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Surf shop is about quality over quantity

A popular Aussie surfboard line of 30 years is now making history in Laguna Beach.

Nirvana Surfboards, whose mission is to produce high-quality surfboards for surfers opposed to mass-quantity boards for shopping malls, recently opened a flagship store at 912 N. Coast Highway.

“We have a lot of history and soul, and we’ve learned from the best and most talented [surfboard shapers],” said shop manager Dylan Marschall. “What sets us apart from other lines is that we don’t try to pump out 300 boards a season, but try to make quality boards that people want to ride. We’re excited to now get Laguna locals on them.”

The brand, which specializes in shortboards but also makes fish and longboards, carries predominantly its own branded high-performance boards, clothing and accessories in addition to West wetsuits, Matunas wax and other miscellaneous surf items.

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Owner Larry Bischmann said the store also supports the Laguna community by promoting and selling local art. In the future, he said, he wants to involve his store in the city’s First Thursdays Art Walk.

“We’ve got some fantastic original surf art by SoCal painters and sculptors,” he said. “We hope to promote more artists at future Art Walks.”

Laguna resident Alrik Yuill’s bronze surf rider sculptures and surf paintings by Brian Banash and Josh Serafin are among the artist collections on display.

Nirvana was established in New South Wales in 1971 by well-known shaper Bill Cilia, who created the first board with pal Alf Jeffries.

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“The boards became extremely popular in Australia in the 1980s and ’90s, but didn’t really expand into the global market until recently,” Bischmann said.

The boards are now ridden by several team riders around the world, including Andrew Mooney, who was voted the 2008 “Free Surfer of the Year” in Australia.

Nirvana Surfboards also plans to sponsor a film about Hawaii’s North Shore, which is expected to come out later this year.

Nirvana is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

For more information about the shop, visit www.nirvanasurfboards.com.



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