Long Beach Surf Shop
70 W. Park Ave. Long Beach, NY 516-431-5431
Though superstorm Sandy flooded his store with 3 feet of water and forced him to liquidate all of his inventory, life-long Long Beach resident and owner of Long Beach Surf Shop Luke Hamlet knows how to look at the silver lining.
He took the opportunity to give his 15-year-old shop a whole new look, ripping up plaster to expose rustic brick walls, opening up his floor plan and extending his loft-style second floor. He even turned planks of wood from the destroyed boardwalk into an accent wall before re-opening May 8.
With the help of his daughter, Emma, and son, Luke, Hamlet has re-stocked his store with brand new surf boards from top surfing destinations (sold for $400-1,200 and rented for $40 full day or $25 half day), skateboards and surfer-chic clothing and accessories, from board shorts and bikinis to beach bags and sunglasses.
"A lot of these brands you'll see in PacSun and Zumiez, but they're buying for the whole country," Hamlet says. "We focus on buying what we think is cool locally."
Hamlet says being located across the street from the Long BeachLIRR station gets him business from Manhattan and all over the world in addition to his local following, but he isn't sure how Sandy's aftermath will affect him this peak season.
"Since we've been open we've been really busy with people who are going into their closets and saying, 'Oh yeah, I lost all my spring clothing,'" he says. "But so many people would come out in the summer just to ride their bikes on the boardwalk or go for a walk or run, so without that there it's a big unknown."