Eight teams from the Northeast region showed up to duke it out in challenging knee-high conditions for the 2017 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Northeast Qualifier at 16th Ave. in Belmar, NJ, on Tuesday, April 11th. Turning out to be a wave-catching contest, shops were making the most of the meager conditions while still throwing down some solid scores. When the dust settled, 7th Street Surf Shop surfaced with the win.
In Round One, Sam Hammer put Brave New World out to an early lead with a 9.27, but decided not to whammy, which looked to be costly with the inconsistent scoring potential. The seasoned local paddled back out and whammied an 8.5 to put his team through to the final, along with Heritage Sea Isle City, Heritage Margate and 7th Street Surf Shop. Nate Garza of 7th Street Surf Shop opened up the scoring in the final with a 7.5. As if the conditions weren’t already challenging enough, the waves went limp nearing the low tide as the other teams were looking to put up scores. 7th Street combo’d the field as Rob Kelly whammied a 9.8 sealing the deal.
“We came back after a hiatus last year, the team changed due to two guys moving away, so we had to regroup and work a little harder,” said Rob Kelly of 7th Street. “It was Nate and Kevin’s first time competing in the Shop Challenge and they stepped up! Despite the waves being lackluster, when Nate dropped a 7.5 on the first wave of the final, we knew the rhythm was on our side. Everyone did their part and it worked out to take the win.”
7th Street Surf Shop – 36.04 points
Brave New World – 16.92 points
Heritage Surf & Sport (Margate) – 15.15
Heritage Surf & Sport (Sea Isle City) – 11.58