.
They also teach PADI scuba-certification courses that range from basic open-water training to advanced rescue diving. Lessons start at the on-land facility's heated pool but progress to weekend-long dives in the waters of Redondo Beach. The shop's scuba-philes also arrange journeys to exotic locales such as the Sipadan Water Village Resort in Malaysia and the secret depths of Camp David's presidential bathtub.