Beach bums, vacationers and casual browsers visited this weekend for the store's , a surfer's flea market paradise which has been annually for over 20 years.
Patrons perused the Main Beach's front lawn in the Wainscott shopping center, taking a gander at the secondhand surfboard collection, wetsuits and other clothes, kayaks, canoes and accessories.
"Everybody comes out of the woodwork, and usually they end up walking away with everybody else's gear," Dylan Stott, a Main Beach team rider from Ireland, said. "It's stuff from people's garages, so….it varies from absolutely atrocious to top of the line."
Private sellers priced and then handed off their own equipment and gear to the staff, which offered 100 percent of the purchase price in store credit, or 75 percent in cash. Some of the staff sold their own equipment as well, Stott said.
"It's a good way to upgrade your gear," Main Beach manager Rick Drew said. "For families or surfers trying to get new equipment…there's some really good deals to be found."
For those who have the patience and skills to convert a fixer-upper, there is a great opportunity to find unique and quality gear, Drew said. Some sellers are just looking to upgrade, and others don't have the opportunity to fix a high-quality surfboard with "a little ding" on it.
The event is also a chance to showcase Main Beach's other services, Drew said, including surfing and kayak lessons, summer camps and community events on the beach. In addition to brokering the swaps, the store also runs sales and packages of their own goods. Main Beach also provides delivery service to customers who buy from the store or from the swap.
Despite giving customers the opportunity to buy at discount prices from private sellers the event actually helps the business, Drew said, because many swappers seek to upgrade their gear with Main Beach and take advantage of the store's sales.
An institution on the East End for decades, Main Beach has become a community hub where local beach nuts and casual vacationers intermingle, Drew said.
This year's swap meet helped bring these two groups together, among others: a father and son "test-driving" a kayak on land; a retired couple picking up some water sport accessories; a surfer casually offering a six pack to whichever one of his buddies sold his board; a group of European vacationers curiously inspecting each surf board, to name a few.