SURFGOAT Clothing and Apparel is located in bright and sunny Jupiter Florida! Growing up in this close knit little town you learn just how important community is. For myself and the majority of the company I keep, this statement couldn’t be any truer. Many of us have prominent backgrounds in surfing, skating, kite boarding, and just being all-around beach bums. We’re part of a strong unofficial underground society dedicated to living life to its fullest, respecting the planet, and having as much fun as we’re able to. So, what makes Jupiter Florida so great, that it made me want to open my own business, create a new clothing brand, and to start selling t-shirts here? The people, the atmosphere, the sights, and sounds. The local waves and the beachside skateparks. The food, the fun, the festivities. There is literally so much I love about this place that it’s easier for me to sum up the one thing I hate about it, and that’s the thought of leaving it, which I don’t intend to do anytime soon.
Perhaps you have never been to Jupiter or even Florida. Maybe you’re reading this blog on your computer from Montana or Canada, and just love ripping down the street on your skateboard. Or maybe you live in beautiful southern California and just ride waves, or New Jersey and like to rock out to some heavy metal or some old punk music. No matter what your preference is, if you vibe with any of those activities, you can be a Surfgoat. In fact, if you’re into any of the stuff I just listed, consider this a formal invitation, inviting you to visit Surfgoat Clothing and Apparel right here in the beautiful and bright town of Jupiter Florida! But seriously though, it’s amazing here. Jupiter is the northernmost town in Palm Beach County, which quite a few more people are familiar with. The town of Jupiter is well known for its beautiful beaches, the Loxahatchee River, The Jupiter Lighthouse, as well as the Intracoastal Waterway. The cultural life here is vibrant and strong and the town is also the home of the Florida History Center & Museum, as well as various other annual arts and entertainment festivals.
Almost the entire local attitude here is built on surfing, skating, fishing, boating and water sports. There are tons of great local restaurants on the water and a bunch of dope places to relax and hang with friends. Some popular places to party and get your grub on are:
UTiki Beach: UTiki Beach is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a fishing charter or boat rental, as the marina there has plenty to offer. They’re a pretty solid restaurant and bar that has a beautiful beachfront view of the historical Jupiter Lighthouse which was erected in 1859 after congress authorized the 122-acre construction nearly a decade earlier, but more on that later.
Guanabanas: Guanabanas was originally opened by some local surfers as a standalone sandwich shop back in 2004. Since then, Guanabanas has grown to become an institution in northern Palm Beach County. This is primarily due to the lush, tropical setting, the great cuisine and cocktails, and live music from both national acts and the hottest names in South Florida.
Tiki 52: Tiki 52 is a fantastic little hidden gem tucked away among the palms on US Highway 1 in Tequesta. The open-air restaurant and bar with woven tiki huts push an enjoyable Caribbean atmosphere and the great cuisine keeps locals and tourists coming back time and time again. It’s a great spot to enjoy live music, including national acts as well as some amazing local bands from tropical South Florida
Blue Point: Blue Point is a family-owned and operated bar and grill, with a unique waterfront experience that allows visitors to enjoy a 270-degree view of the Intracoastal Waterway. This scenic sight is surrounded by palm trees and comes complete with comfortable lounging chairs on the beach area for maximum relaxation.
Square Grouper: Square Grouper is the most popular of this group by far, officially opening on Super Bowl Sunday, January 26, 2003. This bar has served as the filming location of several music videos, including Alan Jackson’s hit “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” with Jimmy Buffett. That kind of music (or scene) really isn’t my cup of tea but to each and their own. It’s still pretty awesome regardless. Square Grouper has live music on stage seven days a week, ranging from fun local acts to some of the music industry’s most famous artists.
There’s a fun little story I always remember about the Square Grouper, and I’d like to share it with you here. Jupiter Inlet, despite being declared a non-navigable waterway by the US Coast Guard, has seen its fair share of travelers throughout the years. And when I say throughout the years, I’m talking back to the 1600s when pirates ships loaded with unimaginable treasures like the San Miguel de Archangel roamed the waters. The contraband was quietly brought into the inlet via bank robbers, rum runners, and drug smugglers, and even in the villages in more recent years; this small, sleepy fishing community still contributes to the area's colorful history. In fact, it’s this very history that gave the Square Grouper its name. As legend has it, the term was reportedly coined by members of the US Coast Guard when talking about bales of marijuana that were thrown overboard or out of airplanes. These bales were then discovered along the Jupiter Inlet and other waterways in South Florida. Just the thought that the name Square Grouper means a bale of weed is commonly at the front of my mind. I absolutely love that little story.
