San Diego’s majestic coastline is filled with a diversity of neighborhoods with plenty of wave riding action from rolling sand bars to peaky reef brakes. Our epic surf spots spawned a diversity of specialty surf shops. The surf shop at its best is a unique and thought out beacon of style, social connectivity, and gathering place serving the locals as well as the many visitors from all over the county and world. These unique shops are where you will find our Hot Rod Surf fins and surf accessories. We are happy to say there are a still a few of these specialty surf shops still in existence so stop by to say ‘hello’ and pick up a few new things for your wave riding adventures.
This is where you will be able to find our Hot Rod Surf fins and surf accessories. As we add retailers we will be updating this Stock List.
Bird’s Surf Shed
The Bird Shed is run by ‘Bird.’ The Shed is part museum and part surf shop. The Shed is all about quality surfboards and celebrating the variety of shapes and designs which evolved and developed over the years. The Bird Shed is stocked with top notch surfboards such as Stewart, and Gordon & Smith as well as a revolving array of vintage and new surfboards for sale and display. Super knowledgeable in the craft of surfing and surfboards Bird’s main store, affectionately referred to as ‘The Mother Ship,’ is a little off the beaten path located at:
The Bird Shed
1091 W. Morena Blvd
San Diego, CA 92110 (619) 276-2473
Hours: Mon-Sat: 10am–6pm, Sun: 11pm–5pm “It’s a San Diego surf destination. The place where surf films premiere, superstar shapers hold hands-on clinics and board riders of all ages just come to hang. Bird’s been a part of the local surf scene for decades, and the Shed is his way of helping to keep San Diego surf culture alive and vibrant.”
Bird just opened a second satellite store just across the street from the water in Ocean Beach adjacent to the Ocean Beach Pier and OB Lifeguard Tower.
The Bird Shed OB
1963 Abbott St
San Diego,CA 92107 (619) 226-2473
Hours: Sun-Tues: 10am–6pm, Wed-Sat: 10pm–7pm
Hansen Surfboards and Surf Shop is an icon of San Diego surf culture located right across the street from the legendary Swamis surf break. Don Hansen started making performance surfboards in the 1960’s and has grown his business into a super surf shop with everything from surfboards to flip flops. Hansen’s board selection is one of the best ranging from vintage styled Hansen longboards to newer performance boards. There’s always some action in their surfboard section and something for the whole family to better enjoy the sun and surf so go check it out.
“A knowledgeable staff that lives and breathes the surf and beach lifestyle, Hansen’s prides itself on selling fun!"
1105 S Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
Hours: Monday & Tues 9am to 6pm, Wednesday thru Fri 9am to 9pm, Saturday 9am to 6pm, Sunday 10am to 5pm
Seaweed & Gravel
Seaweed & Gravel came on the scene a few years ago and has captured the heart of North County San Diego. Seaweed is nestled in the upper Encinitas/Leucadia neighborhood with an eclectic mix of vintage and new with everything from motorcycles to surfboards. If you are into moto and surf as much as we are this place is a must visit. So check Seaweed out when you’re in the neighborhood and pick up a Hot Rod Surf fin or leash for your board before you hit Beacons or Grand View for some surf. Seaweed & Gravel also hosts great local parties and events so it is worth contributing to this neat shop. The next thing you might be doing is going on a Seaweed & Gravel weekend motorcycle shop ride up the coast or through the San Diego back country taking in the sunshine and enjoying the ride. There is even bonsai tree workshops to mellow your mood.
Seaweed & Gravel
1144N. Coast HWY 101#1
Encinitas, CA 92024
Hours: 11-6pm Tues through Sunday
Bing Surfboards Surf Shop is a revived version of the classic vintage BING surfboards from the late 1950’s under the guidance and stewardship of shaper Matt Calvani the quality and craftsmanship coming from this modest shop, which is an extension of their growing surfboard factory, is top notch with beautifully crafted vintage inspired longboards dripping in candy resin tints. San Diego craftsmanship at its finest and more likely than not you might even see a vintage car out front taking in the 101.
BING Surfboards Surf Shop
802 N. Coast HWY 101
Encinitas, CA 92024760-944-630
Windansea Surf Shop
Windansea Surf Shop is located in Mission Beach and stocks a wide variety of price point surfboards and beach gear.
“Since 1963 specializing in hand shaped surfboards, custom order surfboards, steps away from the beach.”
