The St. Augustine Issue

TALES FROM THE PUMP

Matt Titone

A collection of stories from the world’s greatest surf shop.

Moose Huerta

In the late 90’s before most of us were on the internet and well before social media, we somehow all knew that The Surf Station hands down had the best Longboard Team on the East Coast.

At the time I’d say it was the East Coast version of Mitch’s in La Jolla. It wasn’t just local guys like Dagen McNally, Josh Autrey and Matt Davis; there was Mark Codgen, Stephen Slater, and Eric Peters from Central Florida​. Mark and Stephen would come up and part of their sponsorship was that Tory would let them fill their car up with gas in order to get back home.  Could you imagine a gas sponsor? I’m not quite sure the youth of today know how hard Tory ripped / rips and how much he and The Surf Station contributed to East Coast surfing. Being a part of that team in the 90’s was also being a part of a primordial soup that helped shape the 90’s longboard revival. Tory Strange and Claude Codgen were the chefs stirring the soup making sure it was right.

Matt Titone

Jimmy Wilson

I spent my entire childhood going up to hang out at the shop and the employees were a hardcore crew of surfers who ripped at surfing and also intimidated the shit out of us.

This is people like Jason Hadjis, Tripp Turner, Tooffy, Dagen McNally, etc. They allowed us to hang around, but if we ever got out of line they would deal out “red bellies,” a discipline tactic in which we were held down on the floor and smacked repeatedly in the stomach. This would happen if we were rude to a customer, left trash around, or just generally annoyed them to a certain level. Usually it wasn’t so bad, but depending on the crime, I’d seen tears from a few groms. One time there was a contest at Middles during a huge Nor’easter with the water temp dipping into the upper 40’s. I was terrified paddling to the outside and started to have an asthma attack. I ended up catching a wave in to get treatment and lost the heat to my sister Kristin. I was warned the next time I came into the shop I’d be getting the worst red belly of my life. I held out for an entire week, sitting at home doing nothing, while all my friends carried on with their normal lives, before finally coming to the conclusion that I needed to just take my punishment and get it over with. As soon as I walked in the door, Tripp broke out the Rainbow sandal and whipped my stomach until I was nearly bleeding. It was the worst anyone had ever seen, but I didn’t cry and learned that paddling out when the waves were big was a lot less scary than facing the dreaded Rainbow sandal.

Tory Strange in front of the largest shop inventory of surfboards on the east coast Julien Roubinet
Matt Titone

Zander Morton

In 1994 my family moved from Atlantic Beach, 45 minutes north of St. Augustine, into a house just down the street from The Surf Station.

I was nine years old at the time—obsessed with surfing—and I was excited that a surf shop was walking distance from my new house. But I was a really shy kid, so it took me a few weeks to work up the courage to visit for the first time.

One day I called the surf report, a number I’ve now memorized for life (904-471-1122), and heard the voice on the recording say that if you come in the shop before 8 a.m. and mention you called that morning’s report, you’d get a free bar of wax. I told my Dad, and he encouraged me to jump on my bike and go. While the idea of walking in all alone terrified me, I gathered the courage and nervously set off. 

As I pulled open the door, heart racing, thinking about how to ask about the free bar of wax, a friendly voice welcomed me inside, and my fear quickly melted away. Scott Calvin, a St. Augustine legend and Surf Station OG, was the one working that day. I’m pretty sure he could tell I was nervous and new to town, so he went out of his way to make me feel right at home. In fact, he spent an hour just talking story with me that morning, and by the end of it, invited me to go surfing with him and Brian Hornung in the state park when he got off work at 2:15 that very day. I was ecstatic! I knew right then The Surf Station was about to become an integral part of my life.

Fortunately, my parents allowed me to go surfing with Scott, and he was impressed enough with me that he drove us back to the shop afterwards to introduce me to the owner, Tory Strange, and told Tory he should sponsor me. On Scott’s recommendation, Tory sponsored me right there on the spot. Two shirts and free wax for life! When I went home that afternoon to tell my parents, I was shaking with excitement. I’ve had a lot of amazing days in my life, but that one will always rank up there with the best of them.

