Sime sat in an broom closet-sized office at his new West End surf shop, Moku,
surfed Google for surfers of yesteryear, and waxed nearly poetic about them,
particularly Duke Kahanamoku, a Hawaiian folk hero.
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“He’s considered the father of modern surfing,” said Sime, who noted that
Kahanamoku once surfed in Lido Beach during the 1920s.
Kahanamoku & Sons is one of several brands of long- and short-boards that Sime stocks equally at his shop. Other brands include Makaha, a hollow, carbon fiber board that sports a $1,295 price tag; Two Crows, a specialized long board that sells for around $1,100; and Pyzel short boards, priced at about $625, of which Sime said he has a exclusive on locally.
“I’ve sold a lot of short boards,” he said when asked about his first month in business.
Moku also supplies everything from wetsuits to skate boards to print and embroidered garments, including t-shirts, hoodies and baseball caps.
Owner of a home improvement contracting business, Sime renovated the vacant storefront, the former Tara Upholstery at 879 W. Beech St., in a matter of weeks after he signed the lease July 1. Some of his nearly 100 vintage surfboards he has collected run along racks that hang just below the tin ceiling, tiki masks and statues line shelves, and wall-mounted flat screens TVs stream footage of surfers catching swells from around the world.
partners with his friend, Brian Daniels, who owns a Moku shop in Hawaii, and
they are developing a line of Moku surfboards and t-shirts, shorts and other
clothing. In Long Beach, Sime wants to form surf and skateboard teams of local
kids who may act as ambassadors for this shop.
previously owned a surf shop, The Beach House, in Island Park during the early
1990s. But he gave it up after he started a family and went full-time with his
home improvement business. He opened Moku at a time when surfing in Long Beach
has continued to boom.
a lot more beginners now and a lot more women,” Sime said about the people
interested in the sport locally when asked about how times have changed since
the ‘90s. “There’s also a lot of people coming in from the city, Brooklyn and
establishing Moku, Sime, 45, would buy, flip and sell used surfboards out of his
home on Monroe Boulevard, a hobby he started in his youth in his native
Oceanside. He recognized that the time was ripe to open a new store.
missed the surf shop,” said Sime, who still surfs daily in Long Beach and cites
Kelly Slater among the pro surfers he admires most. “I love it and wanted to
get back into it.”
opening Moku in the Hurricane Sandy-battered West End, Sime said he wanted to
be part of the city’s comeback from the storm, and so far the neighborhood has
“People have come in and said thanks for opening up,” he said. “Some people told me they don’t even surf but wanted to come in and buy a Moku t-shirt to show support.”