A Den for Surfers in the heart of Milan
In the grey and chaotic city of Milan, tucked in a small corner of the city between the centre and its’ suburbs, there is a place that smells of salty water and sunset.
Surfer’s Den is a small paradise where surfers can feel that peculiar vibe which can usually be found only by the sea, where they can breathe that familiar atmosphere of waves, sand, passion and freedom. First opened during the cold November of 1999, with the idea of giving Milan’s surfers a meeting point, a hotspot for anyone interested in the world of surf. This was achieved by providing all the necessary equipment and info to approach this exciting sport.
After walking through a small entrance, colourful surfboards stand up against a wall in an almost tiki garden, and a wooden shed offers music and summery drinks, giving a warm welcome to customers.
The most curious and interesting corner of the garden is probably the Tiki Hut, with vintage decorations dedicated to the Polynesian gods of surfing, while under its porch, beach chairs and recliners offer a cozy spot to sip a cocktail and have a chat. There is a young vibe, everyone feels at ease and there is not too much formality. You feel at home, you can socialise and feel comfortable even if you are not a surfer. In fact, the Den has become a point of reference also for punk, garage and r’n’r, and is popular amongst illustrators, designers, journalists and writers, giving it a large amount of cultural variation.
From Meeting Point to Creative Garage
One of the most important aspects of the Club is to provide surfers with high quality products, at a reasonable price. Consistent with the motto: ‘‘Hi quality, Low price, Hi life’’, Surfer’s Den has quickly expanded from Milan to the rest of Italy. High-quality materials, attentive craftsmanship, innovative and colourful graphics are the signature keys of the Den’s crew. Behind every piece, there is the expertise, fantasy and passion of several designers and their collaboration with with the founder and owner, the man behind the Den, Aldo Fiorentino aka Franz. The latest creation of Surfer’s Den is the Surf – or Morph line, created in collaboration with Giulio Iacchetti and Matteo Ragni: a collection of surfboards whose lines and graphics amazingly suggest the morphology of bears, dolphins or sharks, morphology which is also showcased by the directional fins of the surfboards, recalling fins of sharks, dolphins or killer whales. The body of the boards are made of polyurethane and glass, and then shaped by 3D printing, creating a perfect mix of technological and creative innovation.
From the Sea to the Land
Surfer’s Den team’s creativity was not satisfied with only crafting and playing with the world of sea surfers. Milan is a city of sidewalks, ramps and concrete, so why sticking just to surfboards?
Surfer’s Den is a benchmark also for skate culture; in front of its entrance, one next to the other, are the three skateboards created by the three major local talents: Matteo Ragni’s Moai, Mario Scairato’s Alo and Franz’s Exoteric. They have a multilayered and super resistant mahogany, sapele and ash wood structure, bottom made of aluminium, Alpi wood laminated superficial layer, and ergal trucks, engineered by the aeronautics industry and made by a Valtelline craftsman.
Latest gem in the skateboard section, the Skate Biscuit: celebrating the lines and shape of the famous Plasmon biscuit, it is made of multi-layers of Russian birch, which are shaped by a dedicated 3D machine.
As its creator, Giulio Iacchetti states: ‘‘You never stop being a child’’, suggesting how surf and skate culture are eternally linked with the spirit of global youth culture.
This is how surfboards, destined to be amongst the waves or on the ground, are able to bring together people from different backgrounds: through music, drinks, chatting and the birth of new friendships. In that small refuge that hides in Milan, surfers can finally remember and dream about that passion and freedom that only the surfboard can give them.