3780 Mission Blvd, San Diego CA 92109
Hours: Mon thru Sat 9-8pm, Sun 9-7pm
HOT ROD SURF
The new Hot Rod Surf creative space is a located in the heart of Pacific Beach. Art studio hours are when we are there we are there which is all over the place since we are usually running around making things, surfing, racing, playing music shows, adventuring and partying. You can call or email for availability.
Hours: by appointment only firstname.lastname@example.org
HOT ROD SURF Studio
1556 Grand Ave. Suite C
San Diego, CA 92109
What's new with Hot Rod Surf?
I am happy to say we have returned to our roots and are now offering our line of Hot Rod Surf performance surfboards, fins, and leashes. It has taken a little over a year to get everything back into production. I took my time to make sure the boards, leashes, and fins are the high quality I was looking for and at the same time trying to keep the pricing reasonable. It’s been super fun making surf goods again and I’m excited about the current lineup and the potential for future additions.
It’s been awhile since Hot Rod Surf produced surf hard goods?
Yes. In the earliest days of our brand we produced surfboards, leashes, and even Hot Rod Surf surf wax. It's crazy to think that was over 20 years ago. We have now returned to our roots and I am pretty happy about it. Just like in the past there is an emphasis on local use and everything is designed to be optimal for our San Diego, Southern California breaks.
What made you return to producing performance surfing products again?
Passion for making something cool and it’s really what I have been interested in recently. I am driven to create things l would first use myself and then let the product grow from there. Each of our Hot Rod Surf fins and surfboards are designed as a piece of art and also performance equipment. They must be aesthetically pleasing and also perform as good as they look.
What was up with the years since this reissue?
As an artist I follow where my creativity takes me. For a number of years I was building and designing motorcycles and hot rods, as well as producing movies and books. Whenever Hot Rod Surf release a product I like to be 100% committed to making sure it's right with a clear focus. By nature this means I can't do everything at once. I will discontinue, or really take a break from something if it can’t have my full energy put into it. I will only release a product that has my full attention. It's always important to keep the quality standards high. It’s just what I do and it is what helps keep our Hot Rod Surf brand vibrant over the years. Being dynamic means changing up the focus once and awhile and it also always makes it fun and interesting.
I think everyone knows there is very little margin in surfboards?
That's also one of the reasons we put production on pause years ago. Just like the original idea our boards and surf products are produced out of passion and love of creating something cool first and at the same time it's important to try and make products priced affordability in the quality goods category. For our new batch of surfboards we are experimenting with some different machining and tooling production which should bring consistency to each of the models we are offering as well as some more affordability. With the surfboards it’s about the passion first and if we move enough we will to be able to add to the product lineup and make even more cool stuff.
What are the different models in the works?
With the surfboards we are producing classic longboards which are a bit of a departure from our roots in predominantly performance one off short boards we were producing before. I have fallen back in love with the retro style and attitude that makes surfing so much fun and the classic longboard is the perfect extension of that feeling. What matters is getting out there in the environment with the waves, ocean, sand, family, friends and just totally enjoying the beach vibe. In many ways it’s leaving behind the idea of everything needs to be more blown up and slicker and more competitive. It is getting back to the roots and just having fun and being free and the longboard represents this attitude and way of being. More specifically we are producing two versions of our 8'0" longboard and 9'6" longboard. One of each will be single fin and the other models have optional side bite fins for everyone who wants to step up the performance handling once and a while. Our single fin models have a removable center fin so different style fins can be experimented with. Since the boards have an interchangeable center fin we have our own line of Hot Rod Surf longboard fins as well as tri fin thruster set ups. We are also making some pretty cool new leashes. The boards will be ready for release this summer (2017). Our ‘Ride Fast Live Free HOTRODSURF Surf Kulture’ leashes and fins will get you in the lineup and shredding your local break without costing too much and they are available right now just before summer.
Surfboard fin models?
There's our short board ‘Surf Fin Series’ which are a standard size honeycomb performance fin also available in wood and resin for a more classic look. Nothing too radical on these, just a good performing all around quality fin shape at an affordable price. We are also producing the premium longboard ‘Woody Series Fin’ in various sizes ranging from 7” to 10”. The ‘Woody Series Fin’ design bleeds into the ‘Psychedelic Fin Series’ made with multi color resins and also available in 7” to 10” sizes. The fins are designed to fit standard fin boxes so everyone should be able use one if they are running that set up. The Hot Rod Surf ‘Psychedelic Fin Series’ will be also be available this summer (2017).
Where did you get the inspiration for reviving the Hot Rod Surf surfing products?
