Business Spotlight: 101 Surf Sports

Longtime water sports aficionados bring expertise, and love of the water to the residents of San Rafael.

101 Surf Sports
115 Third Street

What do they offer?

This shop is a full service water sports and sporting goods store. They have rentals for wind surfing, kite boarding, kayaking, surfing and paddle boarding. Equipment for sale ranges from wetsuits to waterproof iPad covers, sunglasses and more. Lessons for beginners, tours and programs for patrons of all ages are also available. 

Who are they?

Owners and San Francisco Bay residents David Wells and Cort Larned are no strangers to water sports. Both bring over forty years of experience on the water to 101 Surf Sports and Larned was the windsurfing World Champion in 1984 and 1985.

How long have they been there?

The shop opened on Nov. 11, 2011.

Why are they in our business spotlight?

The San Francisco Bay is listed among the top places in the world for water sports. “One of the missions of opening such a store was giving people access to the bay. Anyone who has wanted to try paddle boarding can come down and have a go at one of the fastest growing sports in the world,” Wells said.

Customer service was also on the top of the list when Wells and Larned brought the business to San Rafael. Prices might be higher than stuff found on the Internet, but with it comes the extensive profiling process for each purchase and the effort to match the right board to the right athlete. Many of the lessons and rental programs are geared toward beginners and since the age limit is 8, they see a lot of kids. The enthusiasm the staff has for paddle boarding or surfing or kayaking is encouraging and fun for those trying out a board or a kayak for the first time.

101 Surf Sports has got so much going on, there is something for everyone. This is a destination point for residents of San Rafael and other Marin County people who share the love of the bay and embrace what Wells calls, “the water-man culture."

There are year-round classes, equipment demos, tours, trips and birthday parties for kids. They have a frequent renter plan a whole family can use.

Ever heard of Leigh Claxton and Yoga on a paddle board? Well, she’s offering classes on the water right behind the shop on Third Street. And the upcoming Whole Foods Paddle Race takes full advantage of the one-mile distance from the start point in the canal to the bay.

Did you know?

Around San Francisco, the winter months are better for paddling. Be sure to sign up for the 101 Surf Sports newsletter for events and more tips.

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