Encinitas Surfboards Co-Owner Marc Adams Shares The Future of Retail
Encinitas Surfboards, located along North Coast Highway, is home to Kies surfboards and has been a core retailer in the sleepy surf town since 1975. The shop, founded by Marc Adams and John Kies, prides itself on selling boards, along with its own clothing line, which has gained a following both locally and throughout the surf community at large. On the shop’s Facebook page, customers share their sightings of the brand in far away locales. One woman even says she got a discount in Hawaii at a restaurant because her son was sporting an Encinitas Surfboards hat.
Other than its popular clothing line, the shop is renowned for its surfboards, which are shaped by Kies who specializes in both long and short boards. The most popular shape by far, though, is the bullet, available from 5’6” to about 7’2”, says co-owner Adams.
We caught up with Adams over the phone to find out what a typical “day in the life” is like at Encinitas Surfboards, and where he sees the future of retail headed in regards to brick-and-mortar versus e-commerce.
What is your favorite surf movie?
Pacific Vibrations, it’s an oldie.
Are you guys working closely with any local businesses?
Yeah, kind of. We deal with a couple different restaurants where we display our surfboards in there. It kind of helps the ambiance of the restaurant.We have them in Hapi Fish in Encinitas and Pacific Coast Grill down in Cardiff.
Kies boards are based out of your shop, what is the best selling shape?
There are two different categories, our long board category, which is really popular, and then our short board category which is also really popular. The one that is the most popular is the bullet. We make that anywhere from typically 5’6″ up to about 7’2″.
What’s been one of the most memorable days at Encinitas Surfboards?
It’s hard to say. As far as business goes, a few years back about two or three days before Christmas we had one of our best days as far as sales. There was probably five of us working which is pretty good in this size store because we’re about 1,500 square feet. That stands out as a day you really won’t forget. But upside of that there’s a lot of just killer days where it’s sunny, the surf’s good and you get a good session in before work. We get all our sales reps coming in which are all good friends and we deal with stocking product and talking story with them in the process and just doing biz so there’s lots of those days.
Anything you’re looking forward to for the rest of the year?
Going to Cabo. A little vacation time.
Where can we find you on your lunch break?
Probably in the store eating leftovers (laughs). If there is a place that I’d probably go occasionally, that would be Hapi Fish, which is about a block north of us on the west side of the highway and they’ve got awesome food there.
What is the percentage of goods sold online vs. brick and mortar?
We sell way, way, way more in the store compared to online. Maybe two percent of our sales are online. It’s very small compared to what we actually do here in the store. The online is growing by leaps and bounds compared to two to three years ago. One of the gals, Merit, that works here has rebuilt our online store a couple different times and it looks really really good. She’s done a great job. Our sales have probably quadrupled since she’s done that.
If you could choose any artist to write a theme song for Encinitas Surfboards, who would you choose?
Probably Tom Petty.