Saturdays Surf founders (from left) Morgan Collett, Josh Rosen and Colin Tunstall. Photo by Nolan Hall.
Saturdays Surf store, Crosby Street location. Photo via Saturdays Surf.
The girl who wears Rebecca Minkoff’s Resort and Cruise collections is tomboy-meets-effortlessly glam. She can pull off a flowing high-low silk wrap dress just as easily as a color-block tee or a sweatshirt with leather shoulder pads. She is an emblem of vintage surf culture: stylish and comfortable, relishes dressing in modern styles and isn’t afraid to show some edge. This is a very similar style aesthetic to the team behind Saturdays Surf, New York’s resident surf and coffee shop founded by Morgan Collett, Josh Rosen and Colin Tunstall, a trio of surfer friends from the fashion and publishing worlds who banded together to deliver surf gear and sharp, chic attire to the downtown set.
The store, which first opened its Crosby Street location in Soho in August 2009, caters to a clientele that loves both surfing and the art and culture of New York City. In any of Saturdays’ three locations, you can find surfboards, wet suits, surf wax, street art, bath and body products and their very own menswear line. In the West Village shop, which opened on the corner of Waverly and Perry in June 2012, an upfront espresso bar serves La Colombe Coffee and other baked goods, while benches line the front windows of the store for relaxing or flipping through issues of Saturdays Magazine. A selection of sweatshirts, clean-cut button-down shirts, cardigans and T-shirts line the racks, and in the back, you can find surf-themed memorabilia: DVDs of Singlefin: Yellow, Picaresque, A Fly in the Champagne, and of course, Endless Summer, a seminal surf movie from the ‘60s that follows two surfers around the world.
“Style and the way we make clothing is a reflection of ‘50s and ‘60s style,” said Rosen. “One great example is Endless Summer. There’s an image of them going to Morocco to go surfing, and they’re going on a plane. Back then, in the ‘60s, when you went on a plane it was a big deal, so you dressed up. These guys are in pencil ties and suits—really narrow, beautiful suits—hair combed and coiffed, and then, they’re carrying their surfboards. And it’s beautiful.”
We sat down with Rosen to discuss his favorite winter surf spots, surfer style and what he likes most about the sport.
Where are your winter surf getaways?
Jet Blue’s made Puerto Rico this really accessible world, it’s relatively inexpensive even though they use the American dollar. It’s just easy: You can leave here in the morning and have a solid surf session by the afternoon, which is great because they fly into Aguadilla, which is the side of the island that has the better surf. That’s if we have the money to get out for the weekend, it’s a little bit pricey. But we definitely surf through the winter here; the suit technology has gotten pretty advanced. We surf at Rockaway, which is about 45 minutes away; Long Beach is about an hour, and all up and down in Jersey is about an hour and a half. In spring and fall we have hurricane season, which is the best surf for us all year round, but in the middle of the winter, we get Nor’easters. The Nor’easter season is when we get our winter swells, our winter surf.
Don’t you get cold?
When you wear these 5mm wetsuits, you’re essentially covering every part of your body except for a small portion of your face. It’s not hot; you’re not, like, in a down jacket inside a house, but you stay warm, definitely, and your body heats up so much when you’re out there. You want to get out of your suit fast, but if it’s snowing and windy you get about five good minutes of changing out of your wetsuit time before you could probably bring your core temperature down.
What do you like most about surfing?
It’s just beautiful. It’s got phenomenal history. It’s really tapping into nature; there’s almost nothing that exists like it. You’re riding this wave that comes out of nowhere and it disappears in a few seconds and you’re getting it for that brief moment. And when you come out of an amazing wave or you’ve surfed an amazing wave, it’s this full body, physical, mental, emotional high. And that’s what keeps people in this sport. A lot of people try it: A lot of people go to Hawaii, or on vacation, and they’ll take a lesson and they’ll surf once or twice, and it’s cool, and you get the feeling like, “Wow, that’s so fun,” but there’s a moment where you get up and you surf down along the wave that changes you. Most people, if they get to that point, will never stop.
How would you describe surfer style, on and off the surfboard?
Style is incredibly important. When you look at surfers, the very early surfers in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, you already can tell how style will play a role forever. Everyone’s style is so individual. You can’t really hide style because you’re either in a wetsuit, which is skintight, or you’re in shorts and nothing else, or a bikini, so what you do with your body visually is really important. Style off the surfboard has not been important. Surfing is about being in the water and being in swim trunks or a wetsuit, and when you’re out of the water, you’re usually getting warm and getting comfortable, so surf style has been baggy pants, baggy shirts, jackets – comfy things. We leave the house at four in the morning and then we go straight to the ocean, you want to be warm and cozy. The difference for us is when we come out of the ocean and back to home, we’re going to our jobs in New York City, so that’s where fashion is important for us because we’re New York kids, we live and work in the New York world, so dressing nicely is important to us, so we created clothing for that. But generally, surf fashion is what you envision: Southern Californian flip flops, brightly logo-ed shirts, baggy shorts. We’re the antithesis of that.
Saturdays Surf is located at 31 Crosby Street between Broome Street and Grand Street and 17 Perry Street between Waverly Place and West 4th Street.