Online Surf Shops
Your local surf shop may be a great place to hang out with fellow surfers, but chances are they have a limited selection of boards, clothing, and accessories from just a few brands.
If you want the best choice of surfing gear, online surf shops are the way to go. But which ones have the most competitive prices, best delivery options, and biggest range? I've surfed the internet, (using maximum restraint not to buy way more gear) to find the very best. Check out these reviews before you start shopping.
Yes, Rates Listed
Huntington Surf and Sport
Surf Shops Australia
The 4 Best Online Surf Shops
#1 Best Online Surf Shop Overall - Surf Station
Based in St.Augustine, FL., Surf Station is a one-stop-shop for a huge range of surf, skate, Stand-Up-Paddle (SUP), skimboard, and bodyboard gear with worldwide shipping options available. Their website is easy to navigate with clear listings and transparent shipping costs for all stocked items.
New And Used Surfboards
Surf Station's online store stocks boards from over 50 (yes, really!) different surf brands, including most of the biggest names in the industry. Firewire, Lost, Channel Islands, Pyzel, JS, Chilli, Takayama, HS performance boards, along with soft-tops by Wavestorm, Softtech, and Catch Surf are included, but they also stock boards from up-and-coming shapers and local favorites. The store also sells its own brand, Surf Station Surfboards, with surfboards
in both retro and innovative styles designed by owner Tory Strange. If all that wasn't enough, how about their huge selection of used boards, all checked for quality and condition and some of which have even been ridden by top professional surfers in competition.
Aside from the staggering range of boards, Surf Station is fully stocked with surf accessories and other gear. Wetsuits from O'Neill, Rip Curl, Excel, Quiksilver, and Buell will keep you cozy even in the coldest winter waves, while there are plenty of boardshorts and rash vests for those who, like me, are lucky enough to surf in more tropical climes.
If you're after fins, Surf Station has you well covered. A wide selection of FCSII and Futures sets are available and they've got loads of single fins to choose from for the longboard and retro crowd.
Clothing And Lifestyle
What surf shop would be complete without all the latest surf fashion? With dozens of clothing brands for men, women, and kids, you're bound to find something you love whether you're an avid follower of the latest trends or prefer to stick with your own style of surf wear.
The best thing about the clothing section of the store is they haven't just stuck with the big-name surf brands. Although you will find all the latest gear from famous surfing brands like Volcom and Quiksilver in the online retail store, other less well-known clothing labels have also been selected based on their designs and quality.
Location: St.Augustine, FL., USA
Delivery Available: Worldwide
#2 Best For Surf Fashion - Hansen Surfboards
Don Hansen, originally from South Dakota, moved out to the coast after being inspired by surf movies in the 1950s and never looked back.
He studied his craft under surf legends in Santa Cruz and Oahu before finally settling in San Diego, home of the now-famous Hansen Surfboards store.
Despite the name, surfboards aren't really the main stock-in-trade for the online shop.
Instead, it's become one of the best online shops for surf clothing and accessories, as well as stocking an equally impressive range of snow gear.
The selection of boards in the Hansen Surfboards online shop is fairly modest in terms of the number of brands/models available but there's still plenty of quality on offer.
Popular shortboards by Channel Islands, Lost, and Firewire (including the brilliant Kelly Slater Sci-Fi) are available in a range of sizes, whilst others can be ordered on request.
The store also has a wide range of surfing accessories including fins, traction pads, leashes, board bags, etc., so be warned, you might spend more on the site than you planned. There isn't a "Buy Now" button for the boards themselves though. You'll need to call or email the shop to confirm the required dimensions and finalize the shipping charges.
Clothing and Footwear
This is where the Hansen Surfboards store really comes into its own. Around 30 different brands of men's clothing alone vie for your attention and it's really easy to filter your search by brand, product type, size, and/or price. The boardshorts page has well over a hundred designs to choose from so the only difficulty is picking less than a dozen new pairs.
In terms of shoes, the focus is very much on beach style. Brands such as Olukai, Cobian, and Reef (Reef Fannings are my absolute favorites) have got the flip flop game well covered, whilst the offerings from Vans will suit those who love to skate as well as surf. If you're active all year round, check out the range of cozy winter boots by UGG.
