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Seven teams head to Bali to compete in Oakley Surf Shop Challenge

SurfRide(Oceanside) L-R: Darrel Goodrum, Gabe Garcia, Brent Reilly, Aaron Coyle; photo courtesy of Oakley
SurfRide (Oceanside), from left to right: Darrel Goodrum, Gabe Garcia, Brent Reilly, and Aaron Coyle; photo courtesy of Oakley

You live to surf, you work at a surf shop, your team competes in a regional shop team challenge, and your team wins. What does it all mean? It means that as a finalist of Surfer magazine’s Oakley Surf Shop Challenge, you’ve won an expense-paid, trip-of-a-lifetime to Bali.

The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge pits four-man teams (two surf shop pros and two shop employees) against each other for a chance to win $10,000, an advertising spread in Surfer magazine, and the title of best surf shop in the country. The seven shops who made it to the finals in Bali this year are SurfRide (Southwest champs), Sunrise (Southeast champs), Sweetwater (Mid-Atlantic champs), 7th Street (Northeast champs), Channel Islands (Northwest champs), HIC (Hawaii champs), and Revolution (West champs).

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Before these teams boarded their planes and headed for surf paradise, we took the opportunity to glean from them some locals-only knowledge about their shops’ home towns. Lucky for us (and you) they obliged. First up is Josh Bernard, chief executive of SurfRide in Oceanside, California.

And one last thing: Good luck to the finalists—you’re all winners in our book—and you can follow the contest here: surfshopchallenge.com.

SurfRide CEO Josh Bernard; photo courtesy of James Tull / #SRmedia
SurfRide Chief Executive Josh Bernard; photo courtesy of James Tull/#SRmedia

Where is the best place to grab a coffee, to lunch, and most important, to surf?
Bernard: Best coffee: Buccaneer Cafe. Best lunch: Beach Break Cafe. Best surf: anywhere in Oceanside, especially my secret spot!

Tell us about the local trends? What are the top three brands in your shop, trends in your town, and places to be seen?
Bernard: Brands in my shop: Channel Islands Surfboards, O’Neill, and Rip Curl. Trends in my town: mustaches, creepy vans, and fixies. Places to be seen: North Jetty, The Saloon, and Privateer Pizzeria.

Surf lore: share with us a story about your town. It can be fact or fiction, but it has to be relatively well-known by local standards.
Bernard: Standup paddling is a form of surfing. It is a common miss-belief that a SUP should be used to surf on. It is a great source of exercise and a great way to be on the water, but the origins of the sport, dating back to the early settlers of French Polynesia and America, deem that it shouldn’t be used as a “wave sliding vehicle”; it is a flat-water means of exploration. Modern societies have since adapted them as surf vessels and should be reminded that they need to stay clear of any waves, and local surf spots. I understand that this is a common mistake, but hopefully we can spread the word and help clear one lineup at a time of possible SUP action.