Surf City Surf Shop legacy to continue with Lester

Chal LesterAfter 40 years of single ownership, Myrtle Beach’s Surf City Surf Shop has changed hands.

Longtime local surfer, and store employee Chal Lester purchased the store from Mark Allison earlier this year and has begun the transformation process.

Lester, born just 4 years before the first Surf City opened, is excited for the opportunity and the coming changes, “This store is so important to a lot of people in this town. It’s more than a surf shop. All of my friends from different walks of life come in.

“This community is small. Being able to nourish it and give back what it once gave to me, is important. We’re carrying on a legacy,” Lester said.

That legacy began in 1976 when Mark Allison moved from California to Myrtle Beach and opened the first Surf City in the Hawaiian Village retail development in Restaurant Row.

Times have changed since then, “Shopping is different,” Lester said. “We can’t discount what Mark and Laura have done right for 40 years, but it’s different. We’re competing with the online.”

Lester, who first walked into Surf City as a 9 year old, has a renewed energy for the store and hopes to create that feeling of community through little details and events. “It goes along with the lifestyle. Surfing all day and then having that beer or whatever afterwards and sharing with friends. We’ll update the color scheme, the layout, how people shop.  It’s the little things, and we’ll capitalize on what they’ve built for 40 years.”

Lester’s connections to the surfing community run deep. After learning to surf in the 80’s, Lester surfed competitively as part of the Surf City Surf Shop Surf Team and credits Allison with introducing him to surf travel. “Mark did some really cool things with some guys that got invited to the nationals in Huntington Beach, California. This was the mid to late 80’s. Mark and Dan Cox took 18 kids to K38 & Rosarito Beach in Mexico and stayed down there for a week. We really got to surf some nice waves before the nationals. And then they took us all over to Huntington and let us compete. That was one of the coolest things as a 13 year old. It was a quick introduction, but a lifetime of memories.”

World renowned surf artist Drew Brophy was part of that Surf City Surf Team back in the 80’s that included Lester, Mike Hoisington, Reid Cox, Ted Detwiler, and Vissla Vice President of Design Rob McCarty. Brophy is stoked that the Surf City legacy will continue, “Chal and I were talking about where we would be without that access to surfing. Mark made it so easy for us. Chal is a product of that hard work and now Chal will continue on with giving to the community. He’s the perfect guy for it. His personality and his passion for surfing are great for the area,” Brophy said.

Brophy, who has an art show coming to Myrtle Beach in June, was in town overnight earlier this week, and stopped by to see Lester. “Some shops have that vibe. When you walk in, the owner is there and he remembers you and is happy to see you. Chal’s that guy. When I walked in he was happy to see me, and chat. That’s really rad,” he said.

Lester plans to continue being heavily involved in the local surf community. “We’ve jumped on the O’Neill Grom Tour, and there is an ESA banquet that we donated a lot of swag to. We’ve built a back deck and have an open room for surf movies and events. We’re working with different brands like Carve, who does women’s designs. They’re going to do a ladies night,” he said.

Through the process, Lester has had a steady flow of surf reps coming by to present their newest options. O’Neill rep Brad Beach was showing Lester the latest in wetsuit technology, “The Technobutter 3 is a material that we are using that Chal and Surf City will be bringing in next winter, and we’re excited about that,” Beach said. “A store like this, that’s been around for 40 years, that has a heritage, this is part of the community. It’s a destination. With Mark, and now Chal taking over, they’ve done a lot to give back to the sport of surfing.”

Chal’s wife, Stephanie, plans to be heavily involved as well. “If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know if I could have done this,” Chal said. The two have been working tirelessly through credit apps and remodel plans.

Surf lessons, rentals, and in house surfboard shaping will continue. Gary Wilson has been shaping inside Surf City for decades and Lester expects that to continue, “Absolutely. There are some new blanks back there right now.”

The large collection of classic surfboards will still be on view at Surf City. They’ve been removed from the premises while work is being done, but will return in the future. “I’ve picked and chosen a few boards that I really like and put them on display for now,” Lester said.