The past few summers (15'-16') I started a new tradition of heading out on a summer road trip up and down the coast camping, riding motorcycles, and surfing. It had been years since I had been to some of these special spots I enjoyed as a youngster. We took one of our Hot Rod Surf 8’0” longboards from the 1990’s that was just sitting around the backyard and was about a twenty year old board with a triple stringer and it worked great. The stress free feeling that comes with longboarding is where it's at. I noticed some people are re-skinning vintage boards which seems really neat also. When a longboard gets older there’s a history that attaches to it and it can still be used. Another cool thing I've noticed it that's it is now almost 50/50 dudes and girls out in the water which is great to see the sport be more balanced. I am always inspired by vintage surfing photos from the 60's and 70's. Recognizing breaks and spots in old photos is a trip and gives our surf culture continuity. Retro photos with some sort of a hot rod, which really back then was considered as a type of jalopy , stacked to the hilt with boards and people hanging on in every direction are always fun. I think some of our Hot Rod Surf photos are now considered ‘vintage.’ Some things change over the years but what's more interesting is that a lot of cool stuff remains the same at its essence. Classic is something that is good in any era. Color wise I am inspired by the minerals found in our San Diego back country like garnet, fire opal, and tourmaline. A fair amount of the streets in my neighborhood are actually named after the minerals and precious stones found in our local mountains. I have worked our local colors into our new surf series product line wherever I can. Surfing has a natural connection to the environment so it makes sense to use these vibrant colors found in nature. The goal is to make something that is classic, works well, and enhances the whole experience out in the water.
Any favorite stops on your summer road trip?
I try and make them all my favorite but I would have to say Malibu, Topanga, and Rincon are always all time. There's something about the light at Malibu with the subtle cove and the great history. The light is golden in Malibu. The Wall is still there but the graffiti is all gone. For the motorcycle part of our trip being able to ride motorbikes on the beach and camping right on the waters edge is pretty cool and that's all about Pismo. We have so many classic surf spots here in San Diego it's not really necessary to travel to get good surf but it is fun to experience something a little different sometimes. My home town of San Diego is always my favorite. We are blessed with every kind of surf break from Tourmaline to The Cliffs, Windansea, Mission Beach, Hennemans, Hermos, Horseshoe, 25th Street, Rivermounth, Seaside Reef, San Elijo, Pipes, Beacons, Ponto, O’Side, Bird Rock, IB, La Jolla Shores,, Cardiff Reef, Swamis, and of course Blacks. It’s really incredible when you think about it.
Which are your favorite San Diego surf spots?
My favorite right now is Tourmaline and PB Drive and Point. They are all right in my backyard and are fun breaks. I used to send all our customers who where beginners to Tourmaline because the wave is a little more mellow as well as the vibe which was and still is more inclusive and forgiving for people just starting out and now I'm over there rocking a longboard. There's so few people in the lineup compared to the 90's when there was 15 to 20 people surfing every peak up and down Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. A lot of times in the winter there is almost no one out along the beach breaks anymore. Half of surfing is the ritual and hanging out, and the other half is paddling and riding. At a certain point it's kind of fun having other people around to share the experience with.
Anything you want to end with?
I’m just look forward to developing more surf products. So stay tuned as we re-grow our Hot Rod Surf product line.
Mark Whitney Mehran
HOT ROD SURF
It’s that time of year again when love is in the air and the California desert landscape is calling all artists, hand crafters, designers, renegades, earth distillers, boutique brands and dreamers to Desert & Denim 3. Desert & Denim is a trade show and much more. The event has become a growing and vibrant creative gathering allowing for the intimate exploration of a wide array of quality brands as well as a mystical place to exchange ideas as creative people from all over the world gather and immerse in the beautiful, natural, and enchanting winter landscape of the southern California Joshua Tree desert. This year for the first time the event will be open to the public on SAT February 25th, 2017.
Hot Rod Surf looks forward to seeing our all of our friends, touching base with creative acquaintances, brands, and of course meeting new ones. We love supporting events promoting creativity, diversity, eco conscientiousness, and general good times. Desert & Denim is awesome so if you have a chance head out to the desert and check it out.
