Jocks to Rocks, BOSB‘06

Best Fits, Indoor and Out

Camping Gear Store

Santa Barbara Outfitters

1200 State St., 564-1007

By Paul Wellman (file)

Santa Barbara Outfitters

This has been a real triumph for new businesses everywhere, seeing as this one won for camping gear only three years after first opening. “We try to make people comfortable, but we also steer them toward the people in the store who have the most expertise in whatever aspect of camping the customer wants,” said store manager Jessica Barcelona. “We have a good crew and a lot of loyal customers and that helps, too,” she said.

Finalist Big 5 Sporting Goods

Sporting Goods Store; Place to Get Athletic Shoes

Big 5 Sporting Goods

3935 State St., 964-4749

By a huge margin, most athletes are amateur. They run on the weekend, surf when there are waves, play softball whenever the gang can get together. For the majority of all the kids who like to play outside or in a gym, the equipment needs to be affordable in a world scheme that includes paying for rent and eating. That’s where chains like Big 5, with more than 300 stores, can help with great prices on stuff like athletic shoes. Constant sales and a lot of stock for the right item help us amateurs feel like we’re well equipped to compete with the pros.

Finalists Sporting Goods Store: Sportmart Inc.; Place to Get Athletic Shoes: Santa Barbara Running

Fishing Shop

Hook, Line & Sinker

4010-5 Calle Real, 687-5689

Owner Yong Shin ruefully admits that his time for dangling a string in the water as an exercise of hope and faith has been diminished since he opened this store 20 years ago in order to facilitate others’ piscine dreams. Now that the competing store in the Harbor is gone, this fishing emporium at the bottom of San Marcos Pass is left alone to heroically help human beings pursue the elusive evil creatures lurking in and at the bottom of lakes and the local ocean.

Finalist Big 5 Sporting Goods

Skateboard Shop

The Church of Skatan

26 E. Gutierrez St., 899-1586

People don’t denounce the store as they walk by the old converted church anymore, according to manager Carlos Juarez, who seemed a little disappointed. But he’s happy to win the reader award again, and thinks it’s because of the variety of boards and equipment. “Half the kids in town come here,” he said. “It’s as much a hangout as it is a store. It’s the kind of place where you don’t feel you have to buy something to hang out, as long as you’re cool and on the level.”

Finalist Santa Barbara Skate Shop

Surf Shop

Beach House Surf Shop

10 State St., 963-1281

Roger Nance’s iconic lower State Street store did well this year, despite the scare that came about after surfboard blank maker Gordon Clark precipitously shut down his factory this year. “People came in and scratched their heads over the prices,” said sales associate extraordinaire John Pennuliar. “It bumped up the price, and put a damper on part of the year.” But they’ve rallied since, and winning the prize helps. “I’m super stoked,” said Pennuliar.

Finalist Channel Island Surfboards

Place to Get Swimwear

Bikini Factory

2275 Ortega Hill Rd., Summerland, 969-2887

It was a good year for selling swimsuits, according to Janine Riley, a two-year sales person at the Bikini Factory. Well, maybe not June, when it rained. “But July was awesome,” she said. Right now is slow. “Times like this we’re selling more dresses,” she said in a do-you-believe-it tone. “But people come here for obvious reasons: This place is the best,” said Riley, who’s not one bit prejudiced about the store.

Finalist Sundance Beach

Place to Get Snowboard / Ski Gear

Mountain Air Sports

14 State St., 962-0049

Manager Adam Lagendyk believes that more people are going back to skis, particularly because companies like Nordica are selling such improved products. But, at the same time, defying the laws of fractions and proportions, more people are snowboarding, too. Ergo, more people go to the snow? Lagendyk’s not sure, but he knows that his store is the place to get that equipment. “It’s awesome,” he said.

