7Th Wave Surf Shop Long Beach California
First noticing the unique 7th wave logo at bro Rus’ screen print business. I immediately inquired as to the logo. “Did you design that logo Rus? Replying, “No but it is very cool for sure”. Rus proceeded to give me the address and I booked it on over to the 7th Wave.
7th Wave surf shop dubbed by the previous owner in a nod to a sailor’s yarn concerning the 7th wave in a set
The Tim Stamps and Ben Aipa Boards featured in the large front window grab the surf hound’s attention immediately. Quality boards most certainly.
Stepping in the door of the 7th Wave Surf shop I am greeted with a friendly welcome from a voice in the back of the store. “Just let me know if you need anything,” the voice offers. Inhaling, the culture of surf lingers on the taste buds. Respect for the rich history of wave riding and dedication to the art permeate the shop lingering on the olfactory senses. Ahhh yes,dig it. No florescent or and hard-sale here only a hard working surfer dedicated to the lifestyle and art of wave riding. Meandering to the couches set up in the “lounge” area of 7th Wave, the earthy and oceanic personal taste of the owner is very welcoming and comfortable. The type of shop groms and crusty old barnacles kick back and trade tall and not so tall surf tales, and while away the down time between sessions. The Danish Modern second hand couch is relaxing as is the shop’s casual atmosphere.
Meet Kelli Koller owner of 7th Wave surf shop located in beautiful Long Beach,CA. Kelli got in the surfing retail business almost a decade ago working for Robert August Surfboard and as the first female surfboard sales rep at Huntington Surf and Sport. For certain she is knowledgeable and well versed in the industry and product. Not just another pretty face although a pretty face for sure, her eyes a beautiful ocean blue and sharp as her golden hair and freckles are cute. She exudes a passion and respect for the ocean. The owner has paid her dues in the trenches as well as the line up. She bought the shop working nights bartending and saving her scratch. Like many of the clan, surfing is an essential part of her personality and character, not an extra curricular activity. She grew up around the art/sport. Salt water, sun burns, and surf bumps are as natural to Kelli as bones are to a dog, as natural as questions are to a curious grommet.
Speaking of groms, Kelli got her start early, surfing WSA contests up and down the coast, exhibiting a natural propensity and style for wave riding. She cites her early Heroes and influences being most important her dad, Gary Koller, then in no particular order Kelly Slater, Tim Stamps and Lisa Anderson. Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and Seal Beach, CA are her early training grounds and she still can be found on a daily basis riding the wild surf at one of these spots as well as world wide. A perennial competitor Kelli won the C street Ventura, CA longboard contest a few years ago but she has slowed down lately on the competitions devoting time to her store and business. As Kelli showed me around her shop, I dropped the two loaded questions which she answered via email as I misplaced my notes. Thanks Kelli!
Ger-I: “Have you experienced as a
female shop owner, resistance or prejudice from male customers or
male industry people?”
Kelli: “In all honesty, I feel that I really have not experienced any prejudice regarding the fact that I am a female -owned shop. There have been a few times when new male customers sort of blew me off when I asked if they needed help with boards and then they quickly back peddled after a few minutes of me talking about boards and surf. I think, for the most part, I can handle my own, and generally people (customers & industry) pick up on that. Sometimes, both men and women seem a bit surprised when they find out I own the shop. Usually it’s because they are assuming that a younger female wouldn’t own a Surf Shop. Rarely do I pick up on any negative energy sent my way. Put good energy out, and good energy comes back!!! I feel very blessed!”
Ger-I: “Have you encountered prejudice or discrimination/abuse in the line up? Or vice a versa (favoritism).”
Kelli:”There have definitely been a few times in the line-up that I have experienced a bit of negative energy. I feel like I have not experienced it as much as I have gotten older. This is probably because most locals/regulars are familiar with me at the usual spots that I surf (HB & Newport). I can be competitive in the water sometimes at these spots. Growing up, I feel some guys would just take off on me or any other girl. You would have to be a bit confident/aggressive to get a wave. It usually would quit happening when they saw I could hold my own and/or realized I was polite but planned on sticking around. Some people don’t like when chicks get a small bit aggressive….but hey….it’s crowded Southern California baby, All in all, I rarely feel a negative energy. directed at me personally. Paddle battles here and there are expected. I don’t take those personally”.
Well dearest, as this ride is nearing the shore break closeout, a big shout out and thank you from Kelli and 7th Wave Surf Shop to all surfers world wide and a she has special thank you to my parents and Debbie!
Finally I will give 7th Wave a huge Shaka! Stop on in and say hey it will be worth the effort.
2714 East 4th Street
Long Beach, CA 90814