Oak Street in Laguna Beach is arguably one of the top streets in town for folks who love to surf. Oak offers up not only a variety of fun waves out in the surf but also an increasingly solid lineup of surf-friendly merchants up above the shoreline.
Stand Up Paddle Co.
SUPCO is the new kid on the retail block this year and is owned and operated by the Donnelly crew, a longtime Laguna family. Tommy leads the team and is himself a longtime surf enthusiast and entrepreneur. The SUPCO shop is gorgeous with sweeping ocean views, huge saltwater fish tanks and reggae music pulsing through the surround sound speakers.
When I inquired about business, staff member Josh Ploptin said, "It's been a stellar season so far, with a great mix of folks shopping and taking lessons." Oak is a very surf-friendly location."
If you are in the market for stand up paddle boards, lessons or apparel, then SUPCO is a beautiful shop to check out. The service and selection are stellar with a friendly and knowledgeable staff ready to get you out on the water.
The shop is at 1099 S. Coast Hwy. For more information, call (949) 715-4530 or visit supcompany.com.
Another welcome addition the Oak Street orbit is Banzai Bowls Acai Cafe. Owned by longtime surfer and action sports wonk Joe Bard.
Joe jumped from surf retail when he and his wife shared an epiphany while driving up the California coast. It involved acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) blenders and surf-friendly environs. Voila! Banzai Bowls was born.
The first Banzai location is up in Costa Mesa and according to Joe has experienced great success. Now along with his wife, they are working on building their a niche here in Laguna.
"We make the best açai bowls on the west coast and amazing smoothies too! All natural fruit, organic juices, no sugar added, no ice added, no fillers. Pure deliciousness. Good and good for you!" stated Joe.
The place gets packed (especially around lunch) with surfers, students, health nuts and seemingly everyone else in town looking for a healthy, all-natural buzz.
Banzai Bowls is at 1100 S. Coast Hwy. Suite 106. For reservations, call (949) 715-8989 and check them out at facebook.com/banzaibowls.
CHRIS WILLIAMS is a surfing coach and Laguna Beach resident, and father of four surf-crazy sons. He can be reached through his blog, souladventuresinc.blogspot.com.