Bob Pearson, renowned shaper and owner of Arrow Surf, recently got a rude surprise when Jake Finley, his store manager for the past seven years, announced that he was leaving Arrow. Finley is heading back to school to become a certified Paramedic.
But with six weeks’ worth of warning, Pearson — and Arrow — should get through this transition period just fine.
Santa Cruz is divided along East Side, West Side lines, and when it comes to the West Side, Arrow is about as ‘core as the come. The shop may not have some of the spit and polish of rival shops across town, but it has that air of authenticity that’s sometimes lacking elsewhere.
According to Finley, Volcom is currently the hottest brand, but the store’s sales mostly rely on hardgoods. Yep, here’s a surf shop that actually names surfboards as the one category that contributes most to the bottom line. Wetsuits, leashes, and traction are also big sellers.
Of course, the shop has it’s share of softgoods, with O’Neill, Counter Culture, and Quiksilver all represented — along with Rip Curl wetsuits. In the girls department Roxy and O’Neill hold court, and the sales counter is lined with sunglasses from Von Zipper, Oakley, Spy, Black Flys, and Smith.
While Finley is transitioning out, it’s a sure bet Arrow will do just fine — too many West Side surfers call it home.
**** Just The Facts Ma’am ****
Window Brands: Volcom, Rip Curl, Quiksilver
Major Display Brands: O’Neill, Counter Culture, Volcom, On A Mission
Strongest Category: Surfboards
Weakest Category: “I dunno,” muses Finley, “wakeboards?”
Bests Rep(s): Justin from O’Neill and James from Black Flys
Hottest Brand(s): Volcom (But hardgoods constitute the bulk of sales).
On A Scale Of 1 to 10, Rate:
Health of the surf sales: 8.5
Health of girls sales: 8.5
Health of men’s apparel sales: 10
Health of wetsuit sales: 10
Health of footwear sales: n/a (Arrow Surf doesn’t carry footwear)
Health of surfboard sales: 10