It’s no secret that Coastal Carolina has some of the best beaches in the world.The temperate weather of North Carolina makes it a great place for year-around surfing both in Wilmington and in the Outer Banks.
The beaches and offshore islands in the Atlantic sit further east than any other beaches on the East Coast, making it a perfect catch for swells and storm surf. Which means there is surf summer through winter and somewhat dependent on hurricanes and ocean depressions to generate wave energy. All of these factors make Wilmington one of the best places to surf on the Eastern Seaboard.
Wilmington has over 20+ surf shops, one of the largest concentration of surf shops in the United States.
Taking advantage of Wilmington’s surfing scene is an easy task if you have a surfboard, and if you don’t, not to worry you are in great shape. Wilmington has over 20+ surf shops, one of the largest concentration of surf shops in the United States. And with so many options, you are bound to find a surfboard that fits your need, budget and will serve you well out in the water all season.
We wrote this article for people looking to buy a surfboard in Wilmington, North Carolina. We’ve been to every surf shop in town, looked at the surfboard selections, prices and shapers and have put together this short list to help you find your ultimate surfboard this season.
Now on to the list!
View all surf shops in the Wilmington area.
Hot Wax Surf Shop located in Midtown, Wilmington, has over 5,000 square feet of floor space and tons of surfboards on the second floor to checkout. This makes Hot Wax Surf Shop one of (if not the) largest surf shops in Wilmington. In addition to the large selection of custom short boards and long boards from local shapers, including foam boards. The store also has a surfboard shaping room, so if you don’t see the board you want on the rack then you can literally shape one yourself at Hot Wax’s surfboard shaping school.
Michael Paul is the owner and master shaper at Hot Wax and runs the shaping school. Michael got his start in the surf business on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii where he worked with master craftsman Ed Barbera in 1980 at the Country Surfboards factory in Sunset Beach on the North Shore. Michael shapes boards today under the label, Proline Surfboards.
Check out Hot Wax Surf Shop first, you are bound to find what you need there.
2. 17th St. Surf Shop
The 17th Street Surf Shop is a large surf and skate shop located in Midtown, Wilmington and is famous for (among many things) its annual Shredfest surf contest held at the North End of Carolina Beach. The surf shop has a medium sized inventory of surfboards from local and national shapers, including long boards, short boards and foam boards. Surfboard prices are average for the Wilmington market.
3. South End Surf Shop
South End Surf Shop is located on the south end of Wrightsville Beach. South End Surf Shop sells everything from wet suits, surfboards, apparel to SUP boards and even bodyboards. The team at Southend also provides surfing and SUP lessons. The shop has it’s own ‘board room’ and you will find a wide-variety of surfboards from local and national shapers. You are paying for connivence to the ocean and also supporting a local-small business when you purchase your surfboard here, but the prices are not cheap. With that said, it does have a great selection of surfboards and men’s and women’s clothing.
4. Sweetwater Surf Shop
Sweetwater Surf Shop is a long-time Wrightsville Beach surf shop with one of the largest surfboard and wetsuit selections on the East Coast, with boards from local and national shapers, including foam surfboards. In addition to surfboard sales, the shop also provides rentals and surf lessons, and a large collection of men’s and women’s clothing, sunglasses, wetsuits, shoes, sandals and bathing suits. Surfboard prices here are reasonable and average with the Wilmington market.
5. Recon Surf Shop
Recon Surf is a great little family run surf shop off of Wrightsville Ave in the Midtown neighborhood. The shop carries a small collection of shortboards, longboards, SUPs and bodyboard accessories. Recon Surf is a great place to pick up your next board or board bag and definitely check out their surf wax collection. Recon has the best wax selection in Wilmington. Surfboard pricing is average with the market, but you might be able to work a special deal since the owners are in-shop most of the time. If you purchase your next surfboard through Recon Surf you are also supporting a local small business run by surfers.
6. Aussie Island Surf Shop
Aussie Island Surf Shop is a local surf accessory and store with two locations that each carry surfboards. The Midtown location has over 3,000 square feet of store space with a dedicated section for surfboards and SUPs. You’ll find a medium sized inventory of custom surfboards both shortboards and longboards. Surfboard pricing is reasonable and inline with the rest of the Wilmington market. While the surfboard selection is not the largest, you will certainly find some quality surfboards available.
7. Surf City Surf Shop
Surf City Surf Shop is one of the largest surf shops in Wilmington and one that conveniently sits on the way to Wrightsville Beach. The surf shop has a large inventory of custom surfboards from local shapers and national shapers such as: Channel Islands, Lost, HaydenShapes, Stewart, Allison, Eavey, Takayama & Gary Wilson/Kinetic surf designs. The staff is friendly and helpful and the pricing is reasonable and average with the market.
8. CB Surf Shop
CB Surf Shop is the best place on Carolina Beach to buy a surfboard or a skateboard. The surf shop has more than 3,500 square feet of space with a large selection of surfboards, longboards, shortboards, foam boards and a collection of used consignment surfboards. You’ll also find SUPs, accessories such as wax, fins, traction and much more. CB Surf Shop has a larger than average selection of surfboards and costs are around average with the market.
9. Savage Surfboards
Not a traditional surf shop per say, but probably one of the coolest surfboard shaping locations in Wilmington is Savage Surfboards. Savage is an original family business, custom shaping surfboards for Carolina surfers since 1982. Go on down to their shop located near the Wilmington International Airport. You find a selection of shortboards, longboards and SUPs for sale. We highly recommend you consider Savage Surfboards for a custom designed surfboard, because that’s what they are known for. Savage Surfboards are priced average to the market.
10. Reflection Surf Co.
Reflection Surf Co. is an amazing surfboard locker locked in a storage warehouse in Midtown. The owner Andrew is passionate about Surfing and surfboards and maintains a large collection of custom surfboards and SUPs from local shapers, including longboards, shortboards, fun boards, foam boards and paddle boards. Reflection is not a retail location, so visits are by appointment only. You’ll need to give Andrew a call before visiting. Surfboard prices are average to the market.
Well there you have it! Those are list of the top 10 surf shops to buy a surfboard at in Wilmington. With that said, Wilmington has over 20+ surf shops, you can view more surf shops that didn’t make our list here.