Images: Andrew Mckinstray
The Captain jumps behind the sewing machine with Nick Richardson, owner of fishing threads brand, Tide Apparel.
Fishing fashion has come a long way. Gone are the days of heading to sea in a double-breasted navy peacoat with more rips and stains than an old treasure map. These days it’s all about muscle-tees and snapbacks, or so The Captain is told. But he wouldn’t have a clue what either of those might be, as he adjusts his worn-out brown Stubbies. In a bid to make the Cap’n more contemporary, he sought out Nick Richardson, the laidback lad behind fishing clothing brand, Tide Apparel.
The Captain: Ahoy Nick, welcome to The Captain! Can you give me a quick lowdown on Tide Apparel (TA)? Who are you guys and where are you based?
Nick Richardson: G’day Cap, thanks for having me! We are just a bunch of dudes who love fishing and being on the water. The brand itself is based in Loganholme, just south of Brisbane. We have a little outlet store there, which is open on weekdays.
How did TA come about?
TA was an idea I had while sitting at the back of my design lecture one night. I was working a shit job at the time and didn’t fancy waking up at 5am the next morning to go to work. The only time I did want to get up that early, was when I was going fishing. So I created a design that said, “F**k Work Catch More Fish”.
Looking back at now, it’s maybe not one of my finest designs, but it definitely expressed how I felt at that time. Then, every lecture I had from that night on, I learned just what I needed and then played around with logos, names and designs for TA.
It then got to the stage where I registered a business name and was ready to have a crack at printing some shirts. Mind you, I was making minimum wage and had no money to even think about making some shirts. Lucky for me, the bank loves taking your money. They gave me a tiny loan and I bought 100 shirts with it – I guess that was the start of the brand. Then with the help of everyone that’s been involved, it is what it is today.
Do you have a day job or does TA occupy most of your time?
TA is currently my full time job and has been for the past three years. I was stoked to be able to hire Josh McLean about a year ago and he continues to work full time. Josh was one of the few guys that were around in the beginning and he has always supported the brand. The other boys all work full-time in their trades, but they also do so much for the brand in their spare time. I owe them all so much – deadset legends!
I bet every man and his rod wants to be apart of TA. How do you become part of the TA family?
We honestly get emails everyday from people asking to be sponsored. We really appreciate that people like the brand so much that they want to represent it. Either that, or they just want free shit? However, if we sponsored every single one of those people, we would go broke. We also wouldn’t be able to support the guys who have been around for a long time.
In saying that, we’re always looking for new up-and-coming anglers who can offer something different to everyone else. My advice: let your fishing speak for itself. Thanks to social media, your name will get out there and we will eventually hear about you. Being someone we can all get along with also quite helpful.
So you can sponsor me and my crew? My brother wants a shirt, too. And the guy at the tackle shop wants a hook-up as well.
You’re big on values. But what are they?
Not giving away stuff for free! But another reason for starting TA was to create awareness. Growing up around the water and being on it constantly, you see people treat it like absolute shit. I swear to god, some people just don’t realise how their actions impact the environment. I want my kids and their kids to be able to enjoy what we have.
This is how the “Respect Our Waterways” campaign started. Hopefully, through us creating a shirt that someone is proud to wear because of its message, that will help spread the word. If we have more people conscious of how they’re treating the waterways and oceans, it’ll make for a better planet.
We also get asked a lot about catch and release. I personally practice this 99% of the time when I go fishing. However, there’s nothing wrong with keeping a feed. Just be mindful of what you’re doing – do you really need to stock your freezer with a year’s worth of grub? Keep what you need, go fishing again and catch another feed.
Where do your design inspirations come from?
Designing new ranges is what I love most about my job and one of the reasons why I started this brand in the first place. To be honest, I get a lot of inspiration from textures, anything from a cool carpet pattern to the ocean – inspiration comes from everything around me.
When doing design specific stuff, I design based around how I feel sometimes. I could be pissed off at something I have seen on the water or a documentary I’ve watched. Other times, I’ll just try and create something that I think is cool. Every time I design a range, I will do 10-20 different designs and just sift through them or combine them until I get a range we’re all happy with.
What are your best selling lines of clothing?
It changes from range to range. It all depends on what designs people like at the time. Over the last few months it has been our Fishing Jerseys and Snapbacks. But at the end of last year we were selling out of all our tees. Bit tough to say really!
Do you sell anything that’s not black or white?
Haha! It’s only our tees that are mostly black and white, we actually have some styles in “charcoal” too! In all seriousness though, I love designing in black and white. It also means that when I’m getting dressed to head out at night, I will always have a tee that will go with whatever coloured pants I’m wearing. You gotta plan for that shit…
True that. The Captain is all about colour coordination. Or anything that goes with fish blood. Now, the quality of your gear is pretty sweet. Tell us it’s not made by impoverished Indians working in sweatshops?
There’s no dodgy shit going on here – I couldn’t sleep at night if I knew there was. All our factories are of the highest standards. The shirt you’re wearing now was probably made in the factory next door or maybe even in the same factory as ours.
Who makes the awesome TA vids?
The man responsible for this is Andrew Mckinstray (AMCK Photo and Film). He has been with TA since the beginning. He has definitely been one those the people that has helped build this brand to what it is today. It’s been awesome to grow with him in this industry and his media is getting better everyday – it’s pretty ridiculous!
Tell us about that wicked barra video.
Initially, it was meant to be a different video featuring Taylor Smith. But unfortunately you can’t control the weather and the boys copped some flash flooding. But, it kinda paid off…
Matty Scholz ended up driving up with his boat and met up with Andy, Zac and Taylor. If you haven’t heard of Zac Hunt he has been killing it on the barra front for a while now and he helped put the boys onto some good fish. They battled constant rain and I’m pretty sure everyone got severely sick. Nonetheless, Andy got the clips he needed and put together the cool little video that you can check out via our social media pages.
Those barra were definitely worthy of some mild hypothermia. Speaking of things that are fully sick, tell us who has the best tattoo in the crew and what is it?
Andy’s ‘shaka’ tattoo for sure!
What boats do you roll in?
The TA boat is a Haines Signature 543SF fitted with Garmin electronics. Matty Scholz also has one. The other boys have everything from electric boats to bass boats – all to suit the different styles of fishing they do.
You must get away on some epic adventures. Best one so far?
Every trip away is an awesome trip. Good people, no phone reception, a few beers and good fishing. You can’t honestly ever beat that.
Are you just fishermen? Any other passions that TA extends to?
Fishing pretty much consumes everything around us. Other things we used to do are definitely in the background now. Some of the boys still skate and play golf, but only occasionally. I personally just enjoy what I do – I guess you could say my other passion is working. But is it really work if you enjoy it?
Future plans for TA?
I just want the brand to continue to grow, continue to create awareness and I want to continue to bring out designs that people want to wear. I can’t wait to see what the next few years brings us all – it’s very exciting times!
To check out some of Tide Apparel’s delicious designs head to: tideapparel.com.au
To follow them on social media, go to facebook.com/tidefishing