Plenty of students have an after-school job but few are in the league of Whanganui 17-year-old Joshua D'Ath.

A keen skateboarder and surfer, Joshua was having trouble sourcing parts for his skateboard. There was no local surf shop and the internet option wasn't reliable so he thought laterally.

His outside-the-square moment has seen him start his own business Driftwood Board Co with a store outlet in a front room of his parents' Wicksteed St house.

"Browsing the web you're not sure what the quality of things is so having it here in person means you decide whether it's what you want," he said.

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He said even if they didn't stock what someone wanted they could quickly source it.

The shop has been opened for just six days and while trading was slow initially it's starting to snowball.

He's got some mates who skate and surf and they know what he's done. But for others Joshua's relying on Facebook and Instagram to promote the shop.

"It's about social media and word of mouth."

The Cullinane College student is too young to be the company director so until he turns 18 his father, Andrew, is standing in for him.

The D'Ath family is originally from New Plymouth and mum, dad and all seven kids have a taste for surfing and skateboarding. Even the youngest, one and-a-half year old Arthur, has had a ride on the front of his father's board.

Joshua has the shop open from about 1pm each day because he's at school before that.

But his father said there was another more pressing reason.

"The best surfing around here is usually in the morning so we can't let business interfere with that," he said.