The Pioneertown Motel
February 24 & 25, 2017
*25th SAT Will be Open to the public 11AM- 4:30 PM
2016 Hot Rod Surf Desert & Denim Photo Gallery
To celebrate our 21st year in business we are opening a creative space and pop-up shop for 2017. Our new space is located in the heart of Pacific Beach. We will having interesting bikes and sometimes cars on display and will be offering a selection of surf hard goods, surfboards, and some motorcycle parts for sale as a small extension of our online store. Art studio style hours vary from day to day depending on shows, surf, music, and race events. Our new space is a positive and fun place to gather to talk shop, vintage surf, and just enjoy our beach community. If you are really set on stopping by at a certain time feel free to email or call (858) 230-4470 to check when we are open and we will always have our online store available for 24hr shopping experience. www.hotrodsurf.com Wishing Everyone Prosperity and Happiness for the New Year, -MWM
It was time. Time to dust off the leathers and rework one of our Hot Rod Surf motorcycles for the final SCTA Land Speed Racing event of the 2016 race season. After seeing the beautiful course conditions for the October meet another back to back trip to El Mirage Dry Lakes was in order. Detune to retune, the turbo charger was removed and tank and front end swapped out for something a little different. After replacing the spun out and shredded oil pump gears, and re-jetting the carb we made it just in time to the races to see how everything held together. Lots of fun and good company on the lakebed and the bike is in order for next season.
HOTRODSURF, SCTA, San Diego Roadster Club, SDRC, land speed racing, race, El Mirage, Southern California Timing Association, LSR, hot rod, motorcycle, Hot Rod Surf
BrrrrrrrrrrrrrrBro pop pop brop. The orchestrated rhythm of crank strokes, cam lobes, and pistons sing a chorus of exhaust and intake valves opening, closing, and chattering to the mechanical beat of gas, fire, and power. This is the El Mirage dry lakebed during the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) race season. Nestled in the San Bernardino Forest desert region within close driving proximity to the Los Angeles basin El Mirage is a clay surfaced race track provided by Mother Nature. Since the 1940's hot rodders and speed demons have come to the El Mirage Dry Lakebed to compete for the prestige of Land Speed Racing titles amongst their peers. El Mirage is one of the few places where the genuine desire to go fast and push the limits of design, performance, functionality, and speed rein without pomp, circumstance, online forums, or corporate mega sponsors. These races are for the purists of speed. Many great names in the automotive industry had their start here on the lakebed but the most legendary stories are amongst the groups of racers, friends, and club members who campaign the different race vehicles. The victories and 'not such a good ideas' are shared and put to the test every time a vehicle or motorcycle enters and runs the expertly timed 1.3 mile course. Vehicles and motorcycles participating in the SCTA El Mirage races are all trying to go as fast as they can, with the exception of a few club point sand baggers, while running for personal bests and speed records. To understand El Mirage is to understand one of our base human desires for speed and performance.
The feeling of faster, faster, faster until there is no more gear left in the pedals, pushing your skateboard to the edge of the dreaded and disastrous speed wobbles, cris-crossing your surfboard rails across the open face of a wave, or just jamming as fast as you can down the track field are all part of the primal instinct racers share. As youngsters most of us rode bicycles or skateboards around our neighborhoods with friends, siblings, and neighborhood kids. Inevitability we found ourselves racing each other down the local hill, over a jump, or around a hair pin turn you should probably slow down for but instead speed into. Whether we won, lost, crashed, or survived one of these impromptu battles for speed we were always wondering if we could have, and how we could have gone faster. El Mirage racing is an adult extension of these primal and youthful desires for speed and performance but only this time the machines are bigger, the track is longer, and the timing slips are spot on legitimate. These special race events happen with the coordination amongst 11 clubs and our membership which makes up the SCTA. The ritual of the pre race course walks checking for and removing glass, nails, the occasional bullet, and other debris from the race course, cone and starting line set up, timing towers, nighttime bonfires amongst friends and family, CB checks, waking to pre-sunrise engine warm ups and the beautifully majestic purple, pink, blue, and grey race course horizon are all part of a long tradition we all play a part in. This October meet provided a clean well packed race surface with the only thing lacking being a nice tail wind. To burn off some energy the boys brought their bikes, found some jumps on the out skirts of the race area, and opened up the throttle to blast a few airs.
It was the end. The end of WWII, the end of an epic world battle of blood, industrial machines, guts, heroism, and war torn casualties. Tens of thousands of young American men from the corn fields of Kansas, alleys of New York City, orange groves of Los Angeles, and beaches of San Diego drafted and volunteered to serve our country in defending our rights, liberties, and way of life. One of the byproducts of modern mechanized warfare was the mass use of machinery ranging from complex electronic radar systems, to engines and drive trains found in tanks, jeeps, motorcycles, submarines, and battle ships. A whole generation of young men were trained by our U.S. Government in the use of oxy acetylene torch welding, wrenches, drills, presses, and how to service and break down engines from top to bottom. Carburetor tuning was often directly correlated to a matter of life and death, survival or extinction, and victory or defeat. Standard ’book’ ability and knowledge is only useful to a certain point becoming back ground text to the art of improvised field repairs. Repairs in the moment and out of necessity which when executed properly turn the seemingly impossible into the possible, a stop into a go, the broken into the functional, and the lost into the found. Functioning and high performance equipment did not directly equate to survival but rather raised the odds of survival in a gruesome landscape of death, destruction, and mayhem. The fragility of life and the seemingly nonsensical randomness of who survived and who did not were a part of the time. Everything including human life was used to its maximum and expected to perform at full throttle and beyond what was thought possible. And then it was over.
