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 Pat Ecker from Channel Islands surf shop in Santa Barbara, California. (For info from the Northeast 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.
Where is the best place to grab a coffee, to lunch, and most important, to surf?
Channel Islands: Best coffee: The Good Cup on the Mesa. Best lunch: Metropolis deli—best sandwich in town! Best surf: Rincon.
Tell us about the local trends. What are the top three brands in your shop, trends in your town, and places to be seen?
Channel Islands: Brands in the shop: CI surfboards, Quiksilver, Volcom, and O’Neill Wetsuits. Trends in town: black wetsuits and white boards. Places to be seen: downtown Santa Barbara’s State Street.
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.
Channel Islands: The story about how the Channel Islands logo came about, as told by Al Merrick: “I looked through the magazines and wanted the logo to show on the waves and wondered what I could do to make that happen. I saw a photo where light was reflecting off the ocean, and it created a hexagon, so I put three together and that became our logo.”