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Fox Watersports

Fox was founded in Lantana, Florida by Ted James in 1968 where he originally started building handcrafted surfboards and selling them out of a small retail store. At the time most other shapers were just putting their own name on their boards.  Ted, not wanting to put his name on the boards,  decided to come up with a brand name.  At that time he had recently been on a surf trip to Mexico and had found a small fur ball.  Not knowing what kind of animal it was he smuggled it back accross the boarder.  It turned out to be a mexican tree climbing fox.  He named it Chiquita and was his trusty companion for many years.  Ted thought it natural to name his new brand of boards after his newly found pet and Fox Surfboards was born.

As time went on, Ted expanded his retail stores to Miami, Fort Pierce and Melbourne and moved the surfboard factory to a bigger location in West Palm.  Ted brought in some of the best up and coming shapers to build boards under the Fox label.  John Parton was one of these shapers and eventually became Ted's business partner.  Together they built the Fox brand into one of the biggest surfboard manufacturers and retailers on the East Coast.  Ted was growing tired of the rat race South Florida was quickly becoming and started looking elsewhere to expand Fox.  He quickly was drawn to Hatteras Island from stories about the world class waves and fishing.  After a few trips to Hatteras Ted was hooked and started spending the summers here renting a small store front that was the old tanning bed accross from Cape Hatteras High School. 

By 1976 Ted had moved full time to Hatteras Island and built the existing building where Fox Watersports is today.  In the early days it was just a small space where Ted could sell a few of his boards that were shaped right there in the back office.  As Hatteras became more and more recognized as a surf destination, Ted built a surfboard factory that still stands today behind the Fox Watersports retail store.  Ted, frustrated with the wind constantly blowing the surf out or keeping him from going offshore fishing on the flat days,  was introduced to the sport of windsurfing.  Ted immediately fell in love with the sport and saw the potential that Hatteras offered the world of windsurfing.  He quickly started building sailboards in the surfboard factory and pushed to put Hatteras on the map in the windsurf industry.  It didnt take long and windsurfers from all over the world were flocking to Hatteras to take advantage of the world class conditions. With the help of Donny Bowers, Ted had transformed Fox as one of the leaders in the surf industry to a leading manufacter and retailer in the windsurf industry.  Ted knew the small retail space he Donny and a few others had built by hand would not be big enough for the growing windsurfing business so he expanded the store to accomodate the size of the windsurf gear.  As the sport grew and grew, Ted and Fox were always on the cutting edge.  From designing the first ever weed fin to building some of the first custom epoxy sandwich wave boards, Ted was a pioneer.

Always looking to stay one step ahead, Ted was quickly drawn to kiteboarding in the early stages of the sport.  Again, seeing the potential for the sport in Hatteras, Ted helped the sport get off the ground.  He designed some of the first custom kiteboards that would actually stay up wind and helped upstart kite companies to retro fit the handle designs to a much more kiter friendly bar design.  Working together with Ty Luckett, Fox started one of the first
kiteboarding schools in the world.  Seeing this sport take off, Ted once again knew that Fox needed to expand and added the final piece to the building that makes up the store as you see it today.  

Sadly, Ted never got to see kiteboarding evolve into the dynamic sport it has become today.  His sudden passing in 2004 of a heart attack rocked the entire watersports world.  Since then, Ted was inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 2008 for his legendary accomplishments in all three industries.  Fox is still James Family owned and operated and continues to carry on Ted's legacy.  

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    Fox Watersports
    47108 Hwy 12 Buxton, NC 27920

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