From that day forward, and up until I moved to California in 2011, I spent as much of my time as possible in The Surf Station. I spent more time in that shop than anywhere else in my life, maybe even my own home. It’s not a stretch to say I grew up there.

As a grom, I’d just hang around and soak up stories from Scott and Brian, as well as Bob Mosley, Tripp Turner, Tom Kiernan, Rob Fulmer, Moose Huerta, and so many more. They took me surfing and also kept me in check (I’d get red belly grom abuse for being a wuss in the water and wearing rollerblades into the shop). I also met my heroes, locals like Gabe Kling and Jeremy Creter, and superstars like Rob Machado and Kelly Slater, just by hanging around. If the guys working ever got sick of me, they never showed it. When I was 15, Tory finally gave me my first job — a job that I cherished and kept for the next 10 years. In fact, I’d typically show up early, just to hang and chat with everyone until I clocked in, and then I’d also stay in the shop after my shift ended. And that’s really the most telling thing about the vibe Tory created with The Surf Station. What other workplace would you spend just as much time hanging in, as actually working? All of my friends worked at the shop. All of my friends hung out at the shop. If we were ever looking for something to do, it always started and ended with The Surf Station. It was our Sandlot.

It’s no secret that St. Augustine has produced a ton of talented individuals that have transcended sleepy St. Augustine to do big things. Gabe Kling, Jimmy Wilson, Ryan Miller, Jake Burghardt, Dustin Miller, Jason Woodside, Lauren Hill… those are just a handful of the homegrown people crushing it in surf, media, art, film, etc. And that’s not to mention all of the talented folks out there that first came to the Oldest City to attend Flagler College. Nor is it even close to a comprehensive list.

What do all of these people have in common? Besides a lot of inherent skill? The Surf Station. They all spent varying amounts of their formative years in the shop. And while I’m not saying The Surf Station is the reason for their success, it undoubtedly helped influence and inspire them along the way.

Personally, I attribute a ton of the success I’ve had to Tory and The Surf Station. The shop — and everyone in it — helped shape my early life, and ultimately, my career. And I’m forever thankful for that.

Matt Titone
Matt Titone

Russell Brownley

Working at the Surf Station was not only one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, but also an amazing place for me to interact with one of my favorite surfing communities in the world: St. Augustine.

Whether it was chaperoning some of the local legends (Zander Morton, Jeff McNally, Jeff Logan, Jacob Hamilton) at a young age to Costa Rica alongside Bo Strange, the brother of Tory Strange, or just hanging out at the shop on a Sunday afternoon. It was much more than a job, it was being part of a culture. I grew up in Virginia Beach, a massive navy town with too much going on. I went to St. Augustine for college, I loved the quaintness of the city immediately and was accepted with open arms by the amazing community there. Surf Station was a huge part of that for me. I worked alongside 15-year-old Jimmy Wilson, who went on to be one of the most successful surf photogs in the world. In fact, so many influential figures in the surf world have worked at the shop at some point. So much of the inspiration that I received when I was making surf films came from standing on the stairs at the shop, studying VHS surf films on the television. I was able to justify it as working because I still had a view of the front door if anyone came in! Since my time at Flagler College and living in St. Augustine I have gone on to travel and work in more than 70 countries as a filmmaker. That said, St. Augustine is still one of my favorite cities on the planet and I get so excited every time I get to go back. It truly is an amazing cultural gem in the middle of Florida. It makes me so happy every time I go back to visit and see how the locals have made the city into something that is better than anywhere else in Florida, or in the southeast for that matter. Just seeing what Jeff has done with Floridian, or even Jacob Hamilton with his landscaping business and nursery. People have so much pride in that town and I love it. At the end of the day, they all spent their time at the shop at some point or another.

Shannon Waller

I moved to St Augustine from Jacksonville in 1999 to attend Flagler College and Surf Station was the coolest place to be in the oldest city.

