7th Street surf shop heads to Bali to compete in Oakley Surf Shop Challenge

7th street-Asbury Ave(from left to right: Sean Santiago, Chris Kelly, Brian Leiss, Rob Kelly

7th Street (from left to right): Sean Santiago, Chris Kelly, Brian Leiss, Rob Kelly

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 Surf Ride (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. Next up is Colin Devine and Larry Friedel from 7th Street surf shop in Ocean City, New Jersey. (For info from the Mid-Atlantic champs, click here.)

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.

7th street surf shop; photo courtesy of 7th street Facebook page

7th Street surf shop; photo courtesy of 7th Street Facebook page

Where is the best place to grab a coffee, to lunch, and most important, to surf?
7th Street: Best coffee: Local’s Coffee and Smoothies. Best lunch: The Hula Restaurant and Sauce Company. Best surf: 7th Street surfing beach located right out front of our boardwalk location.

Tell us about the local trends. What are the top three brands in your shop, trends in your town, and places to be seen?
7th Street: Brands in the shop: Billabong, Insight, Dark Seas. Trends in town: party shirts, Rainbow sandals, Toms shoes. Places to be seen: Ocean City boardwalk, downtown Asbury shopping district, and south end Ocean City.

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.
7th Street: Ocean City is an original surf town, and as such, surf culture has been organically handed down from generation to generation. The Ocean City Surfing Association used to hold a surf contest every Tuesday that the whole town would turn out for—even the mayor would attend. In our town surfers come from all walks of life—firemen, city council members, local high school kids. Surfing is in our blood.