Legacies of IV: Isla Vista Surf Co.

April 27, 2023 2 min read

Long before it was the Chase Bank we know it as today and some time after it was Campus Cue - the downright rowdiest pool hall this side of the Los Padres - 901 Embarcadero del Norte housed perhaps the most endearing of all its venues - Isla Vista Surf Company.

pool hall circa 1969

Campus Cue Pool Hall – From the 1969 UCSB yearbook, page 348

Once upon a while ago, before we were all Tweeting, Tok’ing, and whatever alliteration comes next, you could find your way down the eternally bustling Pardall and -  just past Study Hall in its prime - you’d happen upon one of the most welcoming shops you ever did see.

Founded in 1989 by Joe Burke, Isla Vista Surf Company was the embodiment of Joe’s lifelong spirit of adventure and passion for nature and community. Having spent his youth treading the waves of Long Beach Island in the East, Joe’s passion for surf eventually brought him to Santa Barbara’s sunny shores. Settling in Isla Vista, he made the morning bike commute to work, and bridged the gap for us local Isla Vistans and all our surfing and beach needs.

isla vista surf co circa 2008

I.V. Surf Co. Circa November 2008, Photo by Ryosuke Yagi

Partnering with local board-shaping legend Dave Jonson, who hand crafted the best boards for all those killer Devereux rights, Burke & the rest of Isla Vista Surf Company were open noon to night to provide any and all with the clothing, wetsuits, booties, wax, or just a reassuring smile amidst the tumultuous upheaval of early adulthood. 

For an impressive 22 years, Isla Vista Surf Company catered to the I.V. community until their doors officially closed in 2011.

Isla Vista Surf Co. close up of signage

Thankfully, its spirit still lives on. Of all our alumni stories, the warm and heartfelt love shown by their former patrons hits the ears a bit sweeter and warms the heart all that much more. It’s with this same love we’re proud to offer a resurrected Isla Vista Surf Company Tee as part of our Legacies of I.V. Collection. 

Whether you’re new to the mythos of Isla Vista’s one and only surf company or have some fond memories of your time at 901 Embarcadero Del Norte, be sure to pop in & share some of those stories and love with the rest of us!

iv surf co tee product shot

Grab a tee for yourself or loved one here!


Hyperlinked Sources:
Isla Vista Surf Company Local Wikipedia
Joe Burke Obituary


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