Just before Memorial Day Weekend, the iconic 7th Street Surf Shop in Ocean City, New Jersey, was ready to spread their love of surfing to everyone who wanted to learn just as they have done for 30 years.
The store was completely stocked for the season with a shop full of brand-new gear and hundreds of new surfboards for sale and lessons.
Then, a huge fire engulfed the shop on May 16th, destroying everything inside but it didn't burn their spirit.
Down in Ocean City at the time, the intense smell of burning and char was potent in the air, from even several blocks away.
Owner Larry Friedel had a graveyard of blackened surfboards in the back of the shop.
The inside of the shop looked like the bottom of a BBQ grill, with blackened remains of clothing, equipment, and everything they had was lost.
Lead surf instructor, Matthew Ellison, reassured Chasing News the shop was not broken and Friedel mentioned that lessons are not canceled.
“Now we’re hoping we get open in August but there are no guarantees. The main thing is we’re here doing lessons, we’re here doing rentals. All the same guys, the whole team, the whole bunch of instructors, we got a little bit of everything going on and we can still help everybody who still wants to learn how to surf,” Friedel explained.
Just like surfing, it isn’t falling down that defines you; it’s getting back up that’s more important.