Miami Beach has always been a scene. In the '40s, it was centered around families like the Whitmans who was later built Bal Harbour Shops. In the '70s, it was the cocaine cowboy-types, and in the '90s, it was a group of crazy surfing party-goers.
Wait, there was a surf scene in Miami? Yep, and there still is. And beginning this Thursday, this somewhat overlooked culture will be exposed during Surf the Webster.
Together with Surfrider Foundation's Miami chapter, high-end fashion boutique the Webster is transforming its ground floor into a pop-up surf shop/museum with the hopes of educating visitors on the laid-back lifestyle--and, um, selling some swimsuits and boards in the process. After all, Fashion Week Swim starts at the end of the week.
And if you're feeling skeptical about the authenticity of Miami's surf
culture, we don't blame you. After all, the shores of South Beach don't
produce anything like the barrels of the West Coast. If we're lucky,
we'll get a few swells during hurricane season. But Michael Laas, who
volunteers for Surfrider Foundation's Miami chapter, explains: "Surf
culture doesn't occur because of the surf, but because of the people."
Laas and his colleagues managed to track down a few veterans from the
local scene who later contributed historic images, era surfboards, and
historic video footage of South Beach surf from the '60s, '70s, and
'80s. But don't expect these surfers to fade away after the event.
The collaboration with the Webster is only the first step in a larger
effort to collect, inventory, and archive historic record of Miami's
surfer culture, says Laas. Ultimately, he envisions historic
documentation of the scene and those who influenced it, which will
eventually be known as the Miami Surf Archive Project. Talks of a museum
are in the works as well.
You can visit "Surf the Webster" at The Webster (1220 Collins Ave.,
Miami Beach) until August 31. The boutique is open Monday through
To attend the Thursday night opening at 7 p.m., RSVP to
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Also on Thursday from 9 until 11 p.m., free shuttles will be running
from the Webster to the Standard Hotel (40 Island Ave., Miami Beach),
where the film Surf by the Pool will screen at 10 p.m.