LEEWARD SURF & SEA, PORTLAND OR
Creativity and community. These are the words that define Leeward, a shop based in the Pacific Northwest's most unexpected surf populace.
The store was established by Lyndsey Lee Faulkner in early 2017 after a successful Kickstarter campaign, supported largely by the local surf community. The retail space itself effortlessly combines mid-century design with a laid-back coastal atmosphere. It's a balance that complements the product selection, which ranges from hand-crafted custom wetsuits to sought-after vintage pieces. As Lyndsey puts it:
The product selection at Leeward is a direct reflection of my Portland-shaped interests and values. Surfing is represented first and foremost with a focus on well crafted, hand-shaped boards made in the USA, custom Japanese wetsuits from Axxe Classic and soft goods. But we also stock vintage apparel and home wares. A crate of used and new vinyl records, and books on coastal architecture, art, and design are usually on hand. Local artists and makers are represented in on our walls and through our ceramics and apothecary selections.
Because Lyndsey considers community to be the most important aspect of what the shop is aiming to provide, Leeward has established deep roots with the local scene in a very short period of time. And with a background in graphic design and illustration, Lyndsey’s desire to support other creative people in the surf world - including shapers, artists, and designers - is easily identifiable.
Something that makes Portland so unique is our vibrant design, arts and music scenes. There’s a real history of DIY and craftsmanship here. I believe our surf culture should reflect and embrace those wonderful aspects of our city.
To that end, Leeward regularly hosts exhibitions for local artists, as well as film screenings and other events. Even in between exhibitions, the shop itself is acts like a gallery space. Artwork hangs from the walls, books adorn the shelves, but it's the hand-shaped boards that really steal the limelight. Working with some of the West Coast's finest shapers, Leeward aims to highlight the work of the best PNW shapers and represent a full spectrum of shapes giving customers the option to draw different lines and access fun in countless ways on the waves along the coast.
“We’re excited about the work we’ve been doing with local shaper Dan Murdey. Dan has been shaping full-time here in the NW for a long time, and is committed to quality craftsmanship. It’s been really fun collaborating with him on boards for the shop, especially the more retro-inspired single fin logs we’ve been testing. We’ve also been stocking boards from California that really get us jazzed. For example, Mitsven, Mandala, Furrow, and Gary Hanel have all sent boards that go great here in Oregon.
When it comes to the brands and the products they provide, Leeward takes a careful and curated approach. There's a real focus on brands that manufacture domestically and use sustainable practices. Browsing the products, it's easy to see the importance that's placed on design and quality. It's a tight collection that feels like the antithesis to fast fashion and one that we here at Bound are excited to support.
Check out photos from the store and shop the Leeward collection below.
Photography by Tom Schaller. Visit his Instagram here.