Surf’s Up as Shops Grow

Khanh Ngo, owner of Khanh Sports on Park Place in East Hampton, enjoys the breeze from the door of his new addition. Morgan McGivern

    Although there are other established surf shops in Montauk, on Napeague, in Amagansett, East Hampton, Sag Harbor, and Wainscott, Yaan Pessino, who seems to have had the surf bug since he was in utero, has opened his own version, packing it with boards, ball gowns, and other “fun stuff.”
    At the same time, Khanh Sports, on Park Place in East Hampton Village, which opened in 1997, has added upscale eyewear and a full service bicycle shop to his enterprise. For after-hours, he sells table tennis tables.
    “It’s like going through your parents’ garage and finding all the old, cool stuff,” said Mr. Pessino, who opened Buenos Dias Surf Garage at 6 South Elmwood in Montauk last weekend. “But I went and found it for you.”
    “I was conceived at Ditch Plain,” Mr. Pessino said. He went to the Hampton Day School and East Hampton High before cutting loose for California and other places. Surfing along with photography have always been his “main joy and pursuit,” he said. He spent the last six months at L’Atelier Blanc et Noir in Biarritz, France, working in a darkroom.
     The spot on South Elmwood popped up serendipitously, Mr. Pessino said, and for the past month he has been a one-man work machine.
    Although his mother, Maria Pessino, a performance artist, is of Cuban descent, the name Buenos Dias “really means ‘good days.’ And that’s what I want to create here — good days of memories, of surfing, of fun.” He has the letters tattooed on his toes.
    The shop has classically influenced hand-shaped surfboards, artwork, jewelry, and women’s shoes as well as clothing. Surfboard manufacturers include Gato Heroi, Alex Knost, and Hydrodynamica, and clothing comes from Warriors of Radness, Leaf, and the local Drug Money Art line.
    The store will function on “Spanish-style” time, open from mid-to-late morning (after the good morning surf), closed for siesta, and open again from late afternoon until 9 or 10 p.m.
    “People like to walk around and peek into stores before or after dinner,” he said. “I’m hoping to create a nice place for them to stop in or hang out.”
    Back behind Main Street in East Hampton, the laid-back kingdom of Khanh Ngo, proprietor of Khanh Sports/EH Eyeware, has grown over the years from a 600-square-foot mostly sun-and-surf shop to a double-wide store. Eyeglasses and bikes are new this year.
    The winter renovations at Khanh Sports were  done by Mr. Ngo and the shop’s employees. “We put down Brazilian cherry floors. We cut through to the sunglass place and then broke through the back of the store that was part of Medusa,” he said. (Medusa sells women’s clothing next door.)
    The bicycles on sale, some of which are hand-painted, come from  companies like Jamis and Nirve, with prices ranging from around $340 to $700, with a couple in the $1,200 range.
    “It’s a better presentation,” he said. “We can stock things we couldn’t before, like enclosed bike baskets for puppies.” And paddleboards, Mr. Ngo said.
    “There’s so much I still want to do,” Mr. Ngo said. But for now, he’s happy with the homelike feel and the products he carries.
    Checking the number of surf shops, the list includes Sunset Surf Shack, which is also on South Elmwood in Montauk and which expanded to a second space across the street this year, and Air and Speed Board Shop, on Montauk’s Main Street.
    Espo’s Surf Shop is now on Napeague, Island Riders on Montauk Highway in Amagansett, Flying Point in Sag Harbor, and Main Beach Surf and Sport in Wainscott. The proprietors all carry a variety of sports gear and pray that the surf is up.