Harbour Surf

Harbour Surfshop

329 Main St. Seal Beach, CA

Harbour makes the claim that their Seal Beach shop is the world’s oldest continually operating board manufacturing location.

Rich Harbour, the name behind the brand, started shaping boards back in 1959 so no matter the validity of their historical claim, they play a major role in California surf history.

Today the shop has artifacts scattered around the walls, on shelves, and hanging from the ceiling. It also has new boards on the racks, being shaped in the back, and available online. The place is not a museum but a functioning shop.

It is crowded with tourists and surfers, the two not being mutually exclusive, parking is tight, but you should visit.

Mollusk Surf Shop: Venice Beach

Mollusk Venice

1600 Pacific Ave

There are three Mollusk shops, Venice, santa Barbara, and the original in San Francisco.

They are all pretty much the same look, same stock, and same vibe, but without feeling contrived or templated.

At least not compared to the big chains or the more corporate shops with posters of sponsored riders on the walls.

This place has a weird octagonal clubhouse high up on one wall and the other wall is painted with some sort of stylized lion that is drawn to look crude but not exactly childish.

The pallet is all light wood, tan, and muted tones- which did make me wonder a little bit if this place was made for surfers or the sort of suburban instagram mom who wears tall leather boots a chunky poncho and broad brimmed hat while out grabbing a Starbucks.

I would say that woman would fit in here visually, but I don’t care because those Danny Hess surfboards are works of art.

Sid Mashburn

Sid Mashburn

1198 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Atlanta

Sid Mashburn the brand started as Sid Mashburn the shop, in Atlanta.

While that may be true of the brand name as a business, perhaps it helps one understand the sort of look Sid Mashburn creates if the CV of Sid Mashburn the man is explained.

Mashburn has been a designer for J. Crew, then a designer for Polo, then Tommy Hilfiger, and then on to Land’s End. He has been at, which I would say then makes him, the “who’s who” of preppy or trad menswear.

My experience in person is that those who work the shop in Atlanta are welcoming and inviting to both visitors and customers. I was just a visitor but would love to be the other.

Ralph Lauren, Chicago

Ralph Lauren

750 Michigan Ave, Chicago

The Michigan Avenue Ralph Lauren location is not in a mall, or a historical mansion, it was built to exactly what it is; a Ralph Lauren wonderland.

Ralph and his portfolio of brands has always been a movie set version of American style and this venue takes a bit of this imaginary world and makes it tangible.

Every inch, and there are millions of inches, is packed with well curated images and items that form the world in which these clothes were intended to be worn.