Shop of the Week – Aqua East


Drop into Aqua East (with two locations in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine, FL areas) and say hi to the friendly and surf knowledgable staff and also check out some of the latest …Lost gear they carry.

Here’s a bit of history about the shop:

Aqua East Surf Shop opened in 1973 by surfer/skater Sandy Forsyth who was 19 at the time. Sandy started surfing in the summer of 8th grade in 1967 on a 9’6 Velzy that he bought from a department store. Yes, back then there were few surf shops, but surfboards were carried in some men’s clothing, hardware, and department stores that were located in coastal cities. A few years later during the short board evolution Sandy started building surfboards in his parent’s garage and on April 1, 1973 he opened Aqua East Surf Shop in a small store about the size of a bedroom. Sandy soon found that building boards and running a shop did not leave much time for surfing and skating so he stopped building boards to concentrate on making his store the best possible and allowing him more time to surf, skate and test product.

Surfers and skaters soon flocked to Aqua East. Here was someone who knew what they wanted because Sandy used it while surfing and skating. Soon Aqua East doubled in size and in 1983 Sandy built his own 5,000 square foot building. Everyone thought he was crazy and that no way would surfing support such a large store. This store let Sandy expand into more clothing – especially women’s and to carry a lot more surfboards and accessories. After a few years Sandy saw that he needed even a bigger store – a super store where he would have plenty of space to carry surfboards, skateboards and the other sports that he enjoyed along with swimwear and lifestyle clothing. Sandy always liked to give his customers the best selection, possible. In the summer of 1988 Sandy opened his superstore in Jacksonville Beach and then in August of 1999 Sandy opened a superstore in St. Augustine Beach.

Over the years Aqua East Surf Team has had some of the best surfers in North Florida including United States Surfing Champion’s Annete Stewart, Dave Huff, several time East Coast Champion Charley Hajek, Pro’s like Jody Davis, Brent Lambrecht, Terry Strumpf and Daniel Terry along with current top amateurs like Karina Petroni, Mike Martin, and Rory Reep.

…Lost and Aqua East rider Brent Lambrecht. Photo: EASTERNSURF.COM

Cory Lopez visiting the crew and some fans at Aqua East.

…Lost and Aqua East rider Jody Davis.

Sandy Forsyth
Now Surfing The Perfect Wave
August 1953 – May 2005
May you rest in peace our friend

Check out their locations below.

Jacksonville area:


St. Augustine area:

1850 A1A SOUTH
Where 312 and A1A meet