About Suncoast Surf Shop
The Shop started back in 1966 when no other surf shops existed in the St. Petersburg, Florida area. Owner Joe was going to be an airplane mechanic, only they sent him home to get a haircut, never to return, hence the new job, surf shop owner. Suncoast started with $300, a few surfboards, 12 tee shirts, a bottle of red wine and some surfboard stickers. In the 60s things were a little different.
For starters we were not accepted, as we dressed and looked different. To make matters worse, when the surf came up, which is rare on the Florida Gulfcoast, it was against the law to surf!! (Before surf leashes.) If you lost your surfboard there was always a friendly rifle-toting law officer with a bullhorn in the other hand...needless to say we lost that battle for awhile. It took some time but we finally got our surfing beaches back!!
Gulfcoast waves are rideable 70-100 days a year. Waist-to-chest waves...and during hurricane season, sometimes head-to-overhead. There were not a lot of surfers back then, not a lot of money was made in the 60s and 70s. The icon t-shirt design you see today was from a 60s photo of Joe sitting on the front step of the ol' shop, with a few boards leaning around, and a sign that read: "Surf equip and weird posters."