Well, Hurricane Sandy has came and went. But boy, did she leave her mark all over the Garden State. I’m still knocking the sand and salt water out of my ears, after a complete thrashing by this category 1 hurricane. She took a hard right almost directly into the Delaware bay, and hooked in completely engulfing everything from Rehoboth Beach Delaware all the way up to Manhattan, NYC. It came ashore with 90 mph winds, pushing 25 foot walls of water into our dunes and seawalls. They were no match for the ocean’s power, and our barrier island quickly flooded. We did everything that we could to prepare for this storm, but you can only do so much with the time allotted. Luckily, our structure withstood the barrage of wind, water and debris, and came out unscathed. Sadly, this was not the case for some of our fellow shops.
The storm took a sharp turn north once it came ashore, and proceeded to wreak havoc on the barrier islands to the north of us. Shops like Heritage, 7th Street, and Faria’s took on a ton of water, damaging their buildings and all of the products and equipment inside. These friends of ours are now at the beginning of what will be a long process of rebuilding what once was a local haven for surfers, skateboarders and New Jersey youth in general. Each shop needs all the help that they can get right about now, and this is a great opportunity for our small beach communities to come together a support local small businesses.
The storm affected every part of our lives here in NJ. Thousands of people are without homes, and many lives have been lost. The storm has also affected the surf industry on every front. East coast warehouses are without power. Without power, these suppliers cannot ship goods to the retailers that can’t even begin to think about the latest holiday orders that are technically supposed to be arriving as we speak. The surf world took a huge hit with this storm, and it’s not going to be a quick recovery to say the least. We’re all going to have to take a step back, and reevaluate the industry after this catastrophic event.
On a positive note, my good friend Cory is spearheading a movement to help rebuild the Garden State. Cory is a fellow surfer and owns the Jetty brand surf company, and was affected first hand by the hurricane. He quickly bounced to his feet in the storm’s wake, and immediately began helping those around him. Based out of Long Beach Island, they took the majority of the storm head on, and it left thousands with nothing. To help the cause, Cory designed a t-shirt geared towards promoting the relief efforts here in NJ. 100% of the profits made from these tees will go directly to those who put themselves into harms way to help evacuate, protect and save those affected by Hurricane Sandy. This generous act is one of many efforts made by surf companies around the world to help the east coast. I’ve also been told that Hurley and Quiksilver will be running similar campaigns to help get New Jersey back on it’s feet.
Even if you don’t live in the storm’s wake, do yourself a favor and look into how you can donate to the cause. Hurricane Sandy was deemed a national disaster by President Obama, and this status is held for only the worst of circumstances. The Red Cross are working tirelessly to care for those in need, and any donation would be greatly appreciated. At the end of the day, we are all affected by mother nature’s wrath, and these are the times when we need to have compassion for our fellow man. Even if he did steal your wave during the last big swell.