Freshness Curated: 10 New York Surf and Skate Shops

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Skateboarding may have been born on the Left Coast, but California no longer holds dominion over the sport. New York City has had its own skate culture for decades now, and like many aspects of the Big Apple, skateboarding in New York is self-contained, distinct from any other part of the country, let alone the Tri-State area. (Sorry, New Jersey.) It’s a matter of geography, aesthetics and, most importantly, attitude. The corollary is authenticity, which is forever at a premium in NYC. Independence and a rebel attitude make skateboarding a natural fit for the concrete canyons of the city, and the shops that have sprung up throughout New York reflect that maverick spirit.

That verisimilitude is just as true for New York’s surf shops, which are following their skate brethren in carving out their own identity. The urban surf culture is new but it’s real, and it’s growing every year. Never mind the naysayers; take a reprieve from skating and hit the waves once the mercury starts to climb. Californians have been doing it for generations. It’s New York’s turn, and like with most things, the city’s residents will do it in their own style. Freshness presents a list of New York City’s essential surf and skate shops to service all the city’s needs, whether it’s gear, apparel or kicks.

Produced by: Dan Hwang

DQM

Freshness Curated: 10 New York Surf and Skate Shops

DQM was founded in 2003 by a NYC skateboarder, Chris Keefe, and the shop has proudly stayed true to its roots. Its product offerings include flagship sneaker brands and an in-house line of apparel and accessories, but at its heart, DQM is the archetypal local skate shop. And like any great neighborhood business, the store reflects its surroundings. In the case of DQM, that neighborhood just happens to be Manhattan’s Bowery district, the former home of the legendary CBGB and the one-time epicenter of the NYC counterculture. While DQM has since expanded, with an additional New York location and a door in Boston, both operating under the General name in collaboration with Vans, the original shop proudly continues its original mission.

7 E 3rd Street

New York, NY 10003

Tel: +1-212-505-7551

Hours: 11:30 am – 7:30 pm

www.dqmnewyork.com

Pilgrim Surf + Supply

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It’s a safe bet that the coterie of surfers who call NYC home already know about Pilgrim Surf & Supply, which opened in early 2012 as the latest retail venture from Chris Gentile, the mastermind behind the late and lamented Mollusk. With a flagship store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and a second location in Amagansett, Pilgrim is something of a one-stop shop for all your urban surfing needs. Casual visitors looking for a cool T-shirt or swim trunks to lounge on the beach will be happy with the selection, as will the novice wave rider hunting for a new wet suit. The staff is tanned and knowledgeable, and there’s even a ding repair service for damaged boards. The vibe is 1950s California, which just may end up becoming what workwear was to Brooklyn four years ago.

68 N 3rd Street

Brooklyn, NY 11249

Tel: +1-718-218-7456

Hours: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm

www.pilgrimsurfsupply.com

Aegir Boardworks

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Named after the Norse God of the Sea, Aegir Boardworks opened its doors in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood in April of 2012. Owners Peter Frolich and Shaun Tangen, both surf and snow-sports enthusiasts, built the shop on a converted loading dock, with a layout created by designer Justin Etienne Wootton to give off a distinctively industrial vibe. While the physical setup is an homage to Brooklyn’s old iron works past, the performance goods housed within are resolutely modern, featuring a balanced mix of both major brands and indies. Visitors will find surfboards to handle the biggest swells, as well as snowboards to carve the freshest powder.

99 Water Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Tel: +1-347-987-3825

Hours: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm

www.aegirboardworks.com

SHUT

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Founded in 1986 by a renegade band of skaters hanging out in Washington Square Park, SHUT is New York City’s first skateboard company. It started out as something of a guerilla operation, as the skateboarding industry was strictly confined to the West Coast. Instead of pools and ramps, the city’s hard concrete streets served as the team’s playground. Decks had to be tough to endure the gritty surfaces, and they were designed, shaped, and pressed by an association of passionate riders, all proponents of a particularly rugged East Coast brand of skateboarding. Nowadays, SHUT’s storefront on Orchard Street shares space with the company’s design studio, and the helpful staff will talk shop with both beginners and experts alike, offering decks, wheels and bearings, along with racks of tees emblazoned with the SHUT logo. Wear them with pride.

