It was time. I'd taken my licks at El Porto, gone down the line at Bolsa Chica, and even ventured up to Ventura and beyond -- With a trip to Florida in my future, I decided it was time to take my surfing bi-coastal. While stopping in for the "best burrito ever", I asked about a place where I could rent a surfboard to try out the Florida waves. I was directed to the Catalyst surf shop just a block down the street towards the water.
The Catalyst surf shop was a pretty unassuming building on Ocean Avenue. Had I not been looking for it, I'm not sure I would have stumbled across it on my own. Inside, the store seemed to have a wide assortment of surf and skate apparel. I saw quite a few skateboards, but no surfboards - at least in the front area -- it's quite possible the surfboards were in the back, or just pushed aside for the winter season.
I asked about renting a board and I was told they had a pretty wide selection of sizes ranging from short to long to foam. I was told all boards were $20/day. I went with the 9' 2" (the longest they had that day) as the surf was reported as "FLAT". (I'd come this far, I was going out in the water even if I could only practice floating). It was near the end of the day, so they said I could take the board out for a few hours and they'd either pro-rate me for a partial day or let me come back in the morning to grab the board for a few more hours. After they took a copy of my license and credit card, I was on my way. They even tossed in a bar of wax.
Unfortunately, the surf report was accurate, and there wasn't much going on in the water. I managed to catch a couple REALLY short rides (ankle slappers), but that was about it. Fortunately, for the price, I didn't regret making the effort at all.
Considering how much airlines charge now to transport surfboards (or even luggage for that matter), I'll definitely be returning to Catalyst for a rental on my future Florida trips.