As these newly minted young Americans with their wartime experiences and skills returned home there was a type of mechanical enlightenment which gave genesis to what we know as hot rods and hot rodding. Dreams could be forged into reality by skillfulness, ingenuity, and resourcefulness. It was possible to build a car or a motorcycle that was better performing, lighter, cooler, faster and cheaper than anything on the shiny new dealership show room floors. Hot Rods and hot rodding became a reality and a movement with a style, lingo, and social interactions all of all of its own. Ford model A’s (1928-1931) and T’s where plentiful, and better yet the 1932 Ford V8, and 1933-34 Fords were perfect canvases to have their fenders stripped, tops chopped, bodies channeled and engines souped up in the quest for better performance and style.
This story is more than just the history of a car type or a trend, it is personal. It is the story of many of our fathers, grandfathers, and now our next generations’ great grandfathers. My grandfather, Victor ‘Vic’ Miller, was one of these WWII youths from English, German, Italian, and Scottish decent, a true cross mix of America, and the son of a widowed minister’s wife with ancestors fighting in The Revolutionary War, and The Civil War. The ‘post war’ story is about how my grandfather and his generation lived their lives and what they did with what was available to them. On any given Sunday with a plain white t-shirt, a wrench in his hand, and grease under his finger nails he worked under the hood of his car. Seeing him in the driveway or on his back under jack stands it would be almost impossible to guess Vic worked his way up from nothing to be the head of a WWII air field and graduate of Cambridge University. His traits were the best of American traits; friendly, calm, straight forward, hard working, and honest with the only air being that of a simple Hemingway-esque clarity. My grandfather Vic and his generations greatness was in the back ground as the their children, the 60’s generation, the generation of social change, sex, drugs, and divorce took the headlines and altered many values for the better and some for the worse. In recent times there has been a re-embrace of many of the good parts of our grandparents’ values, work attitudes, and styles. The allure of restoring and building period correct automobiles and motorcycles lies in capturing the best parts of the past and bringing them back and alive into the present moment and time. For some it can be akin to a kind of zany war reenactment dress up, and for others of us who maintain vintage automobiles and motorcycles it is a part of our everyday routine and regular life. Working on, appreciating, and restoring vintage machines gives us a type of serenity and a throw back to the calm straightforward hard working past of our grandparents generation where it either works or it doesn’t work. The American hot rod mirrors the background of our country which is made up of a patch work of different years, styles, and makes and through thoughtfulness, skill, and innovation turn into something greater and more glorious as a working whole. When built properly these early machines are fast, sometimes dangerous, and just awesome and fun.
I’m not going to get into all the things that went wrong with TROG or The Race of Gentleman 2016 event held at Pismo Beach, CA because there were plenty of them. The event at its best was an opportunity to celebrate a certain narrow slice of traditional themed American automobiles and motorcycles ‘post war’ to pre early 1950’s style, and an opportunity to pay tribute to a moment in time for a generation who started it, as well as making new memories for our generation. It is important to note most of the ‘traditional’ hot rod and motorcycle culture many of us love would most defiantly include panheads, whitewalls, and monster art which came a few years after the era TROG attempts to capture. I guess TROG proves sometimes dredging up the past can be kind of good in some ways and not in others.
Back out on the lakebed with a few Hot Rod Surf ® race motorcycles.
Capturing a little bit of the essence of our diverse San Diego landscape in small batch natural beard & hair conditioners and colognes. There is no better way to rehydrate your salty lifestyle than with a splash of 100% all natural oils filled with a blend of all the good stuff like jojoba oil, sunflower oil, and Vitamin E after a day out in the ocean. These are not for sale and are one of those items we use ourselves and share with family and friends. Effleurage and distillation of essential oils is just one of those fun things to do which is always a little different and connects us more deeply to our environment.
Keep up to date with new Hot Rod Surf ® products, discounts, sales, on goings, events, experiments, people, and things interesting.
Life…. Art…. Style….