Coming from Jax, the Surf Station had a reputation as the best surf shop in Florida. I remember walking in for the first time and being amazed at how many surfboards they had for sale, and especially their collection of Channel Islands boards. It was the best vibe of any surf shop I’ve ever been around. We would always go just to hangout and see who was working because we knew everyone that worked there. It was pretty much the Flagler College surf club. One of favorite memories was the Single Fin Ho Down contest they would put on at Ponce Inlet. I believe the first one was in 2001. Most of of us weren’t competitive surfers so it was the first time many of us had been in a contest. We spent the entire day on the beach watching heats, rooting for our friends and sharing laughs. It was awesome to see all the different boards that were surfed. Some were new, but most were older vintage boards shaped by some of the most iconic East Coast shapers. I had a 6’6” dark red Dick Catri single fin from 70’s, it was a magic board and pretty much everyone I know caught a wave on it at some point. At the end of the day we all got event t-shirts. It was — and still is my favorite shirt of all time. Kevin Lewis ripped and won the Ho Down that year.

Matt Titone

Jeff Wright

Growing up in Jacksonville I was obviously always around water and got hooked on surfing at age 8. My first board was a hot pink with blue trim Local Motion that Santa bought from the Surf Station.

The years following I became a devoted customer to the store. But it was much more than a store, it was a place to meet up with friends, exchange fishing/surf spots, or to grab some Nalu’s, Jerry makes a mean burrito in that little stand in the parking lot. But more than anything it was a place that you could let loose and just be yourself.

The Surf Station is known for having an extremely talented team of surfers, and when I finally gathered enough balls to apply for a job there, I was extremely nervous. I was never a great surfer, kind of have a weird stance, and my fingers do this weird formation when I’m concentrating apparently, but I would soon find out that as long as you were honest and could take a joke, the community at the shop becomes your family. The father of the family is a man by the name of Tory Strange and he was just that, a great leader and role model for all of us degenerates.  Tory is the definition of character, he would always try to steer us in the right directions. You are either “Jammin” or not as said by Tory. He has been a staple in the St. Augustine community and has done so many great things for the youth.

I have so many great memories from that special little shop, but the ones that stick out the most were always the kookier folks that would come in and try and get the “family discount”… “Hey man, can I get that Tony Strange friend discount?” or “Yeah, I know Toby, I get the discount Bro!” Always classic, no one ever got his name right.

The Surf Station is a staple of St Augustine simply due to its employees and owner, they are the salt of the earth type that would always make you feel like one of the crew, even if you weren’t the best surfer, and for that I will never forget those guys and gals. I now live in Los Angeles and its been about 15 years since I have worked there but the relationships I made are just as strong if not stronger than ever. Guys like Tom Kiernan, Cullen Traverso, Ryan Ripko, Zander Morton, I could go on and on, but the point I’m trying to make is that you can buy a board from a lot of places in Florida, but you will never find another surf shop like The Surf Station.  

Matt Titone

Ryan Riopko

Terry Nails. TN is an entire story on his own. And they have already written a few, i.e. the Juice Mag article and various parts in different documentaries.