Sitting just north of Miami, Jupiter itself can be summed up as a stunning resort town with picture-perfect beaches, awesome, fresh food, and an elevated lifestyle. If you live around here or had the pleasure of visiting a time or two, you probably already know that Jupiter has more than a few innovative restaurants, unique retailers (Surfgoat baby!), amazing golf courses (if that’s your thing), and various forms of exciting water sports guaranteed to please any thrillseeker. I guess you could also say that all this is a given considering the proximity to Maimi, so in that case, let me tell you some other fascinating things about Jupiter Florida that you probably don’t know.
For starters, you might not have known that Jupiter is one of the oldest shipping stops on the entire eastern coast or that it was ranked 9th on the list of “America’s Happiest Seaside Towns” by a magazine called Coastal Living back in 2012. They even had a quote from the article that read, “Life in Jupiter is easygoing and low-key, and yet there’s access to plenty of luxury amenities.”
I already mentioned the Historical Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse which was approved in 1853. The federal government declared a 61.5-acre reservation to be set aside for the lighthouse but interestingly enough, a survey that was conducted in the 1920s, discovered that the reservation was almost exactly double that number, totaling 122 acres instead. Jupiter was also just one of six Florida lighthouse projects assigned to Lieutenant George Gordon Meade who served in the U.S. Army Corps of Topographic Engineers. A decade later, he would famously defeat Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg while serving as a Major General in the Union Army. Meade selected the site and created the original design for the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. His successor, Lieutenant William F. Raynolds, improved on the final blueprints of the lighthouse by adding height and a double wall to the design. Edward A. Yorke, a civilian, took over the construction and oversaw the project that would finally get started in 1859 and 1860.
Juno Beach in Jupiter is one of the favorite nesting grounds of many locals because of the rare loggerhead sea turtles that frequent here. The white sand of Juno Beach provides a perfect home for more than 10,000 of these endangered sea turtles to nest each year. These turtles once thrived until they became intensively hunted for their meat and eggs. Thankfully, consumption has decreased drastically over the years due to worldwide legislation. Unfortunately, turtle meat and eggs are still consumed in countries where regulations aren’t strictly enforced. Over in Mexico, turtle eggs are a common meal as many of the locals claim the eggs are an aphrodisiac. That’s a hard “no thanks” from me though. Eating turtle eggs or meat can cause serious illness will all the harmful bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Serratia marcescens, that can be found in it. Not to mention the high levels of toxic metals that build up through bioaccumulation. As far as I’m concerned, turtles are friends, not food.
Another thing I love about this town is its unique name. Originally the area was called Hobe after the tribe of Native Americans. When “Hobe” was written down in Spanish, it was written as “Jobe,” and then later mistranslated by a mapmaker as “Jove”. “Jove” is the Latin translation of the Roman god of sky and thunder, who just so happens to be Jupiter. Fun fact (if you don’t know much about mythology) Jupiter is also known as Zeus in the Greek Pantheon, and he’s the king of the gods. Just another amazing fact about this beautiful town.
As far as Jupiter's geographical location is concerned, you’ll find that it’s rather unique in the fact that it sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean further than any other region of the Florida coast. Ships dating back to 1550 have considered this place an important stop when sailing to Central and South America. Exports from the local Jupiter economy in the early 20th century were comprised mostly of cypress and pine logs, fishing, flower farms, pineapples, and citrus fruit. Today the area still has those things but it has since transitioned more into being known for its boating, sport fishing, tourism, and home of the Surfgoat!
If you’re into sports, this town has you covered with not one, but two Major League Baseball teams doing most of their spring training here. One might be an obvious choice in that of the Miami Marlins, but the other is the St. Louis Cardinals. Jupiter is also home to two separate Minor League teams known as the Jupiter Hammerheads and the Palm Beach Cardinals.
