Surf’s Up! | Morning Chat with VB Surf’s proprietors

In the rapidly changing landscape of Venice, a place that has seen its old haunts torn down only be replaced by brand names, our beloved art and surf community continues to shape it’s personality. What remains is an overwhelming desire to be rooted in this place and those that stay are are determined to ride the wave of the vibrant character of old Dog Town mixed with an evolving commercialized mongrel.

WELO had a morning chat with VB Surf ( Venice Beach Surf), proprietors of the newest Venice SURF shop, to find out how being new really means staying old…

1). Why did you decided to open up this surf shop in the state of this transitional time in Venice?

I’ve wanted to own a surf shop for years and had always been keeping an eye out for the right opportunity.  Finally things just lined up right.  I have lived in this neighborhood for a long time and really appreciate the people and culture.  The shop happens to be a great way to help give back and support Venice.  It just so happens to be a time when Venice needs it the most, given the sudden surge of increased rents and chain commercial stores making their way in.   We are aiming to support the community, charities we believe in and local brands, artist and craftsman.

2). What inspired you the most upon designing this store?

Well, at the center of it all is the love for the ocean and wanting to help people enjoy it more.  I joined forces with a local designer to bring my ideas to life. The colors we used remind me of diving in to the ocean, looking out at the horizon and seeing the colors fade dark to light. The reclaimed wood we used are what I like to call “California Warm”. We took these ideas and made them our own, still Venice and still modern with a little bit of vintage thrown in.

3). Who are your all time favorite surfers?

I would say my favorite surfers in the past have been Greg knoll (da bull) charging surf at that time they didn’t even know if they could survive it, but still charging.  Just imagine, huge surf, no leash, then swimming for your life if you lost your board. Really being a part of the ocean!  And my friend Tim Sullivan; I call him T2.  He is so smooth – he turns paddles twice, pops up and rides until the waves meet the shore. He is a great person and so fun to just watch him surf.

4). Venice has seen so many changes in the past couple years.  How do you feel it will affect your clientele?

That’s totally, true.  Well, I think that it presents a challenge to be able to sell products that speak to the so many different kinds of people.  I want to sell things that my neighborhood friends need to keep getting into the water everyday as well as provide awesome new things that people have not yet seen.  And maybe they were created right here in Venice…. and manufactured in downtown LA.

VB Surf owners David Boren, Michelle Raff along with design and operations team Nate Occhipinti and Kati Cesareo carefully curated products that are environmentally conscious, as local as possible, mindful and real. A collective belief in supporting the local community, bringing awareness to small local brands, craftsmen and a destination for all ocean lifestyle essentials.

Located @ 38 Washington Blvd. corner of Pacific Ave. ( in the Marina Peninsula shopping center off the Venice Pier).

Hours: 10am-5pm Wed- Sunday http://vbsurf.com

About the author

If it's one thing Mikki loves about her Venice neighborhood, is the house party culture and she throws one mean house party. If she's not planning the next gathering, she is whipping up batches of her organic lip balm. you can probably catch her riding her bike, attending a yoga class, checking out the music scene, or planning an adventure with her hubbie. Check out her latest discoveries on her blog The Sage Press http://thesagepress.wordpress.com/

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