Long Island bred Billy Joel, not the Beach Boys, and more months are spent in boots than in flip-flops. But that doesn't mean the surfing culture skipped our shores.
From laid-back Montauk to bustling Long Beach, dedicated surfers and skaters have opened shops filled with boards, bikinis and beach accessories -- whether you're raring to hit the waves or just want to hang loose in that effortlessly cool surfer style.
"Long Island has such phenomenal natural resources," says Lars Svanberg, owner of Main Beach Surf & Sport in Wainscott. "Sometimes, we need to just unplug, go to the beach and feel the sun."
We couldn't agree more. Here are some shops to hit before you dig your toes into the sand.
--Compiled by Nina Ruggiero
Main Beach Surf and Sport
352 Montauk Hwy., Wainscott
Across the street from Georgica Pond is a two-story shop stuffed with kayaks, canoes, surf boards, skateboards, paddle boards, bicycles, waterproof cameras, sunscreen, swimsuits, sporty clothing from Columbia and Patagonia and anything else beach-bound families could need. In addition to door to door (or door to beach) deliveries, Main Beach offers lessons, rentals ($30 per day for boards and bikes, around $100 for boats) and adventure excursions that include paddling out to a destination for a bonfire and lobster bake or wine and cheese party ($25-225).
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Espo's Surf and Sport
2101 Montauk Highway, Amagansett
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. Owner Jeff 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. 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.
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Bunger Surf Shop
50 E. Main Street, Babylon
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.
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2487 Main St., Bridgehampton
Montauk-bred skateboarder Lennon Ficalora, 26, and his brother Marley, 24, opened a store dedicated to the skater/surfer lifestyle in 2011. They started with stocking the store with brands from Australia, California, Washington and other small companies. But in the last year they have started to focus on their own brand, making Wampum T-shirts, hats, board shorts, sweatshirts and jackets.They even make their own skateboards ($160-180) and screen print T-shirts designed by artist Charles Ly ($30) in-store. A selection of skateboards shows off the work of other local artists, and they stock Adidas skate shoes ($65-75) and a collection of tanks ($30-40) and printed hats ($20-40) for women.
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Sundown Ski and Surf Shop
2726 Hempstead Tpke., Levittown
Sundown has four locations on Long Island, primarily known for ski and snowboarding gear. But in the summer months the Levittown location boasts towering surfboards ($159-$1,200), skateboards ($79.99-$219), boogie boards, bright snapbacks, wet suits and Tommy Bahama beach chairs. For the guys, there are Rip Curl tanks and skater shorts, and for the girls, colored denim, crochet tops and fringe bikinis. The store also has a wide selection of Reef, Rainbow and other top sandal brands.
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3224 Long Beach Rd., Oceanside
Dave Juan and Mike Nelson opened hot lifestyle brand Quiksilver's only Long Island storefront in Oceanside in 2011 and it has become a destination for surfers, skaters, snowboarders and style-savvy beachgoers ever since. The store sells Quiksilver-owned brands Roxy and DC, and has a large selection of clothing for guys and girls. They also sell surfboards from Hawaii, California and Australia ($550-$1,000), wet suits, surfer booties, repair equipment and skateboards ($100-$250).
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Unsound Surf Shop
359 E Park Ave., Long Beach
Opened in 1997 by longtime surfer friends Dave Juan and Mike Nelson, Unsound Surf Shop keeps up with the latest surf and boarding trends. They sell surfboards, wetsuits, skateboards, clothing and footwear. The shop's services include surfboard repairs, surfboard rentals, surfing lessons, and surf photography and video sessions.
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Long Beach Surf Shop
70 W. Park Ave., Long Beach
After superstorm Sandy destroyed his store, life-long Long Beach resident and owner of Long Beach Surf Shop Luke Hamlet took the opportunity to give his 15-year-old shop a whole new look. He also re-stocked with brand new surf boards from top surfing destinations (sold for $400-1,200 and rented for $40 full day or $25 half day), skateboards and surfer-chic clothing and accessories, from board shorts and bikinis to beach bags and sunglasses.
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Also check out:
Flying Point, Bridgehampton
Rvc Surf and Skate Shop, Rockville Centre