Almond surfboards occupies a pint-sized building off of 17th St, and is filled with some big hearted employees. Almond began back in 2008 when Griffin Kyle, shaping for himself at the time under Bruce Jones, and David Allee, decided they should open up a surfboard shop. Almond was plopped out on Old Newport Blvd in ’09 for a couple of years until making its way down onto PCH. Stonks went down as the ’09 economic crash hit, while the surf and outdoor sports industry got a different treatment, allowing these two young guns to keep ripping when it’s “2 Feet and Firing”. You can pop in to Almond at (certain) hours of the day, depending on the waves, and feel nothing but acceptance from Cole Latham, a nice lady named Erika, and some dude named Jeff (who I honestly have exchanged 2 words with, but have heard he’s a great guy).
Bugging Cole while he was on his computer one day, the conversation on Almond’s history illustrated a shit ton of pride fueled from details like being a locally built brand with materials that are some of the best you can get your paws on in addition to carefully crafted surfboards that will last you a lifetime (unless you snap it, then you’re f*cked). There's no good reason to miss this shop. If you like good company, pop in and say hello.
I asked each of these winners some of the best questions they’ve gotten asked before… here are Almond's.
Larry: “Alright so what size sword goes with this bad boy?”
Cole: “That’s a tough one dude you’ve gotta let me know how big this dragon is your slaying.”
Surfside is an absolute staple to what a surf shop in California truly is, and even beyond to these 50 damn states (redneck accent). Every wall is covered in eye candy from surf to skate to snowboarding and everything in between. You can find any brand you’re looking for and then some. They have something for every person, in any style. They've even got a grand stock of something to nestle your little Kahones into with Stance’s Buttermilk Boxers. These things are like silk.
PJ Steiner Frothing As Always
Team Rider and Newport Ripper - Ty Burgess
Right down the street from the other contender, Almond Surfboards, inhabits this grand central station of everything you’d imagine a surf shop to have. Birthed in 1992 right on the beach at Blackies, Surfside made a name for itself before making the move up the hill to where it resides and thrives now. They were one of the first stores to carry Von Zipper and Volcom, so if you’re a fan of those guys… hey, there’s a little fun fact you’ll probably you won't find anywhere else.
They’re the biggest snow hub of Orange County and wear it proudly, with a magazine of boards to match. They’re like a candy store of surf and skates… I need a diaper change because I think I just shit myself from giddiness. From Kelly Slater’s signed 25th annual ‘Eddie Would Go’ contest Jersey on the wall, to the plethora of socks, shoes, frothy employees, and everything in between, you'll feel a part of this world unlike any other- surfer or not. The culture, the laughs, the style, and the creativeness that pours out of this place is contagious. Every employee absolutely rips and can talk for hours with you about any surfboard model imaginable. Surfside is threatening you with a good time so get in there soon.
Larry: “You guys have basketballs or footballs in here?”
“I’ve seen some people trying on wetsuits inside out and backwards, just lost in the Chinese finger trap they put themselves into…. Had Kolohe Andino in here asking about booties, pretty sure he was definitely fucking with me.” - Ty Burgess (Surfside employee)
“People ask me all the time if we sell f*cking Jack’s Surfboards sweatshirts.” - Pj Steiner
“You guys have any wife beaters?” - Tayler’s been questioned about… while possible wearing one underneath his shirt…