Your local surf shop, if you’re lucky enough to still have one, is something to behold. These local bastions of knowledge and good vibes have been among surfings most important assets. It was where local rippers, heroes, legends- both famous and infamous, would gather to share stories and share intimate knowledge of the area’s coastline. Unfortunately, great surf shops are a little harder to come by in 2017, so if you do come across a good surf retailer do your best to support them in anyway possible.
For the uninitiated, surf shops can be a bit intimidating. When I was a kid in the early 1980’s, surf shops were filled with the best local surfers, maniacs, surf hobos and some serious assholes. Customer service was an unfamiliar term and if you didn’t know your place, you were quickly sorted out. One time I witnessed the local shop owner’s son, a dear friend of mine, get forced into a full-suit (it was summer with no AC) and hung on the rack for talking back to the manager. He begged and pleaded with us to help him but the large, intimidating silver-back who was running the shop snarled at us, making it clear that if we helped in anyway we would join him. Poor Phil stayed on the rack for over an hour.