Finalist Copeland’s Sports

Bicycle Shop

Bicycle Bob’s

15 Hitchcock Wy., 682-4699; 250 Storke Rd., Goleta, 685‑6799

Bob Zaratzian opened his first shop here in 1983 at State Street and Calle Laureles. In the ensuing years, including the move to his current site, Bob has won this award “14 or 15 times,” he said. Mostly it’s the range of stuff he has. “We have a well-rounded inventory, from juvenile to grown-up, from casual rider to expert, from weekend warrior to full-time expert,” he claimed. A second-generation bicycle-store owner, Zaratzian said, “My big thing has always been the service. Always has been and I hope it always will be.”

Finalist Hazards Cycle Sport

Dive Shop

Anacapa Dive Center

22 Anacapa St., 963-8917

It’s a big town for diving, according to Anacapa sales rep Jeff Baker. Since there are many here of the moneyed persuasion, lots of folks buy equipment here but submerge themselves closer to Gauguin’s Tahiti or Johnny Depp’s Caribbean. But Anacapa also sells equipment and offers all kinds of support to people who just want to jump in our waters for some lobster or watch with open eyes the wonders of our Channel Islands underworld.

Finalist Blue Water Hunter

Whale Watching Tour; Sunset Cruise Boat

Condor Express

Santa Barbara Harbor, 882-0088

A 75-foot-long catamaran with “a wave-piercing hull,” the Condor Express is capable of reaching the islands in just 45 minutes. Besides speed, the hull design and computer-assisted engines are built for great stability, and the interior of the boat, which can carry more than 100 people (Coast Guard-approved) is nicely appointed in teak with smoked glass and a salad bar, dude. The skippers have radar and long experience at finding whales (virtually year ’round out there) and the sunsets are often nifty in these parts, too.

Finalist Sunset cruise Boat; Whale Watching Tour: Double Dolphin

Dance Studio

Santa Barbara Jazz Dance Academy

1 N. Calle César Chávez, 966‑5299

Three cheers for Stephen Lovelace, one of the hardest working men in the hardworking world of S.B. arts. Begun a decade ago with the equally dedicated Alana Tillim, this dance empire, affiliated with Arts Alive! now has more than 400 students and about 12 teachers at any given session. “It’s so beyond me now,” said the unusually subdued Lovelace; but, his remnants of pride allowed him to scream, “Oh my God!” when informed they had won.

Finalist Jonathan & Sylvia

Dog Walking Spot

Hendry’s Beach

Make no bones about it, it’s arguably the nicest beach-going experience available in town. They’ve got a snazzy restaurant, a good sandy break, a picturesque lagoon, and plenty of easy parking for the people who need to drive over. But the dog-walking area, traveling north from the restaurant, is the only legal dog-on-beach scenario near town. (It’s illegal to have any dogs no matter how leashed between East Beach and Hendry’s.) And attached to the dogs are also lots of nice people who are thoughtful about cleanliness, which makes a nice way to end the tail, er, trail.

Finalist Douglas Family Preserve

Surf Spot


This one wins every year, though you would think some of the soul surfers at Leadbetter Beach would stuff the ballot box. (Not that we ever recommend such things.) There is a certain grandeur about Rincon, though, that makes old surfers reminiscent and new kids hungry to take it on — reputations have been made, and getting accepted by the regulars is the first step up that ladder. Even voters who’ve never surfed respect the place. The waves are about to get big right about now, by the way.

Finalist Campus Point


El Capitan Canyon

11560 Calle Real, 685-3887

It’s close enough to town to make it a quick escape. The campground, up a lovely canyon from a gorgeous seaside, has both tents and cabins you can rent, meaning it offers something between the rustic fresh air joy of camping and the effortless shelter of a nice hotel. There are amenities (showers), a food store, and a concert series that runs through the warm months. All in all it’s nature, but the inspiring kind and not the kind that bites.