Location: Encinitas, CA. USA
Delivery Available in: USA (Free for orders over $75). Elsewhere on request.
#3 Best For USA Surf Brands - Huntington Surf and Sport
Huntington Beach in California, home of the US Open of Surfing, is one of the most popular surf destinations in the mainland USA. It's not surprising some of the best surf brand shopping is found there too.
Huntington Surf and Sport is not only an iconic local retailer of clothes, surfboards, wetsuits, and accessories but also the original home of the Surfing Hall of Fame.
Although new inductions now happen outside the premises, the home of one of the best online surf shops in California still contains many of the original commemorative slabs.
Unlike the clothing, accessories, and surf life style products on their website, you can't order surfboards directly online from Huntington Surf and Sport.
The shop pages do list a considerable stock of boards that even rivals that of Surf Station in scope, but there are no images included, and purchasing inquiries have to be made direct. They also point out that the availability of certain models depends on on-site sales (the online stock list is updated weekly).
In terms of brands, a host of familiar favorites are included (Lost, Rusty, JS, Firewire, Channel Islands, etc.) and, unlike some of the other online shops, the list specifies exactly which sizes are currently ready to ship.
Clothing and Accessories
Huntington Beach being such a surf mecca, it makes sense for surf shops to focus on clothing brands that celebrate the California surfing culture. Huntington Surf and Sport have their own line of surf fashion, featuring quality tees, hats, singlets, and even sandals. In addition to their own gear, they are also an official stockist for the US Open of Surfing merchandise.
Overall, the selection of clothing in the online shop might not be as broad as some other stores, but the quality and style definitely show through. HS&S towels, blankets, mugs, and stickers are also available.
The wetsuit originated in California, and Huntington Surf and Sport stocks some of the best suits from local brands O'Neill, Vissla, Volcom, Matuse, and Sisstr. This approach of focusing on surf gear produced in California helps simplify their supply chain, meaning customers get big brand wetsuits at competitive prices.
Location: Huntington Beach, CA. USA
Delivery Available: Worldwide
#4 Best Surfboard Listings - Surf Shops Australia
Surf Shops Australia, a store focused on actual surf equipment, is definitely one of the best online surf shops outside of the US. The care and attention that their staff and management put into curating the products on offer really shows through, whether in surfboards, wetsuits, fins, or repair kits.
The online shopping options don't include a significant clothing section, although they do have your water wear covered with surf tees, rash vests, and boardshorts.
The main problem with buying boards from online stores is the difficulty of trying to work out exactly what you need without being able to see and feel the board and chat with the staff about the different models. However, Surf Shops Australia has put together the surfboards section of their website so well that it really feels as though you are getting all the information you require.
Whether you're after a Chilli high-performance shortboard, a Takayama nose-rider, or a Softech foamie, every board has a clear statement about what it does best and the level of rider it's aimed at right in the listing title. Surfers can even filter listings by wave size, and that's before even opening the full details page for the board you're interested in.
With loads of top brands to choose from and selectable options for fin-setup and glass thickness as well as dimensions, you can get exactly the board you need, including custom orders. There are even options to pay in installments using Afterpay!
While they're more focused on the actual hardware, Surf Shops Australia has a huge range of extras to round out your new surfboard package. Fin sets are available in FCS, FCSII, and Futures, including Single fins in each system for the longboarders.
No one wants to be losing their board, and with leashes from FCS and Ocean and Earth in a range of lengths you can make sure that's not likely to happen. For the surfer whose sense of fashion extends beyond their clothes to their board, Surf Shops Australia also has tail pad designs to complement any setup, being fully stocked with Ocean and Earth, Creatures, FCS, and Gorilla Grip pads.
If you come to the site looking for wetsuits, the shop site lists plenty of long and short-sleeved styles from brands like Excel, Janga, and Ocean and Earth.
Location: Coolangatta, Qld. Australia
Delivery Available: Worldwide
The Final Verdict
Each of these online stores has great surfing products at competitive prices. Although Surf Station probably has an edge overall in terms of range and versatility, the best shop to spend your money in depends on what you want and where you are. For example, I wouldn't recommend Surf Shop Australia for customers in Santa Cruz (unless your search for a specific product dictates it), since the Californian shops will be much cheaper and quicker once delivery is factored in.