Surfer pioneer tackles men's clothing

Steve & Barry's, with stores in Charlotte and Gastonia, has teamed with big-wave surfer pioneer Laird Hamilton for a surf and skate collection for men.

The Wonderwall collection includes graphic T-shirts, board shorts, cargo shorts, polo shirts and accessories, priced at $14.98 or less.

He's credited with being the first to complete a 360-degree loop on a surfboard, creating tow-in surfing to tackle 70-foot waves, and for making marathon-like paddleboard journeys around the world. Hamilton talked by phone from California about his clothing line. His remarks are edited for brevity. Staff Writer Celeste Smith

Q. What does the name Wonderwall mean?

I like names that have multiple meanings and create an interest in your imagination. It could be a mountain, or a wave, or a big skateboard ramp, or just a challenge: something in front of you that you're going after. Or maybe you hit the wall and wonder if you're going to make it.

Q. What is it about the California style that can work here in the Charlotte region?

Everything is very comfortable, and there's diversity in the 165 pieces in the line. Somewhere in the line there's a piece for everybody that's appealing. Many pieces came from years of clothing that I've used and worn that have become the mainstay of my personal clothing. Steve & Barry's has really gone out of their way to understand the importance of participation and direct connection that creates authenticity.

Q. What do you think about East Coast surfing?

You have a lot of good surf on the East Coast, regardless of popular belief. The Carolinas have some surf on the coast, it's just a matter of where the storms are generating it. Obviously Florida has great surf. You guys are surfing on Lake Michigan. All you need is water and wind.