The Golden State is renowned for its expansive coastline running all the way from the Mexican border in the south all the way to the Oregon state border in the north. Combining this with the amazing climate the state has particularly in the southern half, it soon becomes a surfers dream.
Needless to say, California is a surfing hotspot with surfers from all over the world flocking to surf some of most epic spots like Huntington Beach, The Wedge at Newport Beach and Lower Trestles.
There are an assortment of surf shops dotted all along the California coast. In this blog post we profile some of the best surf shops in California.
Hansen Surfboards, Encinitas
Drive along one of America’s great surfing roads, Old Highway 101, and you shall find Hansen’s Surfboards. This highway famously connects legendary breaks such as Swami’s and Pipes and it even inspired the song Surf Route 101, a hit from 1964.
Hansen Surfboards first opened it’s doors in 1961. It was founded by South Dakota native Don Hansen, who started out shaping surfboards in a shack on Oahu’s North Shore.
After moving to Encinitas and opening the store it didn’t take long for the store to become a mainstay amongst in the area. By the 1970s Hansen Surfboards had grown into a 20,000-square-foot store. This made it one of the largest surf shops in California.
Thalia Surf, Laguna Beach
A California institution. Thalia Surf is based in Laguna and is a purveyor of some of finest retro surf gear in the country. From retro fish boards to old school vans colorways, this California surf shop aptly represents surfing from yesteryear.
Nick Cocores founded the shop on a set of surfing values related to the style, originality and soul of the sport. He partnered with some of the surfing greats before they became big names by showcasing their talent through film, graphic design, and art.
In addition to a load of cool surf apparel they also offer a wide range of hand shaped and machined boards from local shapers. Visit the shop and you might see a bespoke delivery from one of our friends like Tyler Warren, Alex Knost, Campbell Brothers, or Gato Heroi.
Jack’s Surfboards, Huntington Beach
Jack’s Surfboards first opened its doors in 1957, and since then has become a California surf shop of the finest repute. It now has 10 stores dotted all along California’s coastline selling the best surf apparel and equipment the nation has to offer.
This includes clothing and wetsuits from brands such as Billabong, Quiksilver, Volcom and surfboards from the likes of Channel Islands and Odysea soft top boards from the much revered Catchsurf brand.
Jack’s is particularly strong on surf apparel, so if you’re looking for a cool surf tee or some board shorts for that next surf mission down to the tropics, Jack’s is where it’s at.
Rider Shack, Culver City
Rider Shack is a large surf located in West LA very close to Venice Beach. It’s a cutting edge surf store where you’ll find all latest surf gear from apparel and accessories all the way through to top line surfboards.
This California surf shop is a Family owned business that began with a big dream but from humble beginnings. Jeff and Lacey opened Rider Shack in 2006 when they rented a 500 square foot garage tucked behind an ice cream parlour near Venice Beach and Marina Del Rey.
It did’t take them before Rider Shack started getting noticed and in their first year of operation achieved the accolade of Best Surf Shop in LA courtesy of Fox 11.
After that business continued to boom, and they founded themselves needing a larger space to run their shop from. That brought them to where they are now on Washington Blvd. Next time you’re passing through LA, be sure to check out Rider Shack.
Sakal Surfboards, Huntington Beach
These guys specialize in custom-made surf boards. All their boards are shaped in-house. If you’re looking a really well made board to a defined spec, look no further than Sakal Surfboards. From performance shortboards through to high-gloss logs, Sakal have got you covered
Ed Sakal founded Sakal Surfboards when he started shaping boards from a surf shop originally called Bullit Surfboards in Huntington Beach. This later became Sakal Surfboards and moved to Downtown Huntington Beach.
Ed has now passed the trade onto his kids who both shape boards and manage the store. However, you’ll still find Ed in the store on Saturdays chatting to customers.