“It’s been such a great response — so many people were coming through the store and buying stuff, even just to help out, and that was really nice,” he said. “We had a huge opening day and there was a giant line out the door … and people love the new design — there’s a warm feeling when you come through the store.”
“Those guys are a crucial part of the community, and it’s awesome to have them back,” said Long Beach Surfer’s Association President Billy Kupferman.
Juan said that Unsound intends to hold a number of events this year, including its annual pro surf competition in September and its annual art show and auction on May 18.
“We want to do the surf contest again like we do every year, but this year we’ll try to raise money for local charities, either to help people rebuild their houses or for local parks that were damaged,” Juan said.
He added that surfing is still going strong in Long Beach, especially in recent weeks. “The waves have been good, so that’s what’s keeping the surfers around — and the sandbars are good,” Juan explained.
Brull said that the surf has had a different feel in the aftermath of the storm. “The sandbars have shifted a lot, so the beach has to reconfigure itself after the storm,” he said. “The waves have been getting a little better, but it definitely feels like you’re at a foreign beach — some parts get deeper, while others get a little shallow; it feels a little different ...”
Juan said that it’s important to support local businesses that are struggling after the storm, and that rebuilding the boardwalk is pivotal because it will attract visitors to the area.
“It’s a tough situation — we want people to get back in their houses, but at the same time, if we don’t get the economy back into the town,” he said, “things could get worse.”