Eden Havel | News editor
January 11, 2022
On the corner of Del Mar, with doors wide open, the sound of Jack Johnson’s “Better Together” ringing louder as you inch closer, and the ambrosial smell of surfing wax collecting at the entrance, Hobie Surf Shop is arguably the most beloved surf store in California. Since 1954, this store has been adored by thousands of surfers, hikers, families, friends, and people looking for a bathroom. Holding the top beach brands, most innovative and experimental surfing designs, and an atmosphere guaranteed to brighten the day, Hobie Surf Shop is the truest embodiment of surf culture in Southern California.
“Hobie is my favorite store—it’s so beachy and gives the best vibes on Del Mar,” sophomore Annalise Zobrist said. “Hobie is by far the place you want to go to to get yourself some cute beachwear.”
The little surf shop started in the Phil Edwards’ garage when he began designing surfboards to make an income. When his father grew tired of the strands of balsa wood all over the garage, he agreed to donate $150 to help Edwards establish his own shop in 54′, just two blocks away from the one in use today. Many of its regular customers, in their authentic classic Hobie T-shirt and sandals, are overcome with nostalgia at the memory of purchasing their first surfboards at this exact location when they were children. It has truly become an anchor in the community of San Clemente and a welcomed beachwear stop to thousands from all over the world.
Alex Perez, a supervisor who has worked at the shop for almost four years described his joy at being able to call Hobie his home. “I was beyond stoked when I got the job!” he said. “Working at the shop has become like a family to me. We’re such a small little store with a strong bond between our coworkers.”
“Hobie isn’t just a place to go shopping, but also a place to meet new people in the community,” store supervisor Lia Gallina said. More often than not, this location is a place where people come and meet up, sit and have conversations, run into old friends, and befriend the employees who work there. “I’d say that Hobie is a place that generates a lot of friendships between employees and customers. I’ve also noticed a lot of friendships blossom between the customers themselves,” Gallina added.
That connection is one of the most notable experiences customers have enjoyed from their time shopping at this historic location. Each shopper is pleasantly startled by the enthusiastic “Hi, welcome in!” within their first few steps in the doors.
“For me, it’s being able to interact with the community on a daily basis. Being able to meet and hold relationships with so many different kinds of people makes it super fun,” Assistant Manager Mason Klink said, explaining what he is most grateful for from his job.
“I love Hobie so much,” said freshman Lileigh Isaac. “The people there are so welcoming and it’s such a good place to shop for beachwear!”
Just blocks away from the beach, in the most charming town in Orange County, with the best brands and customer service they can provide, Hobie Surfshop is always worth a visit. If you’d like to check them out or support their business, follow them on Instagram @hobiesurfshop or stop in at 167 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672.