Murphy brothers’ bring surf shop to Bird Rock


There wasn’t a surf shop for locals in Bird Rock.

So Matt and Ben Murphy started one.

Both in their 20s, the siblings have opened Bird Rock Surf at 5544 La Jolla Blvd. It is sandwiched in between Capricorn boutique on the one side, and The French Pastry Shop on the other.

“I’ve lived here for a few years now,” said Matt Murphy, previously a firefighter, “and I was getting frustrated, there wasn’t a (surf) shop nearby. I saw there was a need for a shop in the community, and we’d been looking for almost a year now and finally found this place. What we’re targeting our shop toward is kind of a small, local community surf shop, just keeping it simple, basic.”

“We’ve been surfing forever, both of us,” said Ben Murphy, who recently returned to the area after graduating from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. “I was in retail for awhile. I just got done with school, and I had a local (surf) shop up there, Wave Lengths. I got the experience, loved it. I took a lot of the information I learned up there to this shop.”

Surf boards long and short, leashes, board shorts, and apparel and sandals are staples of Bird Rock Surf, which had a soft opening this past month and is presently about a quarter stocked.

“We will be a fully stocked surf shop,” promised Matt Murphy, noting more inventory is on the way. “We’ll have more boards and much more clothing, including Bird Rock Surf clothing. We’ll have men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. We have Reef sandals and other popular lines like Rip Curl and Hurley.”

Bird Rock Surf carries a lot of apparel from the Ezekiel men’s clothing line out of Costa Mesa. They have a wide assortment of jackets, T-shirts and sweatshirts. “The trend right now is for reversible sweatshirts,” said Matt Murphy. “We’re carrying a few of those. Now that we’re getting into the Christmas season you need to bundle up a bit.”

Pat Tugend, a local surfer and EMT, is a convert to the Murphy’s cause of creating a neighborhood-centered surf shop. “It’s a great thing that’s really needed in the community,” said Tugend. “There are so many surf breaks around there.”

Tugend has bought sandals at Bird Rock Surf. He also has a couple of surf boards on order.

Kyle Moyneur of Bird Rock has known the Murphy brothers for eight years. He’s impressed with their style and pleased they’ve set up shop in town. “Matt shaped the first board that I rode,” said Moyneur, “and I’ve just been doing business with him ever since.

The guys are very personable. They have a lot of pride in how they do business. That’s really stuck out with me.”

Moyneur also likes the Murphys’ customer-service focus and their local approach to doing business. “I’m just stoked having them here,” he said. “They want to run their shop community-based. It’s the Murphy brothers. It’s family run. Bird Rock is pretty close-knit. I walk down to Starbucks all the time, and it’s really cool to have their shop there along the way.”

Carving out their own niche in the local surf industry, the Murphy brothers have begun catering to an important and growing sector of the surf industry - younger surfers. “A lot of shops don’t focus on young kids,” said Matt Murphy. “We’d like to focus a lot of our product toward them.”

Tugend said the Bird Rock community appreciates entrepreneurs like the Murphys coming in and filling a need with their business. “The younger kids especially are really excited to have their own local shop where they can hang out, have someone in their neighborhood so they don’t have to be driven to get surf wax or clothing they like to wear,” he said. “It’s kind of a cool vibe.”

To gear their merchandise toward the younger set, Bird Rock Surf is carrying a diverse array of shorter surf boards, as well as more specialized board styles. Said Matt Murphy: “We’ve got a good variety of boards. We’ve got a few quad-fin boards, which allow you to turn a little easier. Quad-fin boards have got a swallowtail that lets you turn a little faster. We’ve got everything from egg-shaped boards, in between a short board and a long board, for the beginner, or long boards, including nine-footers, for more experienced surfers. We’ve got everything from boards to surfboard socks, bags to keep your board more protected.”

Matt Murphy has been shaping boards for years. He has a workspace in the rear of his new shop. “We do custom boards,” he said, “make them to order.”

The surfboard section of the Murphy’s shop includes strip pads and leashes from Creatures of Leisure, an Australian company. “Some of the best riders in the world ride their products,” pointed out Matt Murphy. “Taj Burrow is one of them. He’s number three right now in the world. Their leashes have the latest in new technology.”

The Murphy brothers surf together. Now they’re in business together selling items people need to indulge in their favorite sport. “That’s pretty cool,” concluded Matt.

Bird Rock Surf Shop is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information call (760) 522-7665 or e-mail