The current ride-everything, big-tent philosophy pervading surfing is undoubtedly a fitting evolution for a culture that has always promoted individualism as a core value. Here in Northeast Florida, with no less than a dozen surf shops dotting our waterbound landmasses, there’s seemingly something for every surfer.
With the opening of his art-forward, boutique-y, alternative-surfboard-inclined Mangrove Surf + Supply, on A1A in St. Augustine Beach just a little over a year ago, Dustin Estes has seemingly manifested that big-tent philosophy into a single retail space. Inspired by offbeat, but wildly popular spaces like Mollusk Surf Shop in California, Estes—who has operated St. Augustine Surf School for the last eight years—says he wanted Mangrove to be a place for everyone. “We wanted to have something that felt great when you walked in the door, but also was a functional surf shop that had a little bit of everything,” he says.
With murals, prints, and shop swag designed by local artists, Mangrove’s community aesthetic expands to their selection of wave crafts, a rotating collection that runs the gamut from chippy high performance shortboards to heavy, single-fin logs, most of which are hand-shaped by Sunshine State board builders. This Dominion twin fin—with its beveled rails, flat deck, epoxy, high-density foam construction and clean outline—brings a retro template into the modern era, and stands to be an accessible entry point for any surfer looking to add a little more speed and fun to his or her sessions. Shaped by Stephen Scruggs out of NSB, the board is a lightweight counterpoint to the heavier keel-finned twins of the past. Estes pairs his 5’5” with Ryan Lovelace Piggy Back keels from True Ames—as opposed to traditional, wide-based keels—for added responsiveness.
“We’ve sold quite a few of these out of the shop in the past several months and the feedback has been great!” Estes says. “This would be a great board to add to your quiver if you’re looking for something that gets up and goes in soft and gutless waves, will fly through flat sections, but still can be put on rail.”
This neat surfboard originally appeared in Void Magazine’s February 2020 issue.