Finalist Refugio State Beach

Martial Arts Studio; Fitness Program

Martial Arts Family Fitness

122 E. Gutierrez St., 963-6233

A combination of Korean martial arts taught by master Dave Wheaton and a fitness program called KUT, which stands for Kickboxers Ultimate Training has reaped great physical results for their many clients, said cofounder Melodee Meyer. They also counsel people on nutrition and other health issues. “We’re always taking care of our people,” said Meyer.

Finalists Martial Arts Studio: South Coast Karate; Fitness Program: Body Boot Camp of Santa Barbara

Yoga Classes

Santa Barbara Yoga Center

32 E. Micheltorena St., 965-6045

It’s become a kind of community center given the wide popularity of yoga here. Assistant director Denise Zaverdas sees it on a spiritual level, too. “We are grateful to the dedicated students and skilled teachers who have worked so hard to make this a special place in such a beautiful building. After 15 years, we are particularly happy to have taken part in this evolving community, one breath at a time.”

Finalist Yoga Soup

Golf Course

Sandpiper Golf Course

7925 Hollister Ave., Goleta, 968-1541

There are fancier courses with better-appointed clubhouses no doubt, but few in the country are more beautiful. Running along the ocean, its front nine are famous among real golfers. But the best part is its affordability compared to the congruent course in, say, Monterey Bay. People who live here are lucky to get discounts, and the readers like it year after year.

Finalist Glen Annie Golf Club

Driving Range

Santa Barbara Golf Club

3500 McCaw Ave., 687-7087

Half the pleasure of golf is hitting a long one, and strangely, you only need to hit one per outing to get that Pavlovian rush. For that purpose, and to ostensibly sharpen a game that even Tiger Woods thinks needs constant work, people go to driving ranges. This one’s in the heart of town and is kept affordable by the city in which we pay taxes. It’s a big hit with duffer-type readers.

Finalist Glen Annie Golf Club

Nine-Hole Golf Course

Hidden Oaks Golf Course

4760 Calle Camarada, 967‑3493

Few places in the world seem so properly named. There are oaks, and for all intents and purposes, this place is hidden in the crossing spot between Hope Ranch and Hidden Valley. It’s homey, easy to get on, and gives you that perfect little lift when you don’t want a full commitment to a longer game, but need more satisfaction than a round of miniature golf. (Not that we even have one of those.) It’s a secret our readers keep announcing year after year.

Finalist Twin Lakes Golf Course

Pilates Classes

La Playa Pilates and Wellness Center

1809 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Ste. A, 695-0411

Nestled across from the bird refuge in a big old building with nice showers for après sweat, La Playa is popular from Montecito to downtown. “It’s a comfortable place; people like coming here,” said manager Esther Rogers. Based on a therapy developed for dancers and acrobats, Pilates is an hour-long workout that focuses on one’s core muscles, according to Rogers, and is particularly good for toning. “Since you have to concentrate, it’s a great way to get the mind in tune with the body,” she said. And owner Lorena Gutierrez likes to be in tune, too. “We have such great clients, and that’s why we put so much into all of this,” she said.

Finalist Centerpoint Pilates

Health Club; Bodybuilding Gym

Spectrum Athletic Clubs Santa Barbara

21 W. Carrillo St., 965-0999; 3908 State St., 563-8700; 6144 Calle Real, Goleta, 964-0556

Bodybuilders began it, and back in its Lou Ferrigno days, it was known as Gold’s Gym. But now in its Governor Schwarzenegger days, Spectrum is a little bit of everything for everybody — aerobics, weights, and on-duty trainers. It’s the one the readers pick every year for every day health and other-worldly physiques.

Finalists Health Club: YMCA; Bodybuilding Gym: 24 Hour Fitness Club

Women’s Gym

Curves for Women

Five locations

Designed for women and for an efficient use of days that are so multitasked-out you would think employers would confer certain workout benefits. Curves is also a national chain, so women who travel can plug into the promise implicit in the title wherever their roundabout wanderings take them.

Finalist Spectrum Athletic Clubs Santa Barbara

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