It’s amazing he made it to this present time. The guy has done everything that would kill most normal people. And he did them all in one lifetime. It’s fucking crazy; you should look him up. I bring up Terry because he was a shop staple. He was ALWAYS there. ALWAYS had a story. And ALWAYS wanted to talk, more to you but you wanted to listen. And when you needed to say something or had something on your mind he ALWAYS knew it. Terry is a special human and talked me off the ledge of stupid and angry a few times. TN was like your own personal Buddha… and oddly enough, similar shaped. He was just another one of those reasons where you were like, “I need to run up to The Station real fast.” I know all this now. But for the first year or so before the articles and documentaries were out, TN was just that guy who cut people off while surfing — not out of spite but because he doesn’t have great vision. And he could talk all night at the shop with the most unbelievable stories. Endless stories. Dogtown this, Boys that Ozzy here, Tommy Twotone there, Hells Angels this, Heroin Drugs Rock and Roll etc, etc, etc. Way too many fucking stories to be true, from one (alive) person. Then one day we were chilling upstairs on the board box at the top of steps. That’s where you used to always sit because you could see all the way to the front door downstairs from there and you could listen to TN tell stories. TN doesn’t work the floor. He would always tell us how he knows Alva and Adams and damn near everybody. So this day I look downstairs and sure as shit Tony fucking Alva walks in by himself looking like a transient. Which is funny because I see him pretty often working at Vans; he always looks like that. Before I could get the words, “um Alva just walked in” out, he looks up and sees the side of TN’s head. Stops in his tracks, turns his head sideways… mind you this is looking up to the second floor where we are… and goes “Is that Terry Nails?” To which I lost my fucking mind and the legend that is Terry Nails really started for me. I don’t think I ever didn’t believe TN, but I had my doubts. That day in the shop I realized I had been hanging out with a living legend, everyday. That’s the thing about Station. Shit like that happened there fairly often. Pretty sure TN and Alva left the shop to go record music and he didn’t leave town for like 2 weeks.

Matt Titone

Back when The Deuce (AKA Surf Station II) reopened I was worked down there managing that shop. It was my first real job there. So I went down to Crescent Beach to manage and was the dude who was cleaning rentals and sweeping sand… in solitude… all day… everyday. It was pretty fucking mind-numbing. I remember I made a door chime out of a bunch of spare metal screws and bolts and whatever would jingle when hung around a Sticky Bumps Wax jar lid. It worked like a fucking charm. The building was an old house so I would go back in the back corner board room. You couldn’t see it from the front door and could take 5 on the regular. I kept a broom back there to walk out like I was sweeping the floor. You could sweep that floor all day long and there would always be sand somehow. Those were back in the “extremely Volcom” days of Volcom and we were trying to make some noise to draw some attention down at The Deuce. So we had this bright idea to have (then pretty unheard of outside of Volcom and Jackass style realms) ASG play a show in the parking lot. Tory didn’t really care what we did he was just pumped that we were doing something down there to hype up the shop. Tory was always down for events, always. He was the man for that. So that day it was typical Florida: hot as shit and intermittent Forrest Gump rain. Surf Station 2 had this rinky-dink screened in awning area on the left side of the building, like a huge screened in outdoor room. We were like, fuck it, let the band play in there (like it helped at all). And it was metal framed in a thunderstorm. Standard Florida. Long story short, it was a fucking shit show. There was this old iconic dive hole next store called Pomar’s back then that sold beer to-go and greasy bar food. I think a couple people from in there stumbled over from the noise, all of us and our friends and ASG were there. So like 15 people. I almost got fired. Dudes were doing drugs in the bathroom, Pomar’s finest were trying to steal shit out of the shop; no one showed up, no one cared. It was awesome.

Matt Titone

The Treaty Park Trifecta. When Vinton Pacetti was done with the skate shop at Treaty Park and the contract needed to be picked up, Tory did what he usually does when it comes to his community. He and Shelley stood up and fought to take it over. Sure he thought he could turn a profit there which helped but if you look back Tory always does shit for St Aug and the youth, always. And he didn’t turn a profit, it was a fucking mess, but he didn’t give up. When we first took it over a bunch shit heads who will remain nameless that wanted some of the other interests to get control of the park made life hell. Shelley and Tory had numerous nights driving way the hell out to the park to meet the cops because someone had smashed a window or robbed the joint and the alarm was going off. It sucked, sometimes skaters are like that though, passionate as hell, especially if they think they are getting screwed. Like I said before Tory was always down for events. Always. So I came up with this idea to run a skate contest series through the summer. To show the kids we cared, and wanted to grow skateboarding, not control the park. Make it better. The idea was use our contacts to collect promo and a couple brands kick in some cash. Tory threw down the additional cash to make a price purse and we ran a three contest pro/am points based contest series for the summer. The Treaty Park Trifecta Series. Turns out no one had been doing shit for skateboarding lately and Tory was the only one that was like lets do this. It was exponentially bigger than I planned. Everyone sent so much product it was crazy, the prize purse doubled, people were just stoked someone was trying to do something. Ryan King from at the time Flatline Skateboards brought his whole team. Their friends came and so on and so on. It was incredible we got all the pros in N.Fl there, tons of kids, sponsors brought their teams for demos. All three events it was crazy the skating was insane. It changed the environment there, I honestly don’t think it ever turned a profit haha, but people for the most part stopped fucking with us. Just another thing Tory and The Surf Station helped fix. Also I need to mention none of this would have happened without the help of Shelley Tincher. While I had good ideas I had little self control. We got hammered partying the night before the first stop of the series with the guys in town for the contest. Slept through my alarm, or didn’t set one, whatever. Shelley was there on time and set up my shit with the help of the groms. Restructured the event for us shitbags sleeping through call time so no one would miss their spots, and got the event underway before I even showed up. Shelley is a God, and I’m very thankful for the time I worked with her because it also created a lifelong friendship. I see Shelley and Chris Tincher and their son Ethan every time they come out West.

