In the spring of 1989, K-Coast Surf Shop opened its door's for the first time. The shop was then located on Somerset Street in downtown Ocean City. During that first summer, the tiny 600 square foot shop was originally called Kookaburra Coast, named after the Australian Kingfisher bird. Now you know what the "K" stands for!! The shop and its resources, like the Kookaburra, were tiny, but the plans for it were huge in the minds of two surfers and best friends that had met while bussing tables at Phillips Crab House in 1982.
After a cold and hungry winter, yet still optimistic, Mark and Chris with their cars as collateral, secured a small loan to take advantage of an opportunity to move the shop to a larger location across the street. Into what was the original Ocean City Post Office. The new location, at the corner of Somerset Street and Baltimore Avenue, with its name shortened to K-Coast, started to gain a loyal clientele. It became known for its rootsy appeal with Mark, Chris, and Mark's mom as the only employees. Shortly after that, the boys seized another golden opportunity when an old carpet shop went up for lease on 78th Street in the fall of 1990. The 78th Street location was a dream come true but needed to be completely gutted and also forced the pair to become landlords as they had to rent out the upstairs apartment to help meet the rent and hopefully make it all work.
Business at the 78th Street location grew steadily, slowly taking over the entire building by 1995, as the need for more retail space was needed. In 1992, Mark "Hairball" Harrell, a local standout surfer joined the staff and would eventually become the K-Coast General Manager. K-Coast grew steadily during the mid to late nineties and established itself as "Maryland's Largest Surf Shop" with the largest selection of surfboards, skateboards, bodyboards and hardgoods found in the Mid-Atlantic.
By 1999, Mark and Chris could see that the amount of customers was overwhelming the size of the 78th Street shop. Later that year K-Coast signed a contract to purchase a half-acre parcel at 36th Street in Ocean City. In July of 2005 the new 11,000 square foot flagship store was opened making it one of the largest surf shops in the United States. Whether you're at 35th or 78th Street, the surf is only a two minute walk from the door.
In 2012 K-Coast opened a warehouse and Internet sales office on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City. The warehouse is open daily in season to the public and offers closeout pricing on special buys, broken size runs and discontinued inventory. Then in 2014, K-Coast teamed up with a well-known local SUP outfitter to form K-Coast / Walk on Water LLP. Allowing K-Coast to offer the finest stand-up-paddleboards, lessons, excursions and equipment the industry has to offer.
Hopefully reading this gave you some insight about our shop. We love where we live and the community we belong to. To our loyal customers, we want to say thanks for amazing support over the past twenty-five years. And to those who may be new to our store or our area, welcome and hope you enjoy your time. Staying to update with all the K-Coast happenings is easy, just be sure like us on Facebook, retweet us on Twitter and follow us on Instagram.