Lester also sees an opportunity to bring products to a market that was previously under served, including the women’s section, “I’ve bought some suits that fit something other than a 14 year old girl. I’ve got a Carve design that’s labeled toward a fit mother of two, she’s 52 years old. It’s a modest cut, it’s functional, and it’s made in the USA. Those are some of the brands that we are buying. We’ll support the local and regional artists as well, like Fin First, they have a shipment coming,” he said.

The store is still open and continues to operate through the transformation, “I think the cherry on top will be when the awning and sign go up, and that should be in the next two to three weeks tops. So, hopefully by Easter we should be up and running,” Lester said.

Want to wish Lester success? Stop by and see him at 6303 N Kings Hwy in Myrtle Beach or visit them online at SurfCitySurfShop.com

Stormy weather big winner at 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Stormy weather big winner at 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicTwo blowouts, a lightning delay and ultimately three of the [more]

Coast FA boys kick off fall season with strong outing

Coast FA boys kick off fall season with strong outingFive Coast FA boys teams entered the Charlotte Invitational over [more]

Hemingway follows family, teammates to Gamecocks

Hemingway follows family, teammates to GamecocksSix minutes after his youngest child had announced his college [more]

Seahawks, Trojans, Chiefs in preseason football poll

Seahawks, Trojans, Chiefs in preseason football pollDefending state champion Myrtle Beach opened the 2019 preseason as [more]

Ten beach games that add fun to the sand, surf, sun

Ten beach games that add fun to the sand, surf, sunThe Grand Strand’s 60-mile strip of sand and surf is [more]

New blood infuses lineup for '19 Beach Ball Classic

New blood infuses lineup for '19 Beach Ball ClassicIt’s been quite some time since this much new blood [more]

Gray becomes first Chant to win SCGA Amateur title

Gray becomes first Chant to win SCGA Amateur titleCoastal Carolina rising sophomore Tyler Gray carded four-straight rounds of [more]

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Surfoff makes waves for fun times, worthy cause

Surfoff makes waves for fun times, worthy causeThe water is a second home for August Powalie. The Myrtle [more]

Jordans go coast to coast for Junior Olympics meet

Jordans go coast to coast for Junior Olympics meetIt has been a long and winding trip to California [more]

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs The distance from Myrtle Beach’s TicketReturn.com Stadium to Chicago’s Wrigley [more]

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicConway National Bank will sponsor the 30th annual CNB Kickoff [more]

CAC swimmers team up to capture six state titles

CAC swimmers team up to capture six state titlesSouth Carolina Swimming welcomed almost 800 swimmers from 25 Swim [more]

Surfers hang 10 for 20th Guy Daniels Memorial

Surfers hang 10 for 20th Guy Daniels MemorialAs surfers prepare to hit the South Strand this weekend [more]

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior Olympics

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sand

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sandWhat was once a leisurely pick-up game on the beach [more]

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haul

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haulNorth Myrtle Beach believes Ryan Walker is the person to [more]

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut Former Coastal Carolina standout and Los Angeles Angels second baseman [more]

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures Game

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures GameMyrtle Beach Pelicans’ catcher Miguel Amaya has been selected to [more]

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth Clinic

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth ClinicEight former big leaguers - and about 60 aspiring ones [more]

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior Olympics

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program New Myrtle Beach High volleyball coach Alyssa Hunter knows she [more]

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 years

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 yearsA child steps up to the counter to purchase his [more]

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meet

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meetThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club combined boys and [more]

Rivers named honorable mention All-American

Rivers named honorable mention All-AmericanCoastal Carolina senior outfielder Kieton Rivers was recognized as a [more]

Stormy weather big winner at 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Stormy weather big winner at 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicTwo blowouts, a lightning delay and ultimately three of the [more]

Coast FA boys kick off fall season with strong outing

Coast FA boys kick off fall season with strong outingFive Coast FA boys teams entered the Charlotte Invitational over [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach