We were just in Santa Barbara for a nighttime film premiere, and before it got started we went into the Channel Islands shop to touch surfboards.
Inside were surf shop things: new boards to look at, used boards to buy, accessories, T-shirts, wall photos, and shop kids. Real, loitering shop kids like you read about in old books. (Not pictured — those are some other guys.)
I thought shop kids were a myth, or at least extinct, because what can you do in a surf shop really? You can’t leave witty comments and there’s nowhere to sit. People romanticize it but to a kid, the surf shop is a room of unaffordable products. You can walk around making your dream quiver, then buy the trac pad you really came for and that’s about that.
But at Channel Islands there were shop kids. Maybe they work there doing the modern equivalent of foam dust cleanup, I don’t know. The one was fixing his Fred Rubble where he duck-dove it into a Rincon rock. His friend was giving him shit for not drying it, and a third kid kept calling him a pussy for one reason or another and then turned his fins backward once he got distracted, which they found hilarious. They’d all surfed once or more that day. Shop kids are not a myth.
We decided they were pretty fucking rad and nothing short of an inspiration.