Here at Eight, we just can’t get enough of our merchants.
We love how they create and innovate phenomenal buying experiences with our digital products, and we can’t resist shouting it from the rooftops. So: each month, we pick one of our favorite storefronts to cast into the limelight - and boy, do we have a treat for you.
“The surf shops, the friends and the parties, the surf schools and the stokedness; surfing at its finest. Pukas is surf and always will be.”
Pukas are different. They aren’t afraid to curse, break the mold, and be themselves - and that’s why we adore them. Established in 1973, this family-driven business from the Spanish Basque Country is an institution of global acclaim, selling high-performance surfboards and swimwear to wave-warriors both old and new.
With a history of pro surf contests, wild fiestas, and bull runnings on the beach (no, seriously - this actually happened), the creators of Pukas have always loved to party - and couldn’t keep the fun to themselves. They branched out into boardmaking in the eighties, set up a brick-and-mortar store on the stunning shoes of San Sebastian, and now sell their pristine products to surfers around the world through Shopify.
In light of their impeccable taste, we’re honored to have Pukas using our theme Flow - and they use it damn well.
From a single scroll, it’s clear that the digital design team at Pukas have thought about each and every detail. The collage-style layout of the homepage feels like a coffee-table book with glossy pages, with the store’s vast inventory arranged beautifully within the header’s mega menu (complete with images and links to featured products).
You know when you go to a house viewing, and the realtors waft the scent of coffee and bread through the air to make you subconsciously feel at home and buy the property? Appealing to the senses is a tried and tested method of getting buyers to take the bait, and Pukas have taken this approach to the web.
There’s something intrinsically sunny, salty, and sandy about the homepage, but at first glance it’s practically impossible to figure out why. That’s because Pukas don’t just offer a store; they offer a browsing experience drenched in subconscious beach imagery, peppered throughout their design.
Genius. Let’s break it down.
The first homepage section is a slideshow hero, featuring images treated with a film grain effect. Not only does this radiate a gritty and sandy feel reminiscent of the beach, but this effect also makes the image feel distant and nostalgic. For many city-dwellers, surfing is solely an activity for vacations that so many have yearned for during the pandemic. By treating it with a vintage grain effect, the image therefore instantly feels special and fleeting - leaving you longing for more.
As the user scrolls down, they’re introduced to the stunning Billabong womenswear collection. Again, the muted sandy-colored backdrop to this striking product block section transports the user right back to the seaside.
If we’re getting fancy, the composer Debussy says that ‘music is not in the notes, but in the silence in between’ - and the importance of emptiness is universal for all art and design. Pukas is no exception: in contrast to the vibrant, punchy slideshow section above, this product block collection has the perfect amount of white space visible to set the tone for the rest of the store: minimalist, chilled, and letting the products do all the talking.
When scrolling down further, we’re introduced to another featured collection - the Douchebag collection, to be precise (yes, really). Displayed over a beautiful lemon-yellow backdrop, this color choice is an eye-catching contrast to the other sections, while still remaining perfectly cohesive with the product imagery.
However tempting it may be for a surf shop to saturate their storefront in garish beach imagery, Pukas’ choice of yellow here gracefully appeals to the psychology of color instead, subconsciously mirroring the warm Spanish sun of surfing in San Sebastian.
Navigating through the collections themselves is effortless, with extensive filtering and sorting options making it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. When clicking into a product page, the user is hit with a stark contrast to the minimalism of the homepage. By using full-size secondary images rather than thumbnails, Pukas use this exclusive Flow setting to proudly showcase their stunning product imagery. With vast dimensions and high definition shots, the quality of Pukas’ fabrics and eco-conscious materials is free to sell itself.
With local pickup options available for those lucky enough to live in San Sebastian, and a tantalizing set of product recommendations under the ‘You may also like’ heading, it’s no wonder our boss has more than ten Pukas T-shirts - this upselling feature and overall seamless user experience of the product page makes it impossible not to fill your cart sky-high.
Pukas Surf is the perfect example of a store that knows exactly who it is, what it’s doing, and what its customers want. Effortlessly beachy and stunningly simple, Pukas sells high-quality products through high-quality imagery - so it just makes sense to use a super high-quality theme.
Want a piece of the magic? With more than a 90% positive response rate and a sea of glowing reviews, Flow’s minimalist design is versatile and easily adaptable to any brand.