If you’re not a fan of winter, you’ll love the winters in Jupiter. The average daily temperature in January reaches a cool and cozy 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The summers are great here too, in July, the average temperature hangs around the 80s, making it the PERFECT weather for any Surfgoat. No matter when you’re here, Surfgoat Clothing and Apparel has proper attire for you, regardless of the beautiful Florida weather. T-shirts are great for virtually every occasion, and on warmer days, tank tops offer a more breathable option. Those January nights can get chilly, but we have hoodies for that. Whether it’s a bit cold out or the sun is beaming, we have clothes and hats for every occasion.
Jupiter is kind of like a mini-Hollywood with all the celebrities that currently live or have lived here. A few big names worth mentioning are NBA icon Michael Jordan, singer-songwriter Tori Amos, Grammy Award-winner Celine Dion (Formerly), and late actor Burt Reynolds. Tiger Woods, the champion golfer also lives on Jupiter Island and owns a restaurant in Jupiter’s Harbourside Place called simply, The Woods. As mentioned earlier, country singer Alan Jackson shot a popular music video at a local bar here, and he also lived here for a time before selling his house in 2013. Kid Rock calls Jupiter home part time too. The rapper turned southern rocker also bought a house in Jupiter several years ago. If you ever wanted to see this place yourself, while also saving on travel expenses, there’s a live webcam of Jupiter Inlet, where you can see the current surf and weather conditions from various angles whenever you want, 24/7. You’ll find the webcam on Jupiter Inlet’s website. Check it out here!
As far as the surf here goes, expert wave riders can enjoy the two sandbars, one inside, one way out back, parallel each other between Jupiter Inlet and the Juno Beach Pier. Whenever there is a good swell running, riders can find many sections of these sandbars great for creating long surfable walls. Be warned though, keep an eye out for rocks. When the conditions are just right, a fun wave will break beyond the dunes at any given point, but no matter how you stack it, Jupiter Inlet's south side is one of the best big wave areas around. As a matter of fact, it’s also one of the few good rights in South Florida. While a decent left breaks off the main outside peak, it’s the one on the right that makes the Inlet a fan favorite amongst local surfers. Prior to the south jetty being extended in the late 90s, there was also a rippable left inside the cove that ran adjacent to the jetty. Today, that wave is pretty much gone, but the outside right is there and she’s going still as strong as ever. At smaller sizes, it may seem like a weak A-frame, but when a powerful east to northeast swell is running, the right vibrantly springs to life and wraps back toward the jetty, bending like a pointbreak with hollow sections. The main peak itself is far to the outside between the lifeguard tower and the jetty. One locals' opinion / advice was, "I’d tell you that it’s best to paddle out along the jetty but just be mindful of the currents as they can be unpredictable. A strong outgoing tide might just earn you a one-way ticket to the Bahamas, and if you opt to stay on the peak, it’s like trying to swim upriver. If you want to have a good time and do as we do, I recommend if you want to catch a wave fast, just walk back up the beach, and paddle out by the Inlet."
Well, that’s pretty much my stomping grounds in a nutshell. But even with all the tourist attractions and celebrity estates, this place is still very much my home. It’s a piece of me and I have the great community to thank for that. My friends and I all have strong backgrounds in surfing, skating, fishing, reggae, punk and metal music, and living life to its fullest. Barreling through the waves all day before taking to the beaches to continue the party all night. I couldn’t be any happier with where I am in life right now. Skating & surfing are hobbies of mine that have become a way of life and even turned me on to a concept that I leveraged into an idea for a clothing brand and concept. I wouldn't change anything. I’m proud of my town and who I am. I’m proud to call myself a Surfgoat and to bestow the title onto the Groms, and to others worthy of wearing it. Are you a Surfgoat?
Surfing, skating, fishing, Jupiter has it all. Don’t believe me? Come here and check it out for yourself. And if you’re ever in the area, be sure to swing into Surfgoat Clothing and Apparel, grab a T-shirt, say what’s up, and enjoy your stay in paradise baby!
Phot Credit: Captain Kimo