CENTRAL/NORTHWEST

2009 CENTRAL NORTHWEST CHAMPION:  Freeline

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L-R: Bud Freitas, Anthony Dunn, John Mel, Peter Mel

Shop Name: Freeline Design

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Founded: 1969

Surf Shop Challenge Team Members: John Mel (9), Anthony Dunn (17), Bud Freitas, Peter Mel

Why is your Surf Shop Challenge team the best in the region?
Peter Mel: Freeline is family owned and operated, surfing Santa Cruz for 40 years. It's all about the family. My two sons and myself and Bud have been family forever. Bud used to be our "Rinse Grom" when he was 12 years old. He cleaned all our rental wetsuits at the end of the day. Now he's our secret weapon.

By the Numbers
12: Freeline shop employees
150: Surfboards in stock
0: Surf Shop Challenge Team Members who aren't in Peter Mel's "Family"
14: Age at which both Peter and his son started working in the shop
16: Teams Freeline Beat to take the Northwest Regional Championship
9: Age of team member John Mel, the youngest surfer to ever compete in the event

A Few Words from the Team:

Best part about the shop: Family owned and operated for 40 years

Worst Part about the shop: It's pretty sandy

Summertime in the shop: Salty tourists

Off-season at Freeline: Salty locals

Strangest customer(s) to come in: This is Santa Cruz—too many to mention

Weirdest request from a customer: "Do you have wax?"

Best Part about working there: Loyal employees

Odd fact about the shop: Our employees never quit—they just keep coming back

Best Small-Wave Surfer on the Team: John Mel, he's only 65 lbs

Best Big-Wave Surfer on the Team: Peter Mel, he's 210 lbs.

Most unique member of the team: Bud Freitas, he only scores 8-plus rides

2009 SHOP TEAMS:

O’Neill Surf Shop, Santa Cruz, CA – 2008 REGIONAL CHAMPS
Arrow Surf Shop, Santa Cruz, CA
Central Coast, San Luis Obispo, CA
Channel Islands, Santa Barbara, CA
Esteem Surf Co, Santa Barbara, CA
Freeline Design, Santa Cruz, CA
Liquid Surf Shop, PacificGrove, CA
Log Shop, Pacifica, CA
Moondoggies, Monterey, CA
Nor Cal Surf Shop, Pacifica, CA
On the Beach, Monterey, CA
One Way Board Shop, Santa Maria, CA
Pacific Wave, Santa Cruz, CA
Proof Lab, Mill Valley, CA
Revolution, Camarillo, CA
Ventura Surf Shop, Ventura, CA

2008 CENTRAL NORTHWEST CHAMPIONS: O’NEILL SURF SHOP

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Shop name: O’Neill Surf Shop
Opening date: 1952 in sf 1953 in sc
Address: 1115 41st sc ca 95062
Website: oneill.com
Number of employees: 35
Team Captain: Jesse Colombo
Mission statement: To provide outstanding customer service and truly functional products that exceeds every customer's expectations.

Past QSSC results
I think third, we had a shocker with the time. Kieran had a score and fell on his second wave, so he only had one wave left and hadn't claimed one yet. All this is while he watched Dustin cuzion whammy a 9, and it was at flat o-side. So long story short we were a little unlucky but the team learned from our mistakes and we are going to come out firing this year.

QSSC rival
Hansen's is our rival because they won, and because Jeremy Sherwin is a hippy tranny that moved to Santa Cruz to go to school at UCSC and while he was here he definitely out surfed me at my home break a couple times, so I need a payback!

Team riders
Jason Collins 30, well rounded in all conditions, fast, explosive and knows how to get the score. Kieran horn 30, one of the best surfers I've seen, dark horse powerhouse, in a right hand point break he could take on some of the best in the world and give them a run for their money. TJ mikus 21, young explosive surfer who I don't think people give enough credit to, the kid rips and he isn't even sponsored right now, I think that will change after people see him in the comp this year, bidding war for sure. Jesse Colombo 24, overrated kook with a big mouth and no bag of tricks, the only reason he is on the team is because he put himself on it…KOOK, no threat there at all, definitely the weakest link.

"Competing in the Surf Shop challenge is rad because it is healthy competion between rival surf shops that compete everyday for sales and now we can see who has the best team. Everyone has fun and its all good times, but we all want to win, so I guess we will see who has what it takes.

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