CCS is one of the bigger names in action-sports retail. It’s right up there with Jack’s, Ron Jon, and Val Surf. It used to be the moniker for both the retail shop and the huge skate/surf/snow mail-order business, but now it’s been shelved in the annals of the board-sports world, according to John Whisenand, skate buyer for Central Coast Surfboards.
The CCS storefront (now known as Central Coast Surfboards) and CCS mail-order (now California Cheap Skates), which were one time under the same umbrella, are now independently operated. But the split has allowed Central Coast Surfboards to fine-tune its offering and better service its in-store customers.
The shop is a mini museum of surf memorabilia. There are endless Surfer magazine covers framed on the wall, along with a number of glossy prints of nameless mysto Central Coast spots with perfect peeling waves and only a couple guys on it. Hardgoods are pushed to the back of the shop, while footwear and clothing take center stage.
The former CCS mail-order alliance is still reflected in the shop — at least sales-wise. He may be slightly biased, but Whisenand says skate is the strongest category in the downtown SLO store. The huge footwear selection accounts for a big dose of that skate business, according to Whisenand, with the Sole Tech brands and Osiris taking a big chunk of the sales.
But it’s not all skate and footwear at Central Coast Surfboards. Apparel is also big. Throughout the shop there are big POP display stations of Quiksilver, Split, Volcom, and Billabong. On the men’s side Volcom and Hurley are the shop’s top brands, and Whisenand notes that denim sales is growing across the board. For Juniors’, Volcom, Hurley, and Roxy are the hottest brands — the shop is blowing out of Hurley’s Lowrider pants. Overall, Whisenand estimates that the shop is split 65/35 between apparel sales and hardgoods sales.
Whisenand notes that Jim (Ezekiel) and Scott (NHS) are Central Coast Surfboards’ best reps.
**** Just The Facts Ma’am ****
Window Brands: Rip Curl, DC, Osiris, Etnies
Major Display Brands: Quiksilver, Split, Volcom, Billabong
Strongest Category: Skate, Footwear
Weakest Category: Swimwear (but big in the summer)
Bests Rep(s): Jim (Ezekiel), Scott (NHS)
Hottest Brand(s): Volcom, Hurley, Roxy
On A Scale Of 1 to 10, Rate:
Health of the surf sales: 9
Health of girls sales: 8
Health of men’s apparel sales: 7.5
Health of wetsuit sales: 7
Health of footwear sales: 10
Health of surfboard sales: 7