The year was 1963, and the surf culture was dominated by the west coast. Pete Smith, then a 24 year old surfer working at a local motel in Virginia Beach, opened the area's first dedicated surf shop, one of the first businesses of its kind on the east coast, "Smith & Holland Surf Shop" with friend Bob Holland.
Later that year, Smith would write a letter to the legendary Surfer Magazine heralding the surfing scene in Virginia Beach. John Severson, editor of Surfer at that time, showed the letter to the most popular California surfboard maker of the day, Hobie Alter, who showed up in Virginia Beach and negotiated a deal with Smith and Holland to carry his boards exclusively.
In 1962, the first East Coast surf contest started and was held on Gilgo Beach in Long Island. Smith's partner Holland drove a group of local surfers up to the event, who ended up dominating the competition. In 1963, with a little luck and a little help, Pete Smith and his partner managed to move the pro-amateur surf competition to Virginia Beach, where it was renamed the Virginia Beach Surfing Festival, and later the East Coast Surfing Championships, now the East Coast's longest running surfing competition.
In the late 60's, after opening another two locations, Bob Holland retired from the surf shop business, and Pete Smith set up the first Pete Smith's Surf Shop on 28th street in Virginia Beach. It was 1983 when we stepped into his shop in the beating heart of East Coast surf culture. Immediately we fell in love with the soul of Pete Smith's and with the help of its team set about bringing its essence to the Jersey shore where we've served our customers for 30 years.
Today, Pete Smith's Surf Shop continues its tradition of strong local ties and a love for all things sea & surf. Stop in today and step into history.