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The surf shop experience
Selling everything from high priced surfboards and swimwear to inexpensive stickers and sunglass straps, the surf shop is an iconic and cultural staple of any popular, funky beach destination. In a beach city as big as Jacksonville it certainly should be no surprise to see so many surf shops. Simply walking in one gives you a sense of casual coolness, even if you don't know the first thing about hanging ten. Here are a handful of surf shops to sample during your Jacksonville vacation:
The two-story, glass-fronted Aqua East Surf Shop in Neptune Beach is the city's largest and most distinctive. In addition to selling surfing accessories and merchandise, Aqua East also operates a surf school and rents watercraft like a boat, kayak or Jet Ski.
Sunrise Surf Shop in Jacksonville Beach is another favorite of local surfers.
Heading to Huguenot or the Talbot Islands parks? Fort George Surf Shop makes for a convenient pit stop.
Even if you're hanging out west of the Intracoastal Waterway, stores like Quicksilver Board Riders and Core can be found inside local malls.
Some surf shops are located in modest, funky stand-alone buildings like Austin's in Jacksonville Beach.
Others, like the national chain Waves can be found in shopping plazas.
Certainly Jacksonville's smallest surf shop has to be the Secret Surf Shop, tucked in a sliver of a storefront in the popular pedestrian district of Beach Town Center. While it may be small, its location means surfers and surfer wannabes can literally walk off the beach, into the store, and back out to the surf all in a short walk.
What to buy: Surfboards/boogie boards/wake boards
Surf wax and accessories
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