Matt Titone

The shop is built basically in the salt marsh, it backs up to protected state park swamp land. At one point the land behind Station got dangerously close to going away, so they built a huge bulkhead back there…who knows if there was a permit. Pretty sure there wasn’t for the dump truck loads of Minorcan Concrete we filled in the bulkhead with to create basically a back yard behind the shop. Only problem was one of the dump trucks backed over the septic tank, it crushed the lid and fell part of the way in lifting the front wheels off the ground. A dump truck in the septic tank. Keep in mind there used to be a Subway in this building and it used to be a gas station so the shitter holder is probably the worst thing you could ever unearth. It was for lack of better terminology, a shit show. We had to shovel out by hand wheel barrel loads of minorcan concrete to make the truck light enough for the giant crane to lift it out. A crane big enough to lift a dump truck was big enough to stop all lanes of traffic in front of the shop for 10-15mins. Pretty sure the kicker on this story was it was a Saturday and we didn’t have a permit. But I could be off on some facts haha. There was a metal plate over the tank for months following that.

There are tons of little shit stories but of all the ones I’ve milled through these last two weeks those are the ones that stand out to me. The rest aren’t coffee table material — some are really just you had to be there moments.

Having said all that I can’t dive back into Surf Station memories without writing about this. Like anywhere you work it not always peaches and creme, especially after 10 years. I definitely had my ups and downs there, Tory and I fought like family sometimes. But that’s because he was — and is like family. Tory watches so many people grow up and become adults its crazy to think of.

When I first moved to St. Aug Tory’s sister Dannette Olson used to work at the shop running the books. Danny was the best. She was the total opposite of Tory which is why they worked so well together. She was tough as nails, fiesty, and didn’t take shit from anyone. She also liked to have a good time, much like us. If you were close with Danny she was like your Mom, that you wanted to go have drinks with. There is no way Surf Station would be the place it is today without her. There is no way I would have made it past 3 or 4 years there without her. She constantly stopped me from walking out when Tory and I would gridlock. She would always tell me how she would get me raises T didn’t want to give me. Danny was the best. John Comee and I were probably the closest with Danny during those times as far as shop guys go. Tory would never let us all go get drinks together, it was frowned upon. We were all wild, Tory knew it, it was bad news. There really isn’t a specific story here but I tell you all this because I miss Danny very much and I’m crying my eyes out right now typing this. Without Danny there would be nothing written above and that matters a great deal to me. I never got to have that drink with Danny. After she passed away at her reception at Conch House where we used to joke about going if we were allowed to, my license for whatever reason wasn’t in my wallet. I hadn’t taken that thing out of my wallet practically ever. They wouldn’t serve me a beer. I’m convinced to this day that it was Danny that somehow worked that ID out my wallet. Her last joke, thats the kind of person Danny was. John Comee bought me a beer and we cried.

