Whether you are an experienced surfer or just learning to surf, you need some gear. This gear includes a surfboard (duh!), wetsuit, fins, wax, and even some cool surf brand clothes. If you are on the coast of California, you will definitely see at least a few surf shops, so stop in and check them out! Here are some of the best surf shops in California!
California is one of the most popular surf states so it is no surprise that we dress the part. A lot of towns up the west coast have their main or most popular surf shops and repping their gear is just part of being a local. Here are a few of the most popular surf shops and some overlooked ones in California.
Let’s start in the southernmost part of California, San Diego! This city is big and so is its surf culture.
While there are tons of surf shops here in San Diego, there are about four main ones that the locals will rep almost religiously.
First is Mitch’s Surf Shop, located in La Jolla. You can expect a variety of hand shaped surfboards, awesome apparel, and everything else you might need. If you are walking around the beach areas of San Diego, you will definitely see at least one person wearing a Mitch’s sweatshirt.
Next up is Clairemont Surf Shop. This store was opened in 1976 and has been a fan favorite ever since. They have more wetsuits than you can imagine! It is not rare to see a Clairemont Surf Shop sticker on the back of a car with a surfboard on the racks.
If you are listening to the surf report on the radio in San Diego, you’re hearing Bird’s voice. Bird is the founder of Bird’s Surf Shed, another very popular surf shop here. You can find Bird, himself, in the back of the store shaping custom boards.
Last but not certainly not least on our list is OB Surf and Skate located in Ocean Beach. OB is known to be a very skatable and surfable neighborhood so no reason they have both skateboards and surfboards. This surf shop is really popular among the groms of San Diego.
Next up is Orange County, another favored surf county. From San Clemente to Huntington Beach, there are a lot of surf shops and waves to be surfed.
Said to be the first surf shop in southern California, we have Hobie’s Surf Shop, founded in 1954.
There are a few locations throughout Orange County but it seems to be favored in San Clemente and Dana Point. While it is known primarily for its custom shaped surfboards, they have a lot to offer.
My personal favorite and maybe the most popular surf shop in Orange County is Jack’s Surfboards. You know someone is from Orange County when they are wearing a Jack’s T-shirt. Not only do they have surf gear, but you can find anything you need for skateboarding and snowboarding.
Local to Newport Beach, you have The Frog House. While this surf shop is not the most well known, it has a really cool history and some awesome features.
Towards the back of the store, they have a big bin filled with miscellaneous, lost swim fins. It’s perfect for when you lose just one fin in the swells of Newport and need a replacement. Who knows, you might even find the one you lost yourself!
Just up the Pacific Coast Highway, you will find yourself in Los Angeles. While it might not be known for surfing, there are some great surf spots and surf shops!
Up first is Spyder Surfboards. They have three locations in the South Bay and sure do make a splash. Spyder has everything you might need such as leashes and board bags if you are thinking of jet setting out of LAX.
Speaking of jet setting, they have everything you need in case you are flying to the snow to get a snowboarding day in. Another well known surf shop in Hermosa Beach is ET Surf, which has been around since 1972. They might not be shaping your newest surfboard in the back of the shop, but they use local boardshapers.
San Luis Obispo is your next surf shop destination. The town is small but the surfing community is big. They may not have many surf shops but the most prominent one is popular throughout the state.
Moondoggies Beach Club was founded by a local San Luis Obispo resident, Randy Adler, in 1986. Randy Adler’s hope was to enlarge the surfing community in his small farming town. Since then, Moondoggies has become a local favorite and definitely made an impact on the surf culture in SLO.
When in Santa Cruz, you have to surf! Santa Cruz is one of the bigger surf spots in northern California.
Cowell’s Beach Surf Shop is known for introducing newbies into the surfing world. Aside from that, Cowell’s has boards to buy and rent which is perfect for vacation.
Surfing can be just a sport or hobby but for some, it’s a lifestyle so looking the part is important. No matter which surf shop you choose to go to, you will find everything you need or could want!
To help specify which wetsuit suits you best, check out this post!