With its enormous selection, E.T. Surf—in L.A. County’s Hermosa Beach—is absolutely out-of-this-world. The store’s initials don’t stand for “extraterrestrial,” though, but rather shop founder Eddie Talbot, who began the business in 1972 after working for legendary big-wave rider Greg Noll (who had his own shop, until 1971).
Today, the Aviation Boulevard shop, a bit inland from the beach, is quite literally packed to its wooden rafters with pretty much anything surfers and non-surfers will need. Time Out Los Angeles described the shop as “two stories of controlled chaos,” but a friendly, attitude-free staff will guide you through the labyrinth. There are endless flip-flops, from the likes of Olukai and Rainbow. Skateboard decks line the walls in one section, while surfers can climb past vintage pictures on a veritable stairway to heaven to the board room of their dreams.