Newly Raised and Renovated Island Surf and Sail to Reopen After Long Rebuilding Process

Shop Owner Terry Deakyne Keeps a Good Attitude After 18 Months Without Business
By JON COEN | May 01, 2019
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Brant Beach — When Island Surf and Sail owner Terry Deakyne’s nieces were young they would say, like any other children, “I want ice cream” or “I want a present.” Deakyne would playfully reply, “Yeah, well I want a castle with a moat around it.” It became a long-running, silly joke in the family that Uncle Terry wanted a castle with a moat around it. He finally has gotten his wish.

Island Surf and Sail, at 3304 Long Beach Blvd. in Brant Beach, is open this spring after a long, arduous process of being rebuilt and raised. The floor of the shop, which is located at one of the most flood-prone areas on LBI, is now up 2 feet higher than it had been. Now, essentially when heavy rains inundate the Boulevard or the bay swells up into the neighborhood, Deakyne’s shop will be his own castle with a moat around it.

Deakyne’s father opened Island Surf and Sail in 1987 and passed later that year, forcing Terry to take the reins at the age of 19. At first, the shop was based on sailing – Hobie cats and windsurfers with a few surfboards. When Hobies went out of style, the business turned to primarily windsurfing and then kayaking. In the ’90s, wakeboarding and snowboarding became big business, and in the 2000s, it was kiteboarding. The last decade has also seen stand-up paddle become a big driver, and today, ISS is known as the complete watersports shop. It offers experience and gear based on the elements – the water, waves and wind. Ironically, it’s been weather, waves and wind coupled with rising waters that forced Deakyne to raise the building.

And it’s been weather that has made this an 18-month ordeal.

“We closed in the fall of 2017, and we had permitting issues and a variance question. You need the permits to get your utilities disconnected. After a three-month runaround, it turned out we didn’t need the variance,” remembered Deakyne.

The building was actually raised on Jan. 16, 2018 in the midst of a record cold winter.

“They couldn’t pour the concrete because I don’t think the temperature got above freezing last February (2018),” Deakyne explained. With the bitter cold, a lot of construction just stopped on LBI.

“Next came the rainiest spring ever,” he explained. “That’s what everybody said – the deck guy, the landscapers, the siders, they all fell behind.”

Next came a rainy summer punctuated with consistent heat in the high 90s.

“You can’t make this stuff up,” exclaimed Deakyne of 2018’s brutal cold followed by brutal heat.

This past fall, things finally mellowed out and started to move along. Construction was mostly done by Christmas, and this winter saw steady progress with everything else. But it has been a year and a half without any walk-in business.

“It’s just been me. I can’t pay anyone. Fortunately, my online business did well. I had a good snowboard year, and a couple of locals came in and gave me some love.”

All totaled, the project took about 2½ times what he thought it was going to be.

What he has now is a super shop compared to the cramped retail space and apartment ISS had grown out of. He went from a 1,500-square-foot building, 900 of which was retail space, to a 4,500-square-foot building and 2,600 square feet of retail.

“No one wants to raise their business off the ground. They don’t want to be up because people don’t want to walk upstairs. But the way we’ve graded the property, they don’t have to.”

The new building now affords him a giant garage, workshop, and storage space out back, as well as the adjacent apartment. He has maintained the barroom design of the main retail space, and the pool table is back. His new floors are heated, everything is more efficient, and there’s no more paying for storage space in Manahawkin. His flood insurance premium went from $4,000 per year to $680.

The shop traditionally flooded one to three times per year with 6 to 8 inches of water ; that doesn’t include the major flood during Superstorm Sandy. He estimates he is now 10 to 12 inches higher than where the water comes during the worst nor’easters.

He has redecorated the inside of the shop with a collection of vintage snowboards from Burton and skateboards from Sims and Dogtown as well as surfboards from Line Drive, giving the place a feel for Island board-riding history.

Deakyne also goes into the season with two assets he never had before: his teenage son and daughter. When the shop closed in 2017, they were helping out, but now are old enough to handle real responsibility. Tommy will run the board concession down at Bayview Park, where several shops have gear available for rental and lessons. Zoe will run surf lessons on the beachfront.

Island Surf and Sail will be doing its Girls Surf Camp, regular surf lessons and kiteboard lessons, and bringing back windsurfing lessons by popular demand. Deakyne also thinks foil boarding will see a big push this year after several surfers and paddlers experimented with it last summer. He will still be carrying Lib Tech Surfboards and Body Glove wetsuits.

“In a way, I’m basically starting over. But I have always served a niche, and I will get my old clients back,” Deakyne said positively. “And now, when I see those big storms coming, I can sit at home with a beer and my feet up instead of worrying all the time.”

He finally will have what he wanted – a high and dry watersports castle surrounded by an occasional moat.

The shop is now open. Find Island Surf and Sail at Islandsurf-sail.com, 609-494-5553.

joncoen@thesandpaper.net

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.