Bunger Surf Shop
50 E Main Street Babylon, NY 631-661-1526
Charlie Bunger, a surfer who made his own boards, opened his shop on Babylon's quaint Main Street in 1962, and it has been a town staple ever since. The store, now run by his daughter Theresa and sons Charlie and Tommy, is divided into two parts, one dedicated to sport and the other to style. Colorful surfboards, skateboards and racks of wetsuits and rash guards in all sizes line the walls to the left, while bright Billabong tanks, Reef sandals, Rayban sunglasses, Roxy bikinis, Hurley board shorts and sporty watches round out the right.
Tommy has followed in his dad's footsteps as board maker, and he'll customize upon request ($375 and up). While the store ownership has transcended generations, so have its customers.
"We have a lot of fathers come in and say, 'I bought my first surfboard and now I'm buying one for my son,'" Theresa says. "It's become really popular with the girls, too."
Mindy Renner, 35, of Babylon, said she has been shopping at the store since high school. Now she shops with her young son and daughter, who excitedly dig through the rash guards and check out the skateboards. "Everyone loves the Bunger's," she said. "When these guys are old enough, they'll join the surf camp."
They host a weekly camp on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer at Gilgo Beach for kids ages 7 to 17 ($350 per person), and have started the Bunger's Surfing Foundation with hopes of opening a museum.
"Surfing is a lifestyle," Theresa says. "It's good for kids because once they have their stuff they don't have to pay or organize a trip like snowboarding. They can just head to the beach."Hours: Monday 10am-6pm Tuesday 10am-6pm Wednesday 10am-6pm Thursday 10am-6pm Friday 10am-8pm Saturday 10am -6pm Sunday 10am - 5pm