New store brings laid-back surfer style to USC Village
Nestled in the heart of USC Village, right next to Starbucks, is a surfer’s paradise. SOKFY, which stands for Sport of Kings, Forever Young, set up shop on Jan. 2 and aims to bring its easygoing, carefree lifestyle to the USC campus.
The brand was co-founded by three childhood friends: Casey Wheat, Ziggy Williams and Chris Moreno. They opened a flagship store located in Huntington Beach in 2014, selling casual clothing and surf gear that embodies the surfing lifestyle. SOKFY also formed an organized surfing league, which boasts club members from cities spanning the entire California coast.
“We also own and operate a surf contest called the West Coast Board Riders,” Moreno said. “We started club style surfing and it changed the face of competitive surfing in the United States. We have clubs competing from Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, South Bay, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport [Beach], Dana Point, Oceanside, San Clemente and Carlsbad.”
When USC offered Moreno the opportunity to expand the brand and open up a second location, he jumped at the chance.
“USC came to us because they saw our store, and they pursued us,” Moreno said. “We actually have a handful of the guys from the USC surf team and surf club working here, and it seems like it’s going to be a good fit. A lot of people seem to like surfing up here at USC.”
Gabriel Riegner, a junior majoring in neuroscience, is a member of the surf club and works at the store. He felt that it was a perfect fit for his interests and commitments.
“I’ve been looking for a job, and I have a passion for surfing,” Riegner said. “I try to surf as often as possible so this is a great way to continue the tradition while working.”
Riegner began surfing when he came to school in California and fell in love with the sport. He was drawn to SOKFY because he identified with its values and lifestyle brand.
“The carefree lifestyle is something that really resonates with me,” Riegner said. “The adventure of going surfing, traveling, looking for new spots and always being excited about new experiences.”
Moreno hopes that the SOKFY space will generate more student interest in surfing and surf culture.
“Our mission statement is ‘a highly charged, carefree lifestyle, a passion for surfing and the pursuit of happiness’,” Moreno said.
The store is offering surf lessons that take place in Huntington Beach, open to rookie and veteran surfers alike.