HERMOSA BEACH, Calif.  – In 1983, the first Spyder Surf Shop was opened by up-and-coming surfer Dennis Jarvis in Hermosa Beach. Now, his whole family is involved in the business. Son Luke, who manages the store, now helps run their drive-thru skateboard service which started as the COVID-19 pandemic closed down most non-essential businesses. 

“I was just trying to figure out how we could stay busy,” said Jarvis. “Not open, but just here for the community.”

April would normally be the start of the beach-side business’s peak season, but now the shop is open to the public for a few short hours on Saturdays as a drive-thru only service.

“They pull up and have a window down and they'll just kind of yell items to us,” said Jarvis.

What You Need To Know

  • Beaches closed by order of Governor Newsom

  • Beachfront businesses forced to adapt

  • Newport Beach surf/skate shop providing drive-thru service

Everyone working here, mostly family, observes health department recommendations, and the whole drive-thru operation is contactless. 

“We have masks that we purchased. We have gloves, we have everything needed to actually implement what I would like to implement,” said Dennis Jarvis as the first customer of the day drove up.

The Spyder Surf Shop is only doing a tiny fraction of its normal business now and with the extended quarantine period Dennis Jarvis said he is worried many will not have much discretionary money once the economy does kick back in. 

“People haven’t been working,” said Jarvis. “They're really not going to have the money to come buy a new board or whatever. I honestly believe we'll be lucky if we do half of what we were supposed to do this year.”

While the store’s inventory is still available online, Spyder Surf Shop is the kind of business more tailored to beach tourism and local walk-ins. 

“I've never borrowed a dime to open any of my stores,” said Jarvis. “With an SBA loan, or any other thing that we have to go through to stay in business, this will be the first time that I'm going to be in debt.”

Jarvis' son Luke takes about 15 minutes to assemble a new skateboard for a customer, and then it’s time to take it for a test ride. 

Although many popular skate parks have been closed and filled in with sand to deter skaters, the Jarvis family is hoping enough skaters and surfers might find this a good time to get a new board.

“We’ve posted on our shops’ Instagram, just trying to let people know [about the drive-thru service], and other than that it's just word of mouth.”

The Jarvis family knows that surfing and skating are part of SoCal’s DNA, but how fast their business takes to turn around, that is left to be seen.