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THURSDAY, AUGUST 4, 2016
The Rockaway Times
ThePipeline:
UncleSam’s Surf &Surplus
By KatieMcFadden
Left, left, left right left. March
on down to Rockaway Beach.
You’ll feel like a recruit as soon
as you step into Uncle Sam’s
Surf & Surplus (USSS) by Beach
92nd Street. They’ve put a new
twist on the surf shop concept
by also providing military in-
spired apparel and gear.
Rockaway Park resident Lou
Harris, a self-taught surfer of
10 years, opened USSS in May
along with Richard Geist. Geist,
the CEO of the 20-year-old Un-
cle Sam’s Army Navy Outfitters
shop in Manhattan, brought
the idea to Harris after com-
ing down to Rockaway. “My
girlfriend, Danielle, is the dis-
trict manager of the Manhat-
tan shop and Richard came out
here for her birthday one year
and saw people wearing camo.
He knew I surf and suggest-
ed that we combine the two,”
Harris said. Rockaway Beach’s
USSS is now one of five Uncle
Sam’s shops in New York and
Toronto.
At USSS you’ll find Army/
Navy apparel from 26 countries
including things like jackets,
shirts, shorts, pants, bathing
suits and even underwear, as
well as useful gear. “We sell a
lot of things that we survived
on during Sandy,” Harris said.
These items include Ready-to-
Eat meals, tents, cots, sleep-
ing bags, canteens, lanterns,
flashlights and other items that
could be used for survival, or
maybe even a camping trip.
If you’re looking for accesso-
ries for a costume, they have
things like gas masks and gre-
nades. Heavy-duty multi-com-
partment backpacks that come
with weatherproof covers or
even built-in-canteens are also
a big hit. Harris expects busi-
ness to do even better in the fall
as they’ll carry items like pea-
coats, jackets, thermals, heated
socks, parkas and blankets.
USSS isn’t just about the mil-
itary lifestyle. Harris brings
his knowledge of surf prod-
ucts from previous experience.
“I used to be the manager of
Breakwater and when Nigel
was working there, he took me
to trade shows and I got more
involved in the business side of
surfing,” Harris said. At USSS
you’ll find a limited number of
boards for sale, as well as wax,
ding repair, fins, leashes, trac-
tion pads, sunglasses, surf films
and more. “Someone asked me
how does surf and military go
together. You don’t always have
waves in Rockaway, so a lot of
surfers will travel out to Mon-
tauk or Long Beach and will
sleep in their cars or go camp-
ing and we offer things that can
make that easier like tents and
sleeping bags. I have friends
that went camping and they
stopped by and were able to get
everything they needed,” Har-
ris said. Incorporating the mili-
tary angle also makes USSS dif-
ferent than other surf shops in
the area. “We didn’t want to be
a surf shop primarily. I have a
lot of respect for Steve at Board-
ers. He sold me my first board
and Nigel at Station helped me
a lot. We didn’t want to step on
anyone’s toes,” Harris said.
Harris and his staffers like
Ernie Herrera bring a friend-
ly, approachable vibe to USSS.
“When people come in as cus-
tomers, they leave as friends,”
Harris said, adding that they
often promote other business-
es within the neighborhood to
visitors. “We’ll set up times to
surf or hang out with custom-
ers or will recommend they go
check out nearby places like
Connolly’s for a piña colada,
Whit’s for pizza or the Rocka-
way Beach Surf Club for a drink
and tacos. We want to support
other businesses, so if we don’t
have something, we’ll send
them to Station or Boarders
of even Zingara Vintage or Off
Season,” Harris said. They also
offer discounts to Rockaway
residents. “All locals get 15 per-
cent off. Rockaway is a blue col-
lar town with cops, firefighters,
construction guys and teach-
ers so we want to help them
out with discounts.” USSS also
helps the community by coor-
dinating beach cleanups with
local girl scouts and they run
a non-profit called the Black
Surfing Association, in which
they provide free surf lessons
to kids who may not have the
opportunity to learn otherwise.
Uncle Sam’s Surf & Surplus
is located at 92-14 Rockaway
Beach Boulevard. Hours are
12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays
through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 8
p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sun-
days. Call 718-634-SURF (7873)
or check out www.unclesurf.
com for info.
Surf Conditions
Avg. Water Temp:
74-76 Degrees
Thursday, August 4
78 Degrees/ Sunny
Swell:
1-2 ft
LowTide:
3:11 a.m./ 3:17 p.m.
High Tide:
9:13 a.m./ 9:23 p.m.
Friday, August 5
78 Degrees/ Mostly Sunny
Swell:
1 ft
LowTide:
3:52 a.m./ 4:00 p.m.
High Tide:
9:59 a.m. /10:07 p.m.
Saturday, August 6
84 Degrees/ Scattered Thunderstorms
Swell:
1-2 ft
LowTide:
4:31 a.m./ 4:42 p.m.
High Tide:
10:45 a.m./ 10:52 p.m.
Sunday, August 7
83 Degrees/ Mostly Sunny
Swell:
1 ft
LowTide:
5:09 a.m./ 5:24 p.m.
High Tide:
11:31 a.m./ 11:37 p.m.
Monday, August 8
83 Degrees/ Sunny
Swell:
1 ft
LowTide:
5:46 a.m./ 6:09 p.m.
High Tide:
12:16 p.m.
Tuesday, August 9
83 Degrees/ Sunny
Swell:
1 ft
LowTide:
6:26 a.m./ 7:00 p.m.
High Tide:
12:22 a.m. / 1:01 p.m.
Wednesday, August 10
83 Degrees/ Sunny
Swell:
1 ft
LowTide:
7:13 a.m./ 8:01 p.m.
High Tide:
1:08 a.m. / 1:46 p.m.