Tory Strange Julien Roubinet

Gabe Kling

When my mom was still pregnant with me, my older brother was learning karate across the street from when Tory was first opening the Surf Station.

He used to tell my mom that he was gonna sponsor her new kid someday. So I always tell people that I’ve been sponsored by Surf Station since before I was born, which is pretty awesome. It has been my best and favorite sponsor ever since — and led to all of my other sponsors over the years. Everyone who has worked here in the past, ridden for the Surf Station team or works here today feels like they’re part of a family. It’s a tight knit group. Tory has always taken good care of everyone. When I was little, Tory would always take me to contests when my parents couldn’t, he’d buy me lunch, give me rides, etc. I remember going to this one contest up in Jax Beach and I told Tory that I was just going to get a ride home with an older friend who could drive instead. We stopped to get lunch and I was ordering all this food at Burger King. When they told me how much it was, I was just like “What? I don’t have any money.” That was my first little realization of how much Tory would hook it up for me. No one else was gonna buy my lunches.

Matt Titone

John Comee

So there was this one time, a rattlesnake in a pillowcase ended up in the main entryway of the station.

We never had a dull day at work as every combo of guys working on any given day was an absolute shit show. Due to the fact the station was originally a gas station, Tory, with all of his brilliance kept the beer and concession licence active as he made the switch from standard gas station to the not so standard Surf Station. This kept the influx of characters passing through only to claim they knew “Troy” in hopes that they may get a discount on their favorite adult beverages. The stories never stopped and the weird people kept coming. This one day, I must have been out picking up lunch for everybody, I can’t remember, but what I do remember is walking back in as Johnny Barclay was holding a dang pillow case with something heavy at the bottom of it. Apparently some homeless looking guy walks in, asks Johnny to take care of his pet snake for a few because his taxi driver wouldn’t let him bring it in the car — imagine that! Apparently he told Johnny he would be right back. Yeah, sure. Throughout the day, things were a bit tense, to say the least. It felt as if we all had a weight on our shoulders. It was a bit more serious of a day than we were all accustomed to, maybe slightly due to the fact there was a rather large venomous beast inside a soft, comfy, cozy pillow case adorned with My Little Pony prints as if to whisper, come cuddle me. It felt as if we had a crazed wild man with a gun under the counter that at any moment could snap and machine gun everybody in close vicinity. NOT GOOD. As the ever-growing realization that this snake’s dad wasn’t coming back, we turned to Johnny. What the hell were you thinking?! What the F&*k do we do with this thing. A sense of panic now dropped down on us all. Seriously, what do we do with this thing!!?? Call the cops? Call the animal control people? Ooooh, the Alligator Farm is right across the street! Call them! NO. Let’s let this devil snake go in the swamp marsh behind the shop. Right behind the snow cone lady’s trailer, that at given moment there could be a dozen or so children anxiously waiting their snowy hot pink treat. Not sure whose bright idea that was, but as a bunch of teenagers with Red Bull and surfing addictions go, it seemed like the most legit idea of them all. As years passed, and the shaved ice lady graduated to the front of the station parking lot and Nalu’s tacos moved into her space, there were tales of a large dangerous looking serpent sunbathing on the brick pavers under the picnic tables. Every time someone would speak of this beastly serpent, the ones of us that knew would just shrug. There was also a time that some construction was going on behind the building that the worker guys were stepping on all these lil baby rattlesnakes. It seemed infested back there. I always wondered if those were the spawns of the Satan snake back there… And lastly, many many years later as the St. Augustine amphitheater which is only a stones throw, was nearing completion, they management caught an 8’ long rattlesnake that was apparently as thick as a paint can back there… Kinda makes you wonder.

Tory Strange Julien Roubinet

Tory Strange

There are so many shops that are all about the dollar. That’s not us. All of our guys here are nice, friendly people and are experts in finding the right board for every type of surfer who comes through our door.

That’s something I pride myself in: our knowledgable staff combined with a huge board selection to back it up; they compliment each other. That’s something the internet can never replace.

