Espo's Surf & Sport
2101 Montauk Hwy. Amagansett, NY 631-267-SURF
In an old wooden building that was used to store fishing nets in the 1930s along Montauk Highway, Espo's Surf Shop sits beside a row of colorful kayaks and an imitation wave with a surfboard perched upon it for a photo opp.
"He always has something new you haven't seen before," long-time customer Warren Emerson, 73, of Southampton, says of owner Jeff Esposito, 47. "It's fun to go in there and see what he came up with this year."
Emerson has been shopping at Esposito's various stores throughout the East End for decades, and says he has found everything from new styles in leather sandals to luxury beach chairs to the latest technology in umbrellas.
Always eager to help customers try something new, Esposito offers rentals, lessons and trials on all of his equipment. Customers can come into the store or call for drop off at their favorite local body of water.
"If you can stand up we can teach you to paddle board," he says, explaining that the popular sport is easy on the body and ideal exercise for all ages.
Espo's currently has about 200 surfboards in stock ($299 and up for adults and $99 and up for kids), and a special collection of vintage boards from the 1960s will be for sale this summer. The store is frequented by Alec Baldwin, Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Spielberg, Robert DeNiro and Julianne Moore.
Having the most innovative wetsuits has been key, not only to the store's profit but also to New York surfing in general, Esposito says.
"I can't believe how many more people are surfing in the past few years," he says. "It used to be something you could only do for a few weeks during the summer, but now you'll see people in the water from April to Thanksgiving."