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Sonoma County Gazette
Northern Lights Surf Shop
Northern Lights Surf Shop

Surf into September!

Sep 2, 2018


Greetings, fellow coastal creatures. It’s that time of year again - surfers know: the best season for surfing is from September to January. The Northern Light Surf Shop has been serving Bodega and passers-by since 1986. The current owner-operators Sarah and Ben Dougherty have been running it since 2012. Even before then, Sarah had been working at the Surf Shop on and off since 1990. She was raised in Bodega and is very connected to the area.

The North Coast is home to “viking” surfers who have to work extra hard by gearing up for our dangerously cold waters. Curious new surfers to experienced old-timers can stop by the shop to rent equipment. The Dougherty’s rent out wetsuits, surf boards, paddle boards, bodyboards and skimboards. They contract with the expert Ed Barbera to shape unique and impressive custom made boards. They also offer ding repair for personal boards. The shop is a great resource center for all ocean lovers and eager surfers alike.

Exciting news: Northern Light just opened a new Surf Shop in Valley Ford! They have been open with steady business flowing in since this past June. They have some compelling fresh designs coming out, which are featured particularly in this location. One item that really caught my eye is called Surf Dirt, a skin and reef safe sunscreen developed by a Hawaiian family of herbalists and chemical scientists. What a great eco-friendly invention!

Ben has been surfing for 15 years and most enjoys the personal challenge, the people and the ocean water. He sees all walks of life out there, from toddlers to 80 year old surfers. He’s lived happily here in Bodega for 10 years. He enjoys seeing his wife, Sarah, at work doing amazing things in the shop. She simply loves the interaction with all the people coming in to shop - a multitude of ocean lovers. Also, she likes watching the young surfer kids grow up, observing their individual paths of life as they relate to the ocean.

Sarah loves Bodega. She likes living in the country and being a part of a small community. Of course, she and her husband Ben love being close to the beach. Ben is also an arborist (“a tree surgeon”) who works mostly in residential and high risk areas. Let this be a reminder to stay on top of your forestry work and keep trees and bushes trimmed back to ensure safety for you and your neighbors during this fire season.

The new Valley Ford Shop is planted in the center of town in the historic Dairyman’s Bank building. The old bank served the prosperous dairy farmers and local businesses starting back in 1890. The very first officers were H. M. LeBaron and Hollis Hitchcock. The son, C. A. LeBaron, continued the legacy of the bank through its merge with the Tomales Bank in 1923. In 1928, the Dairyman’s Coast Bank became the Bank of America. This institution back in the day was said to be the most frequently robbed bank. It is worth a visit.

Keep your eyes peeled for the shop’s storewide sale in the month of February, 2019.

Fall hours of both locations are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Bodega Byways by Eva Granahan



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