There’s a New Surf Shop in Town

Well, sort of.

There’s a new surf shop in San Jose, and it’s called San Jos. It’s at the 29 km mark of Highway 1, across from Hotel Casa Costa Azul, or, about 400m northeast of the arroyo that feeds Zippers. The location of San Jos used to belong to Baja Waterman. According to Alejandro Gonzalez, one of San Jos’ managing partners, Baja Waterman suffered such loss and damage after Odile that they decided to close their doors, opening the opportunity for Gonzalez and his partners to rebrand the space and launch their shop this past February.

San Jos is set back and up on a hill off Highway 1, meaning it’s easy to miss, especially with the pace of traffic. There is little to no room to transition from the highway to the three designated parking spaces at San Jos. Assuming one can safely navigate their way to the shop, and climb the dozen or so steep, rail-less stairs, what they would find today feels more like a work in progress than a fully functioning surf shop.

To date, services that San Jos offers include surf board rentals, some retail goods, surf lessons, surf coaching, surf photography and surf tours, by van or boat. There are plans and construction underway for a café that will serve breakfast and lunch items. The focus of the café, according to Gonzalez, will be coffee, smoothies and other healthy lunch options. There are also plans to turn the roof top space of the shop into a music and event venue. When I asked Gonzalez if they planned to serve alcohol on the rooftop, he said it’s too far into the future to definitively answer at this point

Currently the shop is open from 8 am to 6 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. The surfboard rental inventory is minimal, comprised of about four to six short boards (seven feet and under), three to four fun boards (seven to eight feet), two foam long boards and three SUPS (stand up paddle boards). Roberto, another managing partner, openly admitted that they send most of their touring clients to Costa Azul Surf Shop (about half a kilometer down the highway) to rent boards. Neither Roberto nor Alejandro were able to provide prices for their rentals or tours. They did say most tours are to the East Cape, and that by boat they can reach Nine Palms in under 40 minutes. Touring clients are provided not only with transportation, but with snacks and cold refreshments as well.

The retail inventory is a smidge better at San Jos than the rental industry is. They carry women’s bikinis by RAY, a locally owned and operated apparel company. They also carry board bags, duffle bags, backpacks, and clothing by KMA, a brand Gonzalez started several years ago. KMA aims to produce durable and functional surf accessories, while trying to keep price points low. Board bags begin at around $50 USD. There are also beach blankets and other miscellaneous woven items imported from Oaxaca ranging in prices.

Though San Jos is still in the nascent stages of its development, they do represent a brand and approach to surfing not often found in the retail side of Los Cabos. They see themselves as an alternative to shops like Billabong or Costa Azul, which tend to cater to individuals that identify with competitive, professional surfing and treat the activity much like a sport. San Jos is following in the footsteps of shops like Mollusk (https://mollusksurfshop.com) in Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA and Pilgrim Surf + Supply (https://pilgrimsurfsupply.com) in Brooklyn, NY, which tend to view surfing as an art and culture. For San Jos, surfing is part of a lifestyle, one centered around other activities like art, crafts, music, healthy food, and community. San Jos intends to be a center for like-minded surfers.

If you are in town for the upcoming contest, stop by and check them out. Or, for more information, pricing and tour availability, check out their Instagram @sanjosshop or call 624-138-8781. ,