Want a trip down memory lane while you are on the Gulf coast of Florida be sure to check out Suncoast Surf Shop in Treasure island. From the moment you pull up to the front door of this sea-blue cottage, smiles, service and surf/SUP boards are everywhere.
I dropped by this week on a blustery morning trying to catch a bit of flatwater training before an approaching storm. In moments I had an 11 ft rental board, paddle and life jacket. The Gulf was choppy and the wind was coming in from the southwest for an upwind paddle for about 40 minutes.
The sleigh ride back to my start point was fast-fun. Some sweet thigh high waves topped off the paddle, great fun in warm water with no wetsuit is always a treat for this Oregonian.
The Suncoast Surf Shop started back in 1966 when no other surf shops existed in the St. Petersburg, Florida area. Owner Joe was going to be an airplane mechanic, only they sent him home to get a haircut, never to return, hence the new job, surf shop owner. Suncoast started with $300, a few surfboards, 12 tee shirts, a bottle of red wine and some surfboard stickers. In the 60s things were a little different.
The icon t-shirt design you see on the left commemorates 50 years of serving the surf community. The design was from a 60s photo of Joe sitting on the front step of the ol’ shop, with a few boards leaning around, and a sign that read: “Surf equip and weird posters.”
Now the lineup of boards inside fill the upstairs loft. Be sure to take your time heading up the stairs. Surf posters and memorabilia fill the walls and a lot of the ceiling. So many surfing legends have passed through the shop it’s tough to name them all.
The welcome mat is always out and there’s always someone to “talk story” with – enjoy!