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Q+A WITH HANSEN'S SURFBOARDS

Q+A WITH HANSEN'S SURFBOARDS

If ya didn’t know (I’m guessing you didn’t, lol) Hansen’s Surfboards was the first Surf Shop to ever sell Get Back Necklaces! We sat down with Buyer, Pami Bennett, who has worked with Hansen's for 30 years, to get the inside scoop on the backstory of Hansen’s and what it's been like over the years. Read on to learn more about Hansen’s Surfboards, the family- owned and operated surf shop that was founded in 1961.

 

Who is Don Hansen?

Don Hansen is the guy that started it all!  You probably wouldn’t guess but alongside opening up Hansen’s “...he jumps out of planes, he was a rancher, he’s been in rodeos and before all that he was in the Army and he was a football star, he really is an awesome guy! He started the business off of about $1700 that he borrowed. He started down in Cardiff at the Kraken, which is now a beach bar, but he wanted to expand so that's how he came to Encinitas. He started shaping surfboards and then it became clothing and skiing, and then they did camping and hiking before I came to Hansen’s. But when I came it was still ski and surf and skate that we do now. It's definitely evolved, when I first came, we only had one row of surfboards and now it's like we have this huge room!”

 

What’s your favorite part about working at Hansen’s?

“My favorite part is just being across from the beach and just everyone’s always in a good mood because everybody’s on vacation or has money to buy something and I just know every customer that comes in that has been here before. Even if I don’t they’re from somewhere else that hotels have told them to come shopping and they’re so happy when they get here. It’s like a one stop shop!”

What do you think makes Hansen’s Surfboards different/special and unique from the other surf shops in Southern California?

“Definitely our range of items that we have merchandised: huge shoes, like crazy if you can’t find a pair of shoes here. We have a whole entire wall of sunglasses, pillows, houseware, lotions candles and more. We sell beach towels, beach coverups, hats, everything! Everyone can find something here. We also have a huge wrapping station to make orders special for each customer. We wrap for Christmas, Mother’s Day etc. We have every kind of paper and every color bow, tissue and I feel like that’s why a lot of people come here.”

What is the work culture like at Hansen’s and how have you seen it progress over the years?

“I think it is really relaxed, everybody feels comfortable here. I think that’s why it’s so good for a family business almost, it’s not corporate, you don’t have to meet a quota. It’s not stressful and we all help each other out, we don’t have commissions so if someone’s trying something on and we wanna sell them something else then everyone pitches in and it’s not cut throat. It’s really comfortable that way and we are really big on customer service. We want to make them happy and I think that’s one of the things we really try to do.”


Before Get Back, had you ever heard of a Saint Christopher Surf Medal, and if so, what do you remember about the necklaces and the tradition behind them?

“I actually didn’t know about them. I remember Scott (The founder of Get Back Necklaces:)) coming in, and when I first started buying I was in my 20s and they were telling me all about it. I am Christian and it seemed more of a Catholic thing, so I hadn’t ever heard about them, however my mom had, since they were more her era, exchanging them to their boyfriends and girlfriends when they were “going steady”. After they told me about it and since I've been buying them, I started noticing them in old movies like Grease and The Shallows starring Blake Lively. After that movie I had to continue ordering that colorway over and over because it kept selling out!”

Being the first store to sell our product, what was your first impression of the brand?

“I liked buying them, because when I go vacationing, I like buying something that you can’t get anywhere else and something unique and different. At Hansen’s we have to stick to our surf vibe, we don’t buy anything that isn’t ocean/beach life themed. That’s why I like buying Get Back because people are always traveling and traveling to surf and it’s a symbol of protection. We also always buy stuff that is locally made and I know that Get Back was made in Escondido when they started.”

How have you seen Get Back develop since you first started selling our necklaces back in the late 90s?

“Get Back has definitely developed. The sizes for sure, we didn't sell the small medallion, we didn't have all the different kinds of chains, we didn’t have the gold, rectangular, tee shirts, hats etc. When we started we only sold the classic medallions in two sizes and now we have a little bit of everything!”

Now a few words from Don Hansen’s son, Christian Hansen

What do you like about working at Hansen’s?

“We’re all family here, we’ve all been working here together for probably about 20-30 years. Even the customers know our names and we know their names, it’s just a cool vibe. It wouldn’t have been possible without my dad.

On the subject of St. Christopher, when I knew I had a girlfriend I gave her a St. Christopher in the 7th grade and I know her name to this day…Suzanne Fleming. When I gave it to her we knew we were going steady. We are still friends to this day.”

To see more follow Hansen’s on Instagram @hansensurfboards
Check out Hansen’s website here.

Read next:   Q+A WITH AUDREY FAISON (@BBFAIS + @CONCRETEQUEENZ)

Q+A WITH AUDREY FAISON (@BBFAIS + @CONCRETEQUEENZ)


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