Santa Barbara is a flagstone in California’s surfing culture. Known for its epic surf breaks, The American Riviera® is home to several of the sport’s most accomplished athletes as well as some of the best surf shops in Southern California.
Whether you’re an advanced surfer making your yearly trip to SoCal or looking to get into the sport, here are four Santa Barbara surf shops that have everything you need.
Just around the corner from local favorite Dart Coffee Co. in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, Mollusk Surf Shop is a Cali-owned surf shop founded by San Francisco artist and watersports fanatic John McCambridge. While Mollusk primarily caters to surfers with a wide range of surfboards, wetsuits, fins and other surfing necessities, it also offers clothing, shoes and unique gifts for all types of people—including groms! Recently, the shop welcomed Santa Barbara Surfboard Roots, an eclectic art installation by Kirk Putnam. The installation showcases boards from Jesse Macnamara’s legendary collection, some of which date back to the early 1960s.
Since opening in 1969, Channel Islands Surfboards has grown from a small grass-roots operation to a renowned surfboard retailer. Today, the brand works closely with the world’s greatest surfers, like Tom Curren and Dane Reynolds, to continue perfecting its products. The store is in downtown Santa Barbara, next door to Santa Barbara Winery and Brass Bear Brewing & Bistro. Its inventory features a host of shortboards and longboards as well as hybrids and SPINE-TEKs, made in partnership with Shapers Australia. Not looking to fly home with a board in hand but still want to sport the brand? Channel Islands Surfboards also carries clothing, sandals, board bags and other essentials.
Tucked away at the corner of State Street and Cabrillo Boulevard, within walking distance of Stearns Wharf, Surf N’ Wear Beach House began serving the Santa Barbara surf community in 1962, opening their first store in nearby Summerland. Now located across the street from the Pacific Ocean, Surf N’ Wear is the exclusive dealer of Yater surfboards in Santa Barbara, making it one of the best places to snag a new board before a day of charging waves. The shop also offers soft top surfboard, bodyboard and wetsuit rentals as well as surfing lessons and products from well-known retailers like Billabong, Jetty and Rip Curl.
A short drive from downtown Santa Barbara, Surf Country is a full-service shop in Goleta, known by locals as “The Good Land.” Surf Country offers everything from ding repair and surf lessons to surfboard and gear rentals, apparel and accessories, and a public shaping room ($25 per board per day). The store also sells top-quality used boards, which are great options for those new to the sport or surfers on a budget, as well as apparel from brands like Reef, Haskells Designs, Goleta The Goodland and Body Glove.
Interested in trying out the sport before committing to gear? Find surfing lessons and board rentals in Santa Barbara. Or, take your love of surf one step further and learn about the rich history of surfing at Santa Barbara Maritime Museum‘s History of Surfing exhibit. From its Polynesian roots to its status as a modern professional sport, learn all about surfing through legendary surfer interviews, interactive panels and even by standing on a shortboard.
Rain in the forecast? That’s no problem in Santa Barbara, where you’ll find a wealth of ways to have a great time indoors—from sampling local flavors at winery tasting rooms and cozying up at matinee-movie showings to playing with cats and treating yourself to a massage or salt-cave meditation.