Fluid Surf Shop was born of its owners’ pure and simple desire to keep surfing.
“None of us were going pro anytime soon,” says Tim Carr. “In the early days my wife, Rona, and I ran the shop with the help of some very loyal and creative surfers.”
That was 1999, when the original store took over the Surf Report and brought Fluid to life. Always striving to be the “surfer’s choice,” Fluid eventually moved to the Miracle Strip Parkway. Carr says it has become a real ‘mom and pop shop,’ with the whole family helping out where they can.
Carr, who has called Fort Walton Beach home since 1971, says surfing is the first thing he did when he moved here.
“It’s the anchor that keeps me grounded,” he says. “I love to travel in search of waves, but there’s no place like home. If you like the water, you are going to like it here.”
But aside from a keen eye for capturing the beauty of the coast, Carr and his staff are great at what they do both in and out of the store. Fluid employs some talented surf and stand up paddleboard (SUP) instructors, offering lessons to locals and visitors to the area.
Locals can attend “surf practice” each Saturday during the summer, and visitors can book private lessons for groups of up to three people.
With a rousing motto – “To the beach!” – Fluid staffers can be heard encouraging their riders to take it all the way to the beach on each ride. In fact, Carr guarantees you’ll be surfing before your lesson is done.
There are lots of ‘so-called surf shops’ around, he says. But he maintains that Fluid carries the finest boards on the Gulf Coast, and they “really try to match up the right board to the right person for the right wave.”
Fluid’s philosophy is simple: they want you to fall in love with surfing and let it change your life.
“We really want to put the customer first, treat everyone as we would like to be treated and share the stoke,” Carr says. (In surf lingo, the stoke is the physical and mental sensation brought on by the experience.)
The man locals call the “Surf Technician” also offers advice to make the most of your time on our beach.
“Plan on lots of sun, stay hydrated, and look to Fluid for expert advice on what’s happening at the beach,” Carr notes. “We can keep you in quality apparel, righteous sunglasses and cushy sandals.”
Prepare to be stoked.