What started off as a small business in the side bays of an Amoco gas station in St. Augustine has now become a booming surf chain in the Northeast Florida beach town. In 1984, 20-something and local surfer Troy Strange had a friend help him purchase a gas station and started what is today Surf Station. The original shop, which was operated simultaneously with a full-service gas station, started out carrying Fox Surfboards, Sundeck baggies and Windsurfer sailboards, according to the Surf Station’s Web site. Today, Surf Station has three locations in St. Augustine, including a board outlet store and a successful online shop that ships at least 30 boards per month nationwide and internationally to countries such as Israel, Australia, Denmark and Sweden. The main shop – a two-story, 5,500-square-foot space – offers a wide range of surf and skate boards, wetsuits and apparel brands. We caught up with General Manager Shelley Tincher recently to find out what’s been selling at Surf Station.
BEST SELLING CATEGORIES
The entire second story of Surf Station’s main shop is dedicated to surfboards, according to Tincher, who says that the shop easily stocks 800 to 1,000 boards at any given time. Local shapers such as Josh Autrey, as well as Warrior and Canibal surfboards, can also be found among nationally recognized brands. “We carry a pretty wide range of boards but it depends on the season,” says Tincher. “In the summer, we carry more fishes and small wave boards and going into hurricane season we’ll carry those that can handle bigger surf.”
Surf Station is also the home of Channel Islands’ East Coast Warehouse, and it goes without saying that the brand outperforms others in the shop, says Tincher. Lost and Placebo Rockets have also been successful at Surf Station.
SKU:Channel Island Wizard Sleeve
“We sold eight this week and are shipping one to Israel,” says Tincher of this board. “This one is popular because it’s the newest and latest.”
2. Men’s Apparel
“We like to think we carry a pretty wide array of brands,” says Tincher. “We carry bigger surf brands, but we also support the less mainstream brands like Matix.”
Gabe Kling and Zander Morton, two local surfers who ride for Surf Station, are also sponsored by Matix, which has only helped spur the popularity of the brand at the St. Augustine shop, according to Tincher. Volcom has also sold well at the shop recently.
SKU: Asher Hoodie
Matix denim and the Asher Hoodie are always top performers for the shop as soon as the cold weather sets in, Tincher says.
“We are going into that season right now,” says Tincher of wetsuits sales. The shop carries everything from O’Neill to Rip Curl to Xcel, and this year have even taken on a few new brands, such as Quiksilver and Patagonia.
Xcel is always the number one seller at Surf Station, but the West Lotus and O’Neill Guru have also been performing really well, according to the GM.
The Infiniti is consistently a best seller at the shop, says Tincher, adding that suits with front zippers do much better than others.