San Diego Retail Tour: Encinitas Surfboards

Encinitas Surfboards
Encinitas, California

If you drive along the San Diego coast on any given day, you’re likely to see an Encinitas Surfboards logo. There’s an armada of SUVs and station wagons in the county that rock the shop’s private-label surf-rack pads, which flaunt the “Encinitas Surfboards” logo.


Owner Marc Adam can spot racks a mile away. “We were driving back from a session at The Ranch and I was laughing because I could see one of our pads on top of this car that was going the other way on the freeway,” Adam recalls. “And we were up in Santa Barbara!”

The free publicity has paid off. Adam says the sales rank a ten out of ten. He says his shop has been “unscathed” by the slowing economy. Still, Adam admits the weather — not a lack of surf — played a role in the shop’s slower-than-normal spring.


“If we would’ve had better weather, our business would have been better,” says Adam. “Good weather’s more important than good surf for business. Surf is secondary.”

While there are major displays from Quiksilver and Reef, surfboards are the shop’s focus. The entrance of the store leads customers directly into the shop’s surfboard collection. Co-owner John Kies is the primary shaper (he’s shaped more than 15,000 boards), but the shop also sells Surftech longboards and boasts a formidable section of used boards.

A long wall of O’Neill and Rip Curl wetsuits complement the surfboard section. Adam says O’Neill wetsuits outdo Rip Curl in sales, but both brands combine for a good chunk of the shop’s business.


While trunks sales are lagging, Adam reports good sell-through on O’Neill and Quiksilver apparel — the shop’s top clothing brands. Reef sandals sell well year-round.

Window Brands: Rip Curl, O’Neill, Billabong, Reef, Quiksilver
Major Display Brands: Quiksilver, Reef
Strongest Category: Hybrid surfboards, Encinitas Surfboards soft racks
Weakest Category: Surf trunks
Strongest Brands: O’Neill, Quiksilver
Best Reps: Mike Burns (O’Neill), Dave Taxer (Rip Curl), Stephanie Stock and Doug Harley (Reef)

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