Birds Surf Shed opens Ocean Beach surf shop
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 04/26/17 - 01:21 PM | 5508 views | 4 4 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Shed OB, recently opened by Bird Huffman (right), is located on Abbot Street.
The Shed OB, recently opened by Bird Huffman (right), is located on Abbot Street.
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There's a new bird in Ocean Beach: Eric (Bird) Huffman.

And Huffman's bringing a copy of his existing Bay Park Surf Shed along with him.

Huffman opened his new satellite “shed” recently at 1963 Abbot St.

Bird talked about his no-frills surf shop, which applies as much to this location as it does to its parent site.

“People can not only get what they want but what they need — core equipment and accessories, strong fundamental things,” Huffman said. “We don't need 50 different brands of this or that. We carry just the best of what they need to go surfing. I stay real specialized. If it's good enough for me — it should be good enough for everybody.”

Huffman's next-door neighbor owned the Abbott Street property he's acquired, which previously was a surf shop.

“I've been asking her, year after year, to give me the first crack at that site on the beach should it become available,” he said. “I just took it over for a 3 1/2 year-lease.”

Huffman's satellite OB site will cater somewhat more to tourists because of its location. But that's about all that will be different about it than his current shop.

“The philosophy will still be the same,” he assured.

Bird's new shed is only 2,000 square feet, about half the size of his Morena Boulevard location.

Just like his surfing, Huffman's business focuses on the basics.

“We're not into exclusivity,” the surf entrepreneur said, adding, “I want to show people the right way to surf, make sure they've got the right equipment. You need to make a buck. But you want to do it in such a way that you're still promoting surfing in as true a way as you can.”

“Authentic” is the word for Bird who's spent 56 of his 60 years surfing. He's learned from the best surfers — and shapers —around, like Skip Frye.

“I owe (the icons) the respect to respect surfing, and that's the way it should be,” Huffman said, noting surf etiquette is “very hard to articulate or put into words. It's not about being a snob, or an elitist. It's just you want respect.”

Bird's new OB Surf Shed officially opened April 22.

Of his businesses, Bird noted, “We're very, very community oriented,” while adding he believes in building his business via social media and word of mouth.

“I've got people coming to my place, this little humble shed, from all over the world,” said Huffman, who's from a large family with three brothers whom, he said, surf avidly.

“They could have been professional status if they had wanted,” he said.

Bird said the cost of doing business always increases and the competition generally gets tougher over time. But he's convinced there's still opportunity in the industry for those with the know how — and the guts — to make it happen.

“If somebody wants to [run a surf shop] in a small way, and they realize they're not going to make millions of dollars, if they want to open a surf shop here locally — they can do well,” he said.

Remodeling his new surf shed inside and out, Bird resurfaced the outside doing it in corrugated metal.

“It needed some freshening up,” he said. “I put in a roll-up door to let people look inside and to make it feel real open.”

Bird is all about building community at his surf shops.

“If you live and work in a surf place, you have to embrace it,” Huffman said. “You're nothing without your community. People know what I'm doing. And, hopefully, they appreciate it.”

The Shed OB

Where: 1963 Abbot St.

Hours: Mondays to Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays 11 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Info: 619-226-2473, BirdsSurfShed.com, Bird@BirdsSurfShed.com.
Comments
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Ronda olive
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October 16, 2017
I was visiting San Diego State with my son and he really wanted to surf. So we came upon you shop and you totally set my son up with all that he needed that day. I was nervous about leaving him, but you put my fear to rest and really took my son under your wing! Thank You so much!
Ronda olive
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October 16, 2017
Oops...yourshop
Ronda olive
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October 16, 2017
again...I meant your shop!
BYRON "B" WISHNEK
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April 29, 2017
BIRD IS A TRUE CORNERSTONE OF SAN DIEGO SURF CULTURE.I HAVE KNOWN HIM OVER THREE DECADES. HE IS INDEED A STRAIGHT SHOOTER WILLING TO FREELY SHARE HIS WISDOM AND COMMON SENSE. CONGRATS ON THE NEW DIGS BROTHER BIRD!
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