Aaron Smith is the owner of Destination Surf. Destination is a family run business, that was started by Aaron’s father…over thirty years ago. They make killer board bags. Outside Destination…Aaron represents Patagonia’s surf division, up here in the Pacific Northwest. He helps us pick out our suits, has beer with me when he’s in town, and tolerates me photo-shopping roller-blades on him…when I don’t get my way. He’s a great guy. You should know more about him.
When and where did you learn how to surf?
I learned to surf in Encinitas CA. I was around 5 or 6, my first time standing up. My dad taught me how to surf. He grew up surfing in Leucadia Becons, Swamis, and Moonlight Beach.
What’s your most memorable moment out in the water?
I happened to be in Florida in 91’ when the perfect storm hit. I surfed some of the biggest surf on the east coast. I also got my first shot in Surfer Magazine.
What are some of your other interests?
Free diving, BJJ, and Mountain Biking
How did Destination Surf come to be?
My dad has been in the industry since he got out of High school in Encinitas. He started with surfboards, and and owned a surf shop in Encinitas called Ocean Pacific. He eventually sold the store…which later became OP clothing. After that, my dad took a break and moved our family to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. When Mt St Helens blew, we moved back to San Diego.
He started what would become Destination Surf. At first we distributed all sorts of Surf products; Sticky bumps, Aloha racks, etc. As our brand became more popular we started dropping all other products, and focused more on the Destination brand. Our big thing is travel bags. We made our first bag in 1980. Now we have traction, leashes and packs coming soon.
You have a really great team of Destination riders…spent any time out in the water with them?
I’ve surfed with most of them, with the exception of Jamie Sterling. He rides way too big of waves for me. I’ve been to Fiji with Aamion Goodwin, and the Malloys. It’s always great to see thosee guys surf. They have so much wave knowledge and ability.
Destination recently relocated to Oceanside, Ca. How’s the new home treating you?
Its good. Close to the Harbor for morning sessions. It’s also down in the board building area of Oceanside…so there’s lots of likeminded people.
Outside Destination, you’re also Patagonia’s West Coast Surf representative. How did you get involved with Patagonia?
During the economic down turn in 2008 I was thinking of adding some products to distribute at Destination surf. About the same time Devon Howard, then Manager of the Cardiff Patagonia store…asked if I knew anyone who could rep Patagonia to the surf shop.I jumped at the chance. It’s been an amazing ride!
What’s on the menu for 2013?
For Patagonia, we have all new suits coming in July. New stretch wool, and completely sealed suits. They are insane!! Patagonia also has some new Eco Materials coming out. Stay tuned!
Destination has a new line up of traction pads. I’m also working on a new double short board bag. Travel has changed. Smaller boards and less boards. We need a new bag.