ZJ Boarding House

Best Surf Shops, June 2012

The staff at ZJ Boarding House in Santa Monica is happy to brainstorm on how to procure a board with an eco-friendly laminate or customize a wet suit for insanely cold conditions—like the hooded five-millimeter number we saw leave the shop with a surfer headed for Norway. A passion for the ocean, a mere two blocks away, runs deep here. In addition to boards from Channel Islands (Santa Barbara), Lost (Irvine), and JS (Australia), there’s a profusion of Xcel and Quiksilver wet suits. As for clothing, one section is dedicated to dressing like SoCal’s own Dane Reynolds and another to the stylings of Volcom, now owned by the French design house behind Gucci and Bottega Veneta. Or you can stroll to the tried-and-true Billabong and Hurley outlets next door.