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Visit the Surf Shop Exhibit

Visit the Surf Shop Exhibit

A new exhibit in Orange County tells the story of these beloved beach town institutions
Posted 5 years agoby Katrina Hunt

September 20 is California Surfing Day—a holiday decreed by the Golden State last year, when surfing was also named the official state sport. You could spend that day catching a wave yourself, or watching the experts—or, you could hang out in a surf shop. The exhibit “Temples of Stoke: A Celebration of Surf Shop Culture” recently opened at San Clemente’s Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC), and it salutes the classic shops that played a major role in cultivating California surf culture.

After all, if there’s any location, beyond an actual ocean wave, that so embodies the surfing world, it would have to be a surf shop—the place where surfers choose their boards, chat with staffers about surfing conditions, and pick up the necessary gear (wax, suits, really cool t-shirts) that complete the lifestyle. The Orange County organization invited 22 California surf shops to install “shrines” for the exhibit: photos, memorabilia, and artifacts that illustrate each shop’s unique story, and how it played into the beach town it serves.

Walk through the geographically arranged exhibit and you’ll first learn about the pioneering