If you’re from Virginia Beach, VA and have surfing in your blood, then you or someone you know may have heard the name “Gurney” before. Who is this guy? Once a surf legend (no, seriously, local sources say so!), Gurney sought growth through his passion, building custom surfboards. He’s THAT guy, the one behind the Hotline Surfboards and Hotline Skateboards shops in Virginia Beach.
Gurney was kind enough to sit down with yours truly to share some 80’s-90’s-Millenium decade insight…take a read:
Truth: What was your biggest challenge with starting Hotline?
Gurney: Financing is always a challenge. But everything fell into place. I built a surfboard for a banker who then befriended and inspired me to apply for an SBA loan. Then, I hustled and just worked hard!
Truth: How much has the sport of surfing and skating changed over the years?
Gurney: Tremendously! 30 years! …The hippie generation was not as respected as skaters are now. Now it’s a big sport, there’s money, adult skaters [are on the scene]. You know, it grew out of Cali, and it’s still alternative. And some skaters are great athletes. But for every exceptional skater, there are 1,000 [more] that are good. Kids now want to be sponsored. I say have a back-up plan. I’ve seen kids go one-way or another. They get their education, still skate, and are chasing their dream through their 20’s and 30’s but don’t have [much to show] for it. Not everyone is a Tony Hawk who will have long-term careers. Today’s hot kid is tomorrow’s old news. It’s a mental thing to compete on that level. You need the edge, the commitment.
Gurney also shared the changes in retail competition over the years. He recalled that his only area competition about 5 years ago was 17th Street. Now, there are numerous mall stores that are selling what Hotline and its competitors “pioneered”.
Although Gurney isn’t really into customizing surfboards or skateboards anymore, you can still find sick boards at his shops. You can also find replacement trunks and wheels while shopping for the latest fashion-including TheHundreds, Volcom, DGK, Diamond, Obey, Adidas, Vans, DC, …AND Truth&Logic! We’re personally fans of their Nike SB Dunk and Blazer collection, but you’ll find a dope assortment of shoes for your fashion or skateboarding needs.
Gurney: This wouldn’t have happened by myself. I’ve surrounded myself with good people, but the most important person is Cammi Collins. I had the vision, but she’s the one who [has kept it together].
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