By Andrea Swayne
T. Patterson Surfboards owner Timmy Patterson wants to start the new year in an old direction, concentrating only on the art of building great surfboards.
The surf shop, previously on El Camino Real in the North Beach area of San Clemente, was closed just before Christmas while the company moved to its new, smaller retail location in the Los Molinos surf district, a move Patterson said has reignited his love for his craft.
“It’s a big change,” Patterson said. “There’s really one main reason people go to the Surf Ghetto or Shapers’ Alley or whatever you want to call it, and that’s to shop for surfboards. It’s a real community here with guys like Cole, Matt Biolos, Dewey Weber, Hamish Graham, Terry Senate, Ghetto House Glassing and Used Surfboards. Boards are shaped and glassed right here and go out to surfers, including many pros, all over the world. And I’m right across the street from Brad Basham’s. Back in the day he was one of the keys to my success. Still is. He pushed me and allowed me to make it all happen.”
Since the move, Patterson said the foot traffic has really picked up, largely due to the location and the return to his core business.
“Name any team rider in the world and they’ve been to this little spot in San Clemente,” he said. “It’s such a well-known and concentrated area, and we see the best guys from all over the world coming to this little part of California. It says a lot about what we are all doing here.”
Patterson said he is enjoying having greater interaction with his customers—from top pro riders to beginners—and that, along with the close presence of so many other shapers, creates a community of innovators that has put the Los Molinos district on the world map.
“It’s really cool to get instant input from everyone,” he said. “That’s one of the coolest things about our business: input from locals and customers and the ability to make boards, start-to-finish, right here. We all get the advantage of making a board and trying it out the next day.”
The success of T. Patterson team rider, Brazilian pro and 2015 Rookie of the Year, Italo Ferreira, also provided Patterson with confirmation that taking his company back to the basics was a move in the right direction.
“Italo’s an amazing surfer, one of the best standouts last year riding T. Patterson boards, so that’s been really positive for us,” Patterson said. “It was just time to downsize, cut overhead and return to concentrating on surfboards and stocking more of what surfers want. The stand-up paddling thing had really run its course and was kind of confusing to some. We don’t sell clothing or artwork anymore either. We’re getting back to the basics of how I started—making great surfboards and doing what I love. It’s refreshing to see so many new customers and old customers stopping by. It’s made it all fun again.”