Ron Jon Established Surf Culture in LBI
Surfers and beach lovers along the east coast are familiar with Ron Jon Surf Shop… But did you know its easy going surf culture got started in NJ with the creation of Ron Jon Surf Shop in LBI?
Though it began as a specialty board shop, Ron Jon is now among the top beachwear fashion brands and is a household name to the surfer community. Almost sixty years after opening its first store, Ron Jon in LBI is still making waves.
Ron Jon Surf Shop in LBI, the Beginning
Humble begins are the best way to describe the early days of Ron Jon Surf Shop. Back in the fifties, the surf scene was just beginning to catch on in New Jersey. A young man named Ron DiMenna was a passionate surfer who wanted to get himself a custom surfboard. Since locally made boards weren’t anything special at the time, Ron looked into purchasing one from California where the surf scene had already taken off.
It was Ron’s father who inspired him to make a business out of his passion for surfing. In 1961, Ron Jon Surf Shop was opened in LBI’s Ship Bottom section, located not far from the designated surfing beaches on the island. The store was nothing special from the look of it, but over time the customer base grew. It has since become a famous name with a very loyal following.
Ron Jon Surf Shop’s reputation and identity
Ron Jon’s marketing strategy was the accelerator that helped the small shop become such a huge success. The branding was consistent and noticeable with its bold red and white designs. A sticker of the recognizable Ron Jon logo was provided free with every purchase.
Eventually, the product line was expanded to go beyond surfboards and gear. Ron Jon was carrying everything from branded tee shirts and summer accessories to necklaces and boomerangs. Their LBI customer loyalty grew steadily. The popularity of this brand is still strong today. Ron Jon’s social media channels are active and customers share photos of their gear from Ron Jon Surf Shop in LBI and other beach towns. You can even download Ron Jon LBI screensavers and wallpaper for your computer.
The interesting man behind Ron John surf shop in LBI
Founder Ron DiMenna is quite a character. Despite being a thrill seeker, he is shy with the media and rarely allows his picture to be taken. When Ron was younger, wanderlust kept him from settling down for any length of time. Two years after opening Ron Jon Surf Shop in LBI, he left his father in command and ventured to Florida to open a second location in Cocoa Beach. He later took up residence in Australia for seven years, and he continued to manage his business empire from the land down under.
Challenges and changes to Ron Jon surf shop in LBI
A few decades later, the original Ron Jon shop in LBI became the target of law officials. There were some zoning issues and complaints from competing shop owners. Ron Jon’s display out front was kitschy to say the least, including an overcrowded assortment of lawn ornaments and colorful pinwheels. The mayor pressured Ron to minimize the shop’s décor or shut it down completely. The original Ron Jon in LBI was later renovated and reopened on Long Beach Boulevard.
Now, the store stands out for other reasons. Instead of kitschy decorations on a small shop, you’ll see a four-story 8,100 square foot emporium in Ship Bottom, LBI. The world’s largest surfboard – over 24 feet in length – is displayed at the LBI surf shop.
Ron Jon now has licensing deals with Surf School and Kiteboarding classes at the flagship store in Cocoa Beach, Florida. There are currently twelve Ron Jon Surf Shops along the east coast plus stores at four different airports. The Ron Jon chain has ventured off the east coast to open shops in Las Vegas, Cozumel, and one in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
The original Ron Jon store has a strong connection to the local community in LBI. Surfing is a popular activity in the southern parts of the island like Beach Haven, Ship Bottom, and Surf City. You can monitor the ocean via live webcam of the beach nearby Ron Jon surf shop in LBI and check out the waves so you know the best time to surf.
Ron Jon is a lifestyle brand with a loyal following that carries on through generations of beach lovers. Surfers all around the world now recognize Ron Jon Surf Shop for its easy going surf culture and for the mark it made on the surf retail industry.