Matt Titone

Tom Kiernan

I chased after a guy once who stole a six pack of beer — Surf Station has to be the only surf shop in the world that sells beer by the way. Anyway, he dropped a can, so I threw it at him. He got away though.

Matt Titone

Sunny Stevens

It all started around the mid 80’s and I was barely a teenager when the shop opened. I was pumping gas up there in the day when we did full service. The pumps went away over the years, but the shop continued to grow in size and inventory. Gas was less than $2.

It all started around the mid 80’s and I was barely a teenager when the shop opened. I was pumping gas up there in the day when we did full service. The pumps went away over the years, but the shop continued to grow in size and inventory. Gas was less than $2. Before Surf Station was Windsurfing St Augustine. Windsurfing was a big part of it in the beginning — I was doing windsurfing lessons & rentals at salt run in the state park. Also surfing rentals and beach stuff at the state park beach ramp — the entrance… back when you could drive on the beach down there. We had a great skate scene from the start and past managers were actually pro skaters and surfers alike. We had a huge 8 foot tall halfpipe (that came apart into 3 pieces) in the parking lot — it was so rad! Also the wall ramp we had that went to the top of the billboard was so sick — some pro actually 50/50’d it. Oh man, did I take some grom abuse from the older guys. They made me earn it every day! I remember being held down on the front bench while the other guy whipped me with a fiberglass (windsurfing sail’s) batten… that was hated. Even worse was the time they held me down as I was eating a candy bar and put Wild Bill’s toes in my mouth. He was the ding guy and that is a whole different story. As the years went on Tory & crew taught me how to surf, wind, tide, swell direction, etc. Having two inlets framing over 30 miles of shifty sandbars from the walkovers to marineland has been a dream after so many groundswells, hurricanes, & northeasters. I was also lucky to meet a few girlfriends at the shop in my younger years! Always a cool collection of people around the surf shop. We have had so many local surfers support The Surf Station & represent the St. Augustine surf culture in general over the last four decades, that it is an honor to be a small part of this journey. From a Big Competitive push on both the Amateur & Professional levels, to classic surf trips, and also epic free surfing performances for decades. Our surf team has always been cutting edge. This local St. Augustine surfing culture spans well before the shop came around. Funny story is back in the mid to late 60’s my mom was one of the first female surfers on the island living on 2nd Street. She laughs because she literally could not get her board to the water without an assist from somebody. The next several years would see the shop be at the cutting edge of internet, sales, marketing, & digital media in the late 90’s and right up to the mid 2000’s. The business grew bigger than we ever could imagine! Now we are all a bit older and a new generation of rippers is being groomed to carry the torch not only for The Surf Station, but for the St. Augustine surf scene and culture in general. We have always wanted to represent well for our local beaches, surf shops, & St. Augustine as our home town. Now we enter a new stage for the shop where our online presence will drive revenue growth and support the entire operation, we are embracing newer approaches and remaining open to change. We know we must be at the tip of the spear with our inventory, selection, & online user experience. It certainly has changed since we were doing 976 surf reports from pay phones on the side of the road. Internet & cell phones changed the game for better or worse permanently. We have still been able to remain core and focus on hard goods & good surf related products for our entire history of being open.

This article was originally published in our St. Augustine issue and was made possible with the support of  Vans, Design Within Reach, and Flexfit.

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Check out some rad new hand shaped boards by Joel Tudor, Dylan Graves, Lee Ann Curren and Justin Quintal at the Vans Duct Tape Festival in St. Augustine September 20-22nd. You can even take them out for a spin yourself at the Surf Station!

Lauren Allik

Lauren is a graphic designer, ice cream enthusiast, and extreme hobbyist.  Originally hailing from a small beach town in Florida, she moved to California to attend USC and never looked back (except to miss Publix Subs and warm water). Currently, Lauren resides in Santa Monica and splits her time between designing for ITAL/C and freelancing. When she’s not designing, she is drawing things, surfing backside, skating bowls, talking to old people, or eating ice cream on Sundays.

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