Best Stores For Swimming Accessories In Minnesota

May 20, 2014 7:00 AM

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Minnesota offers summer fun like no other state. Hit the beach this summer with the help of experts who will help you buy classy swimwear and well-designed water sports gear. You can see five previous picks in swimwear at Best Places To Buy A Swimsuit. Following is a wide-ranging guide to the best in Minnesota to help you get ready for a summer full of fun like no other state can offer.

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Photo Credit:

Best Beachwear
Big Island Swim & Surf Company
229 Water St.
Excelsior, MN 55331
(952) 923-2464

“We want to make the swimwear shopping experience easier and more enjoyable for the entire family,” says Big Island Store Manager Ashley Ward. “Swimwear shopping for women can be especially difficult, which is why we strive to offer something for every age and every body type in every price point. That is why our staff is made up of fit experts who will happily spend one-on-one time with you in order to find a suit that meets all of your needs. And that is why we have bikinis, tankinis and one-pieces from brands like L*Space, Karla Colletto and Seafolly and sizes up to 2X to flatter all body types and meet many style preferences.” Big Island Swim & Surf Company offers a large selection of beach and resort wear for men, women and children.

Related: Best Public Beaches To Spend A Summer Day In Minnesota

Best Water Sports Equipment
Joe’s Sporting Goods
33 E. County Road B
St. Paul, MN 55117
(888) 468-6563

Water sports have ruled in Minnesota ever since 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson invented water skiing on Lake Pepin in 1922 (see related link). Joe’s Sporting Goods boasts a similar legacy, having been in the sporting goods business since 1930. While Joe’s started as an auto repair shop, it soon started selling minnows to local fishermen in need. Joe’s son, also Joe, bought the store in 1959 and has been expanding the line of sporting equipment since 1963. Now in the third generation, brothers Joe and Jim have expanded the store to include canoes, kayaks, SUPs, paddles, dry bags, spray skirts, cockpit covers, PFDs and many more accessories related to paddling. Water ski enthusiasts can find slalom and combo skis, wakeboards, wake skates, wake surfs and other towables.

Related: Finding Minnesota: Birthplace Of Water Skiing

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Best Underwater Sports Store
MDC Sports
Valhalla Shopping Center
318A Elton Hills Drive N.W.
Rochester, MN 55901
(507) 288-8802

Prepare for your water destination with more swim, scuba, snorkeling and travel gear than you can imagine. Buy it new, buy it used or rent it now before you make the big investment in equipment. The store also services and repairs scuba and snorkeling gear. Prepare to travel with all of the paraphernalia needed to make your scuba trip a success. Stock up on adult and children’s swimwear, gear bags, luggage, travel towels, clothes lines, TSA approved luggage locks and portable luggage scales. Newbies are reminded to get outfitted with snorkel vest, snorkel bag, slap strap, defogger, boots and, above all, lessons. MDC Sports thoroughly trains and certifies all levels of scuba divers and snorkelers. You must be at least 15 years old to receive a regular certification or between 10 and 14 years old for a Junior Open Water Diver certification. MDC conducts classes at MDC Sports in Rochester, pool sessions at the Rochester Rec Center pool and open water training dives at Lake Wazee, near Black River Falls, WI.

Best Scuba Lessons
Scuba Center
1571 Century Point
Eagan, MN 55121
(651) 681-8434
Scuba Center started scuba diving classes in 1973 and was Minnesota’s first Professional Association of Diver Instructors (PADI) 5 Star Training Facility. It now trains beginners almost every week of the year at one of its two Scuba Center locations, living up to its claim as Minnesota’s largest scuba diving school. The Eagan facility touts a 12-foot-deep in-store pool heated to a tropical 88 degrees, two classrooms and a Public Safety Department. PADI scuba diving training classes include Beginning (Open Water Diver) to Advanced (Adventures in Diving), Rescue Diver, Specialty Diving courses, Emergency First Response (EFR), Nitrox, Divemaster and the PADI Instructor Development Course. Scuba Center also has an ample selection of quality snorkeling and scuba diving equipment, drysuits, wetsuits and accessories.

Best Standup Paddleboard
Scuba Center
5015 Penn Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(612) 925-4818

Originating in south Minneapolis in 1973, the Penn Avenue Scuba Center offers a comprehensive collection of snorkeling and scuba diving equipment, plus lessons. Perhaps more significantly, its location two blocks south of Lake Harriet has facilitated the shop’s evolution to fulfilling the needs of standup paddleboarders. Naturally, Scuba Center claims to be the Minnesota Headquarters for Standup Paddleboarding. Enthusiasts can look over all different types of boards in stock such as Amundson, Boardworks, Lakeshore, Riviera, SIC and several others.

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Best Triathlon Sports
GearWest Bike and Triathlon
1786 Wayzata Blvd.
Long Lake, MN 55356
(952) 473-0093

GearWest is the go-to place for triathlon competition. Out–of-towners rent the latest and best equipment to compete in local meets. Locals can get started in competition by first renting and investing later. You may own the best bike for triathlon competition, but do not forget how cold Minnesota lakes can be early in the season. GearWest has wet suits ready to rent or sell. As the water warms up, get the best in competitive suits for men or women from Adidas, Blue Seventy, Speedo, Sugoi at GearWest.

Related: Best Swim Classes In Minnesota

Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at

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