Spotlight: Captain’s Helm

Full sail vintage retail with Mitch and friends.

A welcome addition to the plethora of check cashing stores, laundromats, and car dealerships on coast highway, the Captain’s Helm brings an array of vintage items, music, delicious coffee, and a great sense of community spirit to South Oceanside.

The Captain’s Helm opened it’s doors in 2009, but if you really want to know about the store you must first get to know the owner, Mitch Abshere.

At 12 years old, Mitch found himself sponsored by legendary Oceanside shaper Donald Takayama. While working for the world champion and innovator of the sport, Mitch fed off their joint enthusiasms for the ocean and all of the dynamics of surfing. He started shaping old fins and putting his own graphics and designs on them. This led to starting his company Captain Fin in 2006. But a successful fin company was just the start for Mitch, he always wanted a retail store and somewhere for his friends to hang out.

Wanting to promote the community, he opened the Captain’s Helm in 2009. A new, vintage, and resale store located in the hub of south coast highway—the Captain’s Helm is a unique shop where, for a reasonable price, you can walk away with a custom motorcycle helmet, a Rolling Stones record, a wetsuit, and a great cappuccino from the coffee cart out front!

Run by good friends and locals Jen and Ted Stoddard, Captain’s Grounds Coffee offers delicious coffee as well as pastries, smoothies, and more. This eclectic super store surely has something for everyone. As a professional surfer, Mitch has done collaborations with his sponsor, Vans shoes. They’ve made custom trunks and fins, which are available at his store and online.

Juggling work as a pro surfer, owning two retail stores (one in Oceanside and one in Tokyo) children and marriage, Mitch confesses he couldn’t do it all if it wasn’t for his friends and his amazing manager, Tara.
There’re just too many good things going on at the Captain’s Helm to fit into one article. So I suggest you make a visit soon. Even if you just get a cup of coffee from the friendly staff at Captain’s Grounds and flip through some old vinyl, or if you just want to check out some awesome vintage clothes—you’re sure to have an enjoyable Oceanside experience and probably walk away with a few new friends and a new outfit from one of the coolest shops on the coast.

1832 South Coast Highway
Oceanside, CA 92054
T: (760) 721-1004

Words by: Eric Klier / Photos by: Anthony Donez
Article comes from The Osider Magazine, Vol. 1 Issue 3