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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

San Diego surf shops struggling during coronavirus shut down

Surfers are always optimistic and always looking for that next swell.

SAN DIEGO — Surf shops like other San Diego small businesses have been hit hard, not only by the coronavirus economic impact, but also due to surfing being banned for the past six weeks.

What have those in the surfing community been doing when they could not surf? 

Bird Huffman has been in the surf industry for more than 50 years and owns Bird's Surf Shed.  

"Surf shops have been a meeting place of the tribe so to speak. Everything has come to a stop. It is a double edge sword that keeps digging in," he said.

Like many other small businesses, Huffman has had to make tough choices.

"No paycheck, no money to pay the mortgage - letting people go to fend for themselves," he said. 

To stay afloat, Huffman's wife's paycheck from Costco has kept the lights on.

"She's on the front line up there every day with the customers. It helps me carry on," he said. 

Huffman and his partner Brian have applied for the relief programs. 

"We didn't make the first cut, but I feel like we have a better chance the second time around. I'll do what it takes to keep my doors open after 51 years," said Huffman.

Surfers are always optimistic and always looking for that next swell.

"I'm' a cup half full not half empty," he said.

As surfers return to the water, Huffman wants to supply the tribe. 

"I think if we can get it opened up, we'll have a great summer," he said.

"Anybody out there that's in the same boat, God bless you. Let's get on the other side and let's go surfing," said Huffman.

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