Val Surf Shutters in Pasadena
Val Surf, one of California’s pioneering boardsports shops, is scheduled to close its Pasadena, Calif., location by the end of this month, leaving the retailer with four locations, said Mark Richards, a co-founder of the family-owned retailer.
“It was time for renewal of our lease,” Richards said. But the landlord requested a price that Val Surf considered too high, he said. Richards declined to disclose the price. “We had a few good years before everything started to go out of control in 2007,” he said of the prelude to the Great Recession. “[Pasadena] relies so much on traffic which it doesn’t get anymore. … Parking has always been a problem. It’s just not getting any better.” He also cited an economy in which many people are struggling as another reason for the closure of the 5,500-square-foot Pasadena store. A year with poor snowfall also hurt the retailer’s snowboarding business. The shop has served the hometown of the Rose Bowl and Cal Tech since 2004.
A phone call requesting comment to Val Surf’s Pasadena landlords went unanswered by press time. A square foot of retail space on Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard ranges from $8 to $12, said Pat S. Hurst of Hurst Harrigan Associates, real estate consultants and brokers who have handled many deals in the area.
Val Surf also runs locations in the Valley Village area in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.
In October, Val Surf will celebrate its 52nd anniversary. Richards contends that it was the first shop to sell hard goods for surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding. For years, boundaries between the different boardsports categories were high, and some shops stuck to focusing on one boardsport and its corresponding lifestyle over the others. Val Surf continues to sell leading brands such as RVCA, Rip Curl, Rusty, Huf, Vans and its private label brand, which shares the same name of the store, Val Surf.—Andrew Asch