SuperShops: Hansen’s Surf Shop
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Over a half century ago, Don Hansen started shaping his own surfboards in southern California. At one point in the mid-60’s he had shaped and sold over 6,000 boards in a single year. Hansen then went on to create one of the most well-established, non-corporate snow, skate, surf shop in Encinitas.
The family run business has thrived due to the attention that each customer gets, explains Josh Hansen, co-owner of Hansens. “We are just a good old fashion, family run business that really focuses on customer service and shopper experience. Most of the products we sell can be bought in many places, but the experience that we try and give our customers is one of a kind.”
The Hansen family: Josh, Don, Heidi and Christian
Customer service in snowboarding doesn’t just come from working hard and being nice. Most of the employees at Hansen’s have not only been there for several years, but have typically grown up getting loose on nearby waves and snow. Needless to say, Hansen’s is the kind of place where you can trust that the person giving you advice on your next setup actually knows what they are talking about.
With killer service and employees that share the same love of shred, the shop has a a slew of dedicated regulars. Like locals at a coffee shop, some of Hansen’s customers come in the same day and time each week, chat with the staff and shop around.
To ensure a unique feel, all merchandising is in-house, keeping Hansen’s looking fresh and original, says Assistant Manager Emily Merrill. “It’s very homey. We are not corporate, so we don’t have all of the cookie cutter displays. We have a very unique and different feel.”
While they have a laser-like focus on customer satisfaction and attention to detail, part of what makes Hansen’s worth checking out is not what they’ve got, but what they give. From school fundraisers, to local competitions, they are constantly helping support the community that has carried them for 52 years. “We are very much about serving the community,” says Merrill. “We want to help kids stay active and meet their goals.”
Arguably one of the biggest contributions from a shop, Hansen’s started “Goods for Grades” in the late nineties. The incentive program for elementary to high school students rewards the kids with “Hansen dollars,” which can be used to buy product at the shop. During the 2011 school year, the shop gave away close to $100,000 to kids that were posting good grades—grand totaling over $500,000 since 1996.
Hansen’s focus outward instead of inward has engrained the five-decade old shop into the Encinitas area with prominence that most shops only imagine. But for the family at Hansen’s, they are simply giving back to those who have been there for them. “The community has supported us since the beginning,” says Hansen. “In turn, we do all we can to help the community.”