randy price, owner of field day coffee, surfing a 9’6 shaped for him by shea somma. photo by brad wrage Credit: Brad Wrage | Courtesy

For those in need of a new surfboard who don’t want to pay high prices, or simply wish to connect with others in the local surfing community, surfboard shaper Shea Somma’s annual surfboard swap is just around the corner.

The event will take place on Oct. 9 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Field Day Coffee’s parking lot, where anyone can bring used surfboards to sell or trade with others. The coffee shop’s parking lot on Monterey Street is spacious, with enough room for attendees and their surfboards to be spread out. 

Somma said the idea came from when he saw surfboard swaps taking place elsewhere and wondered why San Luis Obispo didn’t have one as well.

“It is a no-brainer to me that San Luis Obispo should have a surfboard swap because of the surfing community here,” Somma said. 

Somma said that surfers are always trying to get the perfect board for different surfing conditions.

“It kind of fits within the surfing culture to always be on the hunt for that next board,” Somma said. “I think the swap is appealing because you get to physically handle the boards in real life, check them out and interact with them all in one place all at one time.” 

Somma said he is looking forward to the upcoming swap because the tension around COVID-19 has eased quite a bit as opposed to last year’s swap.

“Last year’s event was masked even though it was outdoors, so it definitely feels a bit less tense around if it is a good idea to have [the event take place] or not,” Somma said.

Somma said that the swap is a great way for surfers to just have conversations since they do not talk a lot when they are out on the water. 

“Even though you see people, it is not the most social activity,” Somma said. “So this definitely gives an opportunity for people to actually talk with one another about surf designs and trade stories, and I think it is really fun.”

Somma’s hopes for the surfboard swap is for people to come out and overall have a fun time.

“I think the surf community is a unique community and there is a general appreciation of being outside, experiencing nature and being in the elements,” Somma said. “[The swap] is an opportunity to not only score a used board, but to have a conversation with that person you only ever nodded to from across the parking lot.” 

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