Huntington Surf & Sport has completed a major renovation at its downtown (Main and PCH) location and is set to formally unveil its new look on Wednesday, May 25 at 8 a.m. There will be special guest speakers, while Aaron Pai along with two others will cut three ribbons representing the past, present and future of HSS to the surf community, industry, friends and family. Information is available at www.hsssurf.com/.
The Huntington Surf & Sport Grand Opening is really important because of two significant and distinct factors. “We have physically built out and remodeled the majority of our PCH and Main Street location and, most importantly, the next generation of Pai’s—Trevor, Taylor and Ashlyn—have been taking the helm,” said Aaron Pai. “So with the Pai kids taking the helm and leading...this is a major remodel of both ‘physical structure and positive energy’ that I am stoked on!”
The five time SIMA Retailer of the Year has completed extensive renovations to the store, including “blowing out” all of their front-facing walls on Main and PCH streets some 15 feet and adding more than 3000 square feet of retail space. A massive wetsuit room and flagship stores for Vans, Volcom, Hurley and Channel Islands and allows Huntington Surf & Sport to offer the largest inventory and best selection of hardgoods on the West Coast for surfers to check out the latest products and equipment.
The all new Hurley store within HSS is simply amazing, and featured Hurley family members participating in the design and construction. Attendees at the Grand Opening also will see a mind blowing Volcom store (within the store) and the bigger and better surfboard room is a surfer’s dream along with a new and larger Java Point Coffee Bar. "I’m super excited on the product mix, innovations, and stoke that's being poured into the foundation of HSS,” said Taylor Pai. “There's no greater time to introduce and provide the best to consumers with everything surf."
Aaron grew up surfing at the pier and his sons Trevor and Taylor were raised in the same water and surf every day in front of the store. They all love surfing Tavarua, the Mentawais and their home break of Huntington. “Every morning when I go to work, I feel blessed to work with my sons Trevor and Taylor and my daughter Ashlyn, said Aaron. “I’m so stoked that all of my kids (including Lindsay) love the ocean and live the surfing lifestyle. Special thanks to my wife Sher for all her loyalty, dedication and behind the scenes work.”
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Aaron learned to surf at Waikiki and the Huntington Pier, and was taught the true “Aloha Spirit” and importance of family from his Grandma Choi. In 1978 the 23 year-old northside pier rat was hired out in the water on the northside by Huntington Surf & Sport as its first employee, earning $2.25 an hour selling wax, T-shirts and surfboards. The following year, Aaron borrowed some money from his parents then purchased the surf shop. After moving directly across from the pier in 1990, the Pai family began to shape HSS into a one-of-a-kind surf shop that continues to redefine the specialty retail experience. And now the next generation of Pai’s led by Trevor, Taylor and Ashlyn have taken the reins.
“I got into this business in 1978 for the love of surfing,” said Aaron. “I wanted to surf for the rest of my life and even today with Trevor, Taylor and Ashlyn, it’s all about our love for the sport of surfing and sharing it with all the guests who come through our doors.
For over 30 years HSS has supported the Huntington Beach High School surf team, and local rippers from Timmy Turner to Brett Simpson and Courtney Conlogue. And among the Pai family’s most heartfelt achievements is the Surfers' Hall of Fame, a surfer's version of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Annually, tens of thousands of visitors walk among the hand and footprints of legendary surfers from Kelly Slater and Laird Hamilton to Sean Collins and Lisa Andersen and experience a little slice of our surfing culture from years past.
Aaron and the Pai family love the local surf community. Aaron helped organize and was a featured speaker at the “paddle outs” for the late Andy Irons, a former World Surfing Champion, and for the late Sean Collins, a pioneering surf forecaster and legend among legends in the surf world. HSS has supported the National Scholastic Surfing Association, the Huntington Beach Junior Lifeguards and the Huntington Beach City Surf Contest for over three decades. In August of 2002 Aaron was selected by Surfer Magazine as one of the 25 most powerful people in surfing alongside Laird Hamilton, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Sunny Garcia and other icons of the sport of surfing.
The shop prides itself on a huge selection of hard goods and surfboards by all the top shapers. According to legend, in 1979 Aaron fronted the money to Bob Hurley, another northside surfer, so he could shape eight Hurley Surfboards for the store. “Needless to say, I was blown away at his belief in others,” Hurley told Surfline.com. “He was the first dealer for Hurley Surfboards and I am forever grateful. Aaron and the crew believe in surfing and they believe in people.”
Aaron, Trevor, Taylor and Ashlyn are part of a close knit family who love the ocean and live the surfing lifestyle. Trevor and Taylor are solid surfers, divers, fishermen and true watermen. “Because of HSS I have surfed around the world and have had some amazing and unforgettable experiences,” said Aaron. “And I am so happy that Trevor, Taylor and Ashlyn are about to embark on this incredible journey!”
"We want to thank all the Surf Industry and all the Surf Brands, customers, friends and family for all your support! Brands like Hurley, Volcom, Vans, Channel Islands, Salty Crew, ROARK, RVCA, O'Neill, Reef, Billabong, Quiksilver to name a few," said the Pai family. “We are so blessed...and so grateful for the Huntington Surf & Sport crew past and present. We’re so thankful to the people of Huntington Beach and humbled and honored to be part of this great community!”