One of the most famous surf shops in the world is located at the north end of Newport Beach, CA right on Pacific Coast Highway. The Frog House is a surf shop in the purest sense of the word and has been operating at this location since 1963. A short walk across the street is the Beach and the 56th Street and River Jetties surf spots. When you enter into these hallowed halls of surfdom your venturing into a place where all caution is thrown to the wind, the sales staff is hard core surf, surf history drips from the walls and the toilet is right next to the front counter.
Known to all as a "Real Surf Shop" the Frog House caters to all class of surfers, old, young, beginner and expert. They carry only the best lines and move almost more rubber then the wetsuit companies combined. Here is a shop that smells like wax, has real beach sand on the floors and enjoys three generations of customers that return time and again.
|photo by Ken McKnight|
This is a surf shop with a history steeped in surf lore and stories. The characters that have frequented the place over the years seem to be straight out of a Kurt Vonnegut novel. If you're a sales rep and you come in here trying to push your product the wrong way, you are liable to be pounded with a verbal barrage that can be heard and felt a few miles up the coast in Huntington Beach and beyond.
The keeper of the keys to this retail surfing icon is an energetic man with a quick wit and a gentle soul, one, T K Brimer and has presided over the place for years. He is a combination of Judge Judy, David Letterman, and Chris Rock all rolled into one.
"We still have some of the old surf shop edge going on," said Brimer from behind the big wood and glass counters. "The carpeting on the floor is 28 years old. We vacuum it once a year whether it needs it or not. And we will replace it as soon as it wears out."
The stories from inside the Frog House are legend and known the surf world over.
There are funny anecdotes about bets on eating whole bars of surf wax, discussions on pounding swells and the sand bars out front, and the constant chatter about the strange blend of humanity that waffles in and out of the imaginary turnstile at the front door. It is a spot that has a worldly history complete with groundbreaking events (the famous bike races around the building) or the kegs on the floor of the front room with the never-ending spigot. And lets not forget the old fashioned cash register that is years older than most of us (tell us about the photos in the drawer TK).
From the outrageous backgammon sessions to the marathon poker games, there has been no shortage of subject matter. From 40 years of surf stories and surf heroes, epic hurricane swells, boats run aground, the legendary surf shop wars, and TK's hilarious shoplifting tales. Not a day goes by when one of these famous yarns doesn't pop up in a conversation.
|photo by Ken McKnight|
What you will find at the Frog House is real surfers selling real surf products in a way that you won't find at many other surf shops the world over. They know their surf, treat their customers with love, respect and fun, and offer up real value on the best products on the surf market today. If you can't get it at the Frog House you can't get it anywhere.
This is a surf shop with soul. Come on in and join TK as he explains the Frog House's history and why the shop has lasted so long!