Industry News 11/10/2015

B$Z:HSS to Add Channel Islands, Hurley and Volcom Flagship Store; Pierside Pavilion Rebranded as HSS

Huntington Surf & Sport's one-of-a-kind surf shop continues to redefine the specialty retail experience.  Arguably the busiest and most influential surf shop in the world, HSS's downtown Pierside Pavilion location is building a bigger and better Huntington Surf & Sport; one that features Channel Islands, Hurley and Volcom flagship stores along with the largest inventory and best selection of hardgoods in the entire surfing world.

The latest chapter in HSS's ongoing evolution comes amidst a name change for the iconic Pierside Pavilion, which sits across form the Pier on Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach.  The newly rebranded Huntington Surf & Sport Building, renamed after its largest tenant, will undergo a $10,000,000 renovation.  The building improvements are expected to stoke out the visitors and locals to Huntington Beach.  

"We are pouring our Love for our Sport of Surfing into the foundation and the walls of the new renovation,” said HSS’s Aaron Pai.  “We are building a Bigger and Better HSS!  You will be stoked!  Thanks to everyone for believing in us!"

The all-new flagship stores (within the store) for Volcom, Hurley and Channel Islands underscore the influence of Huntington Surf & Sport which is considered by many in the surf industry to be the epicenter of the surf biz world.  "We want to thank all the Surf Industry and all the Surf Brands, customers, friends and family for all your support! Brands like Hurley, Volcom, Vans, Channel Islands, Salty Crew, ROARK, RVCA, O'Neill, Reef, Billabong, Quiksilver to name a few," said Taylor Pai.

HSS’s senior owner, Aaron Pai, is a fully stoked local surfer who was born in Hawaii and learned to surf at Waikiki before moving to Huntington Beach and becoming a hard-core local pier rat. That was the roots and motivation for him to get into the surf shop business. 

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is Huntington Surf & Sport’s 37th year in business.  

Today, the business is a totally family- owned & run operation. His daughter Ashlyn is a major help behind the scenes and his sons Trevor and Taylor Pai are in charge of running HSS.  Trevor and Taylor are some of the hottest chargers on the coast and Aaron still rips big time.  They all love surfing Tavarua, the Mentawais and their home break of Huntington.

The Pai Family owns four Huntington Surf & Sport stores. But it's the one on the corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, directly across from the famed Huntington Beach Pier, that matters most. While it's arguably the busiest shop in the world, it's undoubtedly the most influential. This is because every industry leader considers the Pai's Surf City locale as the showroom floor of our entire industry.  Every surf brand wants to be in that shop.  

Huntington Beach sees some 15 million beach visitors every year.  According to the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce, the intersection of Main and PCH is one of the busiest in Southern California: some 50,000 cars pass by HSS each day, and pedestrian traffic nearly equals that.  Plus it is home to the world’s largest professional surfing competition which draws more than 500,000 attendees annually and is held right across the street from HSS.

It's no wonder the floor space in their shop is the most prized in the industry.  For start-up companies, be they in clothing or hard goods, nabbing space in the Pai's store marks the arrival of your brand.  Shop owners from around the world make pilgrimages to the Pai's store for inspiration for which the crew has won five SIMA Retailer of the Year awards.  

While there's no shortage of established competitors nearby, it's HSS that captures the essence of the surfing culture at its retail best.  The Pai family remains surfers, first and foremost -- authenticity can't be ordered with the spring line.  Aaron, Trevor, Taylor and Ashlyn are out to redefine (yet again) the surf retail experience and do so with a passion and love for the sport of surfing that is unmatched in the industry.  

HSS remains true to the essence of surfing with a great variety of the top-of-the-line surfboards and wetsuits available on the sales floor.  There's even a coffee shop called Java Point, which is adorned with historical photos from eras gone by; roots mixing easily with fashion.  For years the store has supported the Huntington Beach High School surf team and local rippers from Jeff Deffenbaugh to Brett Simpson and Courtney Conlogue.  

And among the Pai family’s most heartfelt achievements is the Surfers' Hall of Fame, a surfer's version of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.  Annually, tens of thousands of visitors walk among the hand and footprints of legendary surfers from Kelly Slater and Laird Hamilton to Sean Collins and Lisa Andersen.  "In this world of fake and imitation, we give you real, genuine, organic, grass roots surf,” said Aaron.  “We believe surfer owned surf shops are the best…and we are surfer owned!”  For Aaron, Trevor, Taylor and Ashlyn, sport isn’t just business, it’s a way of life.