If you have ever had the good fortune to visit our beautiful island of St. Thomas, and while on "The Rock" have counted among your shopping experiences a visit to one of our three stores, you probably caught the vibe as soon as you walked in the door. You know the one we’re talking about. The energy is real. We love what we do, we love and care about our island, and many of us who work at Caribbean Surf Co. are also avid (if not maniacal) surfers. Can you possibly imagine any better place to be?
We believe this synchronicity shows in everything we do. Our selection of the best, most popular and up-to-the-minute brands and styles in surfwear, accessories and street fashions. Personalized assistance from one of the most helpful and cheerful staff around. Unique “Destination” T-Shirts from Billabong and our very own CSC signature collection, that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. A connection to the surf community and to the St. Thomas community as a whole that drives our continuing commitment to making our home a better place in which to live and to visit.
Our foundation is in our “brick and mortar” stores... literally! The historic building in which our downtown Charlotte Amalie store is situated is almost two hundred years old, and was constructed from the bricks, stone and ancient timbers that served as ballast aboard the empty merchant ships headed to the Virgin Islands to be filled with sugar, rum and other island treasures, before returning to Europe.
We like to think we’re in tune, first-hand and face-to-face, with what our customers want, and we deliver it (or try our best to get it for them!) with the dedication to exceptional customer service that they deserve. It’s important, and we try never to forget it.
Caribbean Surf Co. had its first roots in sports attire and footwear. Its creative and energetic husband-and-wife team started out in 1990 with a sports retail store called Players, which is now home to Caribbean Surf Co.’s location in the Havensight Mall on St. Thomas. Players II opened shortly thereafter in a walk-up second story space on downtown Charlotte Amalie's Main Street. Despite well-meaning friends’ precautions, the second location was an unqualified success.
When the devastating hurricane Marilyn struck the US Virgin Islands in 1995, Players I and II faced the same plight as did most everyone else on the island: their losses were substantial. But the owners never lost hope, and they refused to give up. In 1996, they opened a new store called "Going Seanile" on the Waterfront in downtown Charlotte Amalie.
An avowed surfing enthusiast from almost as early as he could stand on a board, one of the founding partners set about on a mission to find the ideal livelihood that would make it possible not only to work in an exciting and thriving environment, but which would also allow him more time to pursue his passion for surfing. The solution: owning their own surf business.
In 2001, they took the plunge to shift the stores' branding focus from general sports to surfing. The decision proved a fortuitous one, as its timing meshed perfectly with the burgeoning worldwide popularity of all things beach- and surfing- related… even among non-surfers. In 2003, the names of the Havensight and Waterfront stores officially changed to Caribbean Surf Co.. A third store was opened in Red Hook on the island's East End in 2006, and in 2011, CSC proudly celebrated the addition of the second-only dedicated Billabong store in the entire Caribbean to its roster of surf retail stores. Now, with this dramatic new presence firmly established at the center of Charlotte Amalie's renowned duty free shopping district, Caribbean Surf Co.'s iconic and popular waterfront store closed its doors in June of 2013.
The CSC website, representing all the best of Caribbean Surf Co.'s offerings, is the newest evolution in the company's growth. It has been the company's longtime goal to be able to bring its wares to surf fashion aficionados in between their visits to St. Thomas.
So, you ask... was the owners’ dream of having more time to surf realized? We can’t say here, but we’ll wager our Billabong ball caps that they’re the only store owners on St. Thomas who train a live webcam on the most popular surfing beach on St. Thomas, and keep a close eye on it every day... waiting for the perfect wave.
In October 2008, Carbbean Surf Co. was featured in an interview from the @Work series published online by our on-island, serving-the-world news website, the St. Thomas Source. Read the article here. (Thank you, St. Thomas Source!)