158 Orchard Street

New York, NY 10002

Tel: +1-212-420-7488

Hours: 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm

www.shutnyc.com

Dave’s Wear House

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Founded by the “Dave” from the store formerly known as Dave’s Quality Meat, Dave’s Wear House is nestled in an unassuming street in Chinatown. Founder Dave Ortiz maintains a retail operation that reflects his extensive personal history in BMX and skateboarding. Underneath glowing neon signs, customers will find Zoo York decks and Etnies shoes, as well as apparel offered at rock-bottom prices. The objective here is to supply shoppers with the stuff they need every day, blissfully free of any consideration of what’s cool right now. Which in itself is the kind of cool that New Yorkers can appreciate.

123 Baxter Street

New York, NY 10013

Tel: +1-212-334-1958

Hours: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

www.daveswearhouse.com

Labor Skateboard Shop

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Like many of the best retail undertakings, Labor grew out of frustration on the part of the owner: Milwaukee native James Rewolinski opened the skate shop because he couldn’t find a wide selection of unique boards in NYC. He set up shop in Chinatown near the Lower East Side, and over the past few years Labor has experienced rapid growth, building a loyal customer base by specializing in obscure and harder-to-find brands. The 500-square-foot space — formerly the home of a Chinatown bus operator — is fairly bursting with decks and hardware from 5BORO, Hopps, Polar, Magenta, Welcome and Snack, along with the requisite tees, hoodies and skate shoes. Rewolinski characterizes New York as an unbridled frontier in street skating, and his shop has cemented itself in the still burgeoning scene.

46 Canal Street

New York, NY 10002

Tel: +1-646-351-6792

Hours: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm

www.laborskateshop.com

KCDC

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Located blocks from the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, KCDC was founded way back in the fall of 2001, making the shop something of an institution in the insular NYC skate community. And community is just what KCDC has fomented, featuring a well-lit, open space that cultivates a welcoming vibe. Consequently, all types walk through the front doors, ranging from curious tourists to decade-long regulars. Sadly, the mini-ramp of the store’s original location couldn’t make the trek to the new digs, but regular events, including art shows and video premiers, maintain the store’s close ties to the local skate scene, while its extensive product offerings keep customers coming back for more.

85 N 3rd Street #118

Brooklyn, NY 11249

Tel: +1-718-387-9006

Hours: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm

www.kcdc.com

Homage Brooklyn

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This Cobble Hill store embodies the ethos of the neighborhood skate shop: Homage has partnered with the city to build a skatepark at the Thomas Greene Playground, and also sponsored various annual community skate events and fundraisers over the years. Owners Michelle Sauer and Jose Portes even run a successful skate academy at their private training facility. The vibe at the shop is friendly and distinctly un-intimidating, with staff giving the same treatment to beginners and experts alike. Homage doesn’t just sell goods and services to patrons; the retailer is fully integrated within the community.

64 Bergen Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Tel: +1-718-596-1511

Hours: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm

www.homagebrooklyn.com

Patagonia Bowery Surf Shop

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After a series of Sandy-related setbacks, California-based Patagonia opened its Bowery Surf Shop in late 2013. Housed in the location formerly occupied by CBGB, the storefront was developed using local surfers as a resource, so that the prevailing ethos was authentically New York-minded. Similarly, the physical trappings of the space was kept intact, including the exposed beams and wood flooring of the original space. The inventory, meanwhile, features Patagonia’s renowned wetsuits, along with a full range of surfboards that include single-fin logs and the brand’s hard-to-find Fletcher Chouinard Designs line of epoxy boards, handmade in Ventura, California. Aside from the hard and soft goods, the shop offers a repair service, as well as a remodeled alleyway in the back that will function as a site for community events. The shop figures to be nothing less than the future hub of surfing in New York City.

313 Bowery

New York, NY 10003

Tel: +1-212-228-2514

Hours: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

www.patagonia.com

Belief

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Twin brothers Raffie and Phil Gordon, along with James Collins, noticed that Astoria didn’t have a skate shop of its own, forcing area skaters to cross the river to Manhattan for their hard goods and gear. They decided to fill the area void and set up Belief Skateshop in 2010, and the store is now a top destination for skaters from all five boroughs. Aside from selling the requisite decks and hardware, Belief stocks a stellar house line of apparel. The shop also hosts skate events and contests, and offers skateboarding lessons for both individuals and groups at the Astoria Skate Plaza.

2401 29th Street

Astoria, NY 11102

Tel: +1-212-226-5476

Hours: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm

www.beliefnyc.com