In recent times I have noticed the rise of a new type of surf shop...Y'know the kind, less board warehouse and more art gallery, less get anything and everything surfing, but rather fewer items with each very deliberately selected to fulfil a specific role in the store.
They often have an increased focus on fashion and lifestyle too, which has led my friends and I to commonly refer to these as the 'hipster surf shops.' Over the last few months, I have been fortunate enough to spend time speaking with the owners of a few of them, and am going to highlight a few from different parts of the globe which I think you should check out. Click on the name/sub-title for each shop for more information if you're interested.
Amelia's boutique in the SW corner of Portugal sucks you in more and more from the moment you walk in the front door. You start looking at some clothes, maybe accessories, and books until suddenly you find yourself right down the back beside a small but perfectly curated selection of beautiful logs. Undoubtedly a common stop over for many surfers on their Algarve surf trip.
Benga, Tiago and the team at Lisbon Crooks and Surfers are in it for the love of it. Their newsletter is the best example of this; recently telling people to not buy stuff for Christmas, but just go spend time with family and surf! They have some clothing and boards under their own name, as well as a select range of other items too to round out the store...particularly a fine red wine collection which they will happily share with you. Located in the trendy LX Factory of Lisbon, pop in for a drink and chat next time you're in the area.
There is a surf shop in London? Yip - you read it right, and it is a thing of beauty. Whilst most commuters weave through dark winding 'tubes' every morning, Rhys manages the London branch of an increasing network of shops which Finisterre has across Britain. Alongside their full range of clothing, hardware and accessories they run events like the wooden hand plane and board shaping classes run by James from Otter Surfboards. Whats more, just to triple check that the shop fits well in London, you can get a high quality hipster flat white too to sip on while you mull over their sustainably made wares.
Stock & Supply is a breath of fresh stylish air in a vast expanse of mainstream surf culture on Queensland's Gold Coast. If larger than life billboards of the top 10 surfers, and sporting bright coloured clothes like a 13 years old aren't your thing, pop in for a chat and peruse of this gem; Myles is a top dude who will be stoked to share his time and wares with you. Stock & Supply is tucked away in the mall off the street, but I am sure he won't have it any other way, and neither will you once you find this pad.
Much like London, you will be pleasantly surprised to find such a slick surf shop in the middle of another concrete jungle. The Tokyo branch of Saturdays Surf (they are based out of New York, with shops in Australia now too) is as much trendy coffee shop and cafe as it is high end fashion and surf shop. I knew I would find a great coffee there, and was pleasantly surprised by the surf flavour too and high quality beautifully designed options.
Damo and the team are the guys to talk to if you want a new board. They are probably doing the best job of fusing together your traditional core surf shop with a phenomenal range of boards available, but presenting in a trendy, simple and friendly fashion. And I mean, they are in Byron Bay's up and coming arts and creative hub (or so I am told by a friend) so, how could they not be?!..I left salivating over the immaculate collection of Channel Islands boards, and wanting to chat to the team more who are just an epic bunch of people.
These super passionate individuals fill us with stoke every time we step in their shop, but it isn't always an easy gig thats for sure. So next time you're in the area, pop in for a chat, browse and maybe pick up something, even if its just a block of wax or a coffee - your support is what helps keep these shops alive.
Where else have a missed? Where is your favourite hipster surf shop and why?
Cheers – talk soon,
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