Stalefish Board Company is one of the most beloved shops in downtown Bel Air. How do we know? Well, if the steady stream of shoppers didn’t give it away, their iconic Stalefish stickers seen all over town sure does. Stalefish Board Company is a surf, skateboard, and snowboarding shop located on Main Street in Downtown Bel Air. When you walk through the doors of Stalefish, there is no doubt that the shop has character; it is decked out in eclectic decor that evokes feelings of beach living. We asked Mel, what’s the story with the parrot? Believe it or not, he reluctantly traded a skateboard for a parrot, eventually named Cracker, with a retired Washington Redskins football player. Mel said that Cracker then bit him on the nose and he has been a part of Stalefish ever since. Read on to learn about Stalefish Board Co. and how Mel Machovec made his dream of owning a surf shop come true.
Mel Machovec is a Harford County native, born and raised in Joppatowne. From a young age, Mel considered himself an entrepreneur, offering yard work and repair services to friends and neighbors. Mel’s true passion, however, has always been skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding. In high school he would travel to skate shops all over Maryland because there were none in Harford County. Seeing this need in his own community, Mel’s dream to open his own skate shop was born. After high school, Mel became a handyman which eventually led to the opening of his own construction company. After eleven years in the construction business, he decided it was time to slow down and make his high school dream of opening a surf shop come true.
People thought I was crazy!
Mel considers owning Stalefish Board Co. as more of a hobby than work. He loves that he can go to work in flip flops and a t-shirt. When he runs into people he went to high school with, they are overjoyed that Mel finally got his board shop. The shop features items such as snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing equipment, along with men’s and women’s apparel, shoes, and more!
I’m proud to own a business and be a businessman in Bel Air.
So where did the name Stalefish come from? In skateboarding, a “Stalefish Grab” is a heel-side grab with your back hand reaching around your back leg. It was named after the food that was served to Tony Hawk at a skate camp in Sweden. Rumor has it that the famous skateboarder was trying to come up with a name for the new skate trick they had created at the camp when Hawk said, let’s name it after the stale fish they keep feeding us. Prior to opening the shop, Mel and his daughter were at a skate park when one of the skaters did the Stalefish trick. Mel pointed it out to his daughter and she suggested he name his store after it.
Mel and his wife, Kerry, recently put his construction skills to good use again when they built their beach house in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. If you don’t see Mel in the shop, chances are he’s down in NC riding his bike to the beach. Mel hopes to one day retire and reside full-time in North Carolina alongside Kerry and their dog, Bella.
Stalefish Board Co. has been a member of the Alliance since Mel opened his original shop on Bond Street in downtown Bel Air. He prides himself in owning a shop that adds character to Main Street and his involvement within the community. You can find Stalefish on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. To learn more about the Alliance and its mission, click here.