A YOUNG woman is riding the crest of a wave after opening her own shop.

Morgan Smith is the owner of Surf n Skate, a new store in Newhaven’s West Quay.

Though many stores are currently struggling to contend with the evolving face of retail, having to battle with rising rents and online shopping, the 19-year-old is determined to make her dream work.

She has several plans in place to help her achieve this.

Morgan said: “I am a local surfer and have been for five years, surfing around Newhaven and Brighton.

“I thought that, while I’m at home with no money outgoing, this was the best time to try and open my own business.”

She said that, aside from entering an industry she was passionate about and had experience in, another of her motivations for starting her own business was so that she could “work for myself and have something that I have achieved by working hard, something that I can call mine”.

She finished college in September, earning an electrical engineering diploma level three.

But, after leaving, she decided to pursue a different path and, to support this venture, is currently working a second job.

Morgan is also a painter and decorator, learning the trade from her father, Ross, who she works with to supplement her business.

She works in the shop when she can, but has enlisted the help of her family to keep the business going.

Her mother Danielle works there on a voluntary basis while Morgan is working with her father, and she is not the only family member to lend a hand in the running of the business.

She said: “The workload is hard and, without my family, I could not do it.

“My mum Danielle works in the shop every day I’m working, my brother helps too and my dad Ross helps with the finances.

“I work weekends but sometimes my dad covers the shop so I can see my friends.

“Hopefully it will all work out, they say the first year is the hardest so fingers crossed all this time, effort and hard work will pay off.”

But she has high hopes for the business as she believes it offers something which will be successful in the town.

Morgan said: “We are the only surf and skate shop in almost a ten mile radius, and the shop is right next to the new skate park.”

The Newhaven Pump Track opened its doors in July and has proved popular with skaters in the area.

Designed by the team behind the London 2012 Olympic BMX track, it was funded by Newhaven Town Council with developer contributions from Lewes District Council.

The park could be a key to Morgan’s success and she has been keen to connect with those who use it.

The business has launched competitions offering winners who find yellow Surf n Skate flyers - which have been hidden around the nearby Newhaven Skate Park - the chance to win merchandise such as t-shirts from the store.

She said this could encourage more children to go outdoors and take up outdoor pursuits.

This is not Morgan’s only idea to appeal to her target audience.

She said: “I am also selling eco-friendly surf wax and getting eco skate wax to try and do our bit for the environment.”

The store is open seven days a week, 12-5pm on weekdays, 10am-6pm on Saturdays and 12-3pm on Sundays.

It sells a range of items including surfboards, skateboards, accessories and items of clothing with the shop’s branding on.