Eye On Orange County – Infinity

Infinity

Dana Point

Infinity Surf Shop has been around the block a few times. Eight times, actually.

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When Infinity Founder Steve Boehne and his wife Barrie opened their first Infinity shop in 1971 it was in Huntington Beach on the corner of 5th and PCH. But that shop, a converted gas station, just didn’t cut it. So they gave another spot a go, and then another, then another. Eventually — after seven tries — the Boehnes settled in Dana Point. Instead of moving into an existing location they designed the shop how they wanted it and built from the ground up.

The two-story shop has served the Dana Point surf, skate, and snowboard community well. Infinity is a full-service shop. In the summer, the shop’s all about surf (and a little skate). Downstairs there’s an extensive egg and longboard collection, as well as beach-lifestyle-oriented clothing. Upstairs is for shortboards, wetsuits, footwear, and ‘core apparel. In the winter, the bottom floor becomes a legitimate snowboard shop.

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On the apparel front, Ezekiel, Hurley, and Billabong are the top brands. Planet Earth also has a strong presence. (Manufacturers take note: Infinity’s Brian “Newbs” Lindstrom says that ever since Ezekiel was moved to the front of the apparel section, it has been blowing out.)

While softgoods are a healthy part of the business, Newbs says Infinity is all about hardgoods. “We’re usually the opposite of most other shops,” he says.

Surfboards are the shop’s marquee attraction, and Newbs says customers have come from as far as Santa Barbara to get their hands on an Infinity surfboard. Boehne shaped and glassed his first board in 1960 and has passed his skills onto his son Dan, who handles the shop’s shortboards. On any given day during summer, it’s not uncommon for Infinity to sell five surfboards.

In addition to surfboards, surf accessories are also a big contributor to the shop’s bottom line. Newbs says he’s had to reorder a ton of board bags from Sessions, and Surf More’s XM Fly Paper — an adhesive surfboard traction similar to griptape — has been killing it.

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While the Boehnes are happy with their Dana Point location, they’re not complacent. They’re planning on remodeling the upstairs to accommodate Infinity’s growing footwear department. The shop carries Etnies and Adio and recently picked up DC.

Window Brands: Adio, Split, Von Zipper
Major Display Brands: Ezekiel, Hurley, Billabong, Planet Earth
Strongest Category: Surfboards (mostly longboards)
Weakest Category: Boys’ and juniors’ clothing
Strongest Brands: Ezekiel, Hurley
Best Reps: Greg “G.T.” Tomlinson (Von Zipper), Casey Rydzeski (Smith)

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