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Cheka-Looka Surf Shop

Music, Retro Stoke Harvester

Right Coast: Patrick Keenan

January 2, 2013

Well, I think an introduction may be in order. My name is Patrick, the newly appointed Stoke Harvester East Coast correspondent – yeah, Stoke Harvester is that popular now. For those of you familiar with the late, great Cheka Looka Surf Shop I was the nerdy kid restocking the surf wax, conspicuously checking out your girlfriend or writing down the receipt for your ding repair (if you haven’t gotten your board back, Jeff is still working on it). After what I can only describe as a “righteous time” working with Jeff and Shawn and babysitting Seth and Dug, I moved to Austin, then to Los Angeles, and now currently freezing in New York City. My travels have allowed me to cruise some gnarly waves, chill with some great tunes, down some torpedo juice and meet some great folk, all the while relaying my voyages back to my friends at Stoke Harvester.

So, one morning I received a text from Shawn asking if I would post on the SH blog to which I replied with an overly caffeinated but restrained, “That would be great.” So, here we go, you and your new pal Patrick. Let’s set the mood with some mid-winter longing for summer music.

Here let me light you up…

Mac DeMarco

“Ode To Viceroy”

If you are like me, and I assume you are, then you enjoy some positive mellow vibrations in your music. Well, Mac DeMarco has entered stage right and boy does he have a surprise for you. DeMarco’s album “2”, released in October, displays a more mature DeMarco from his previous and groovy, though overly Ariel Pink influenced, album: “Rock and Roll Night Club”. The album “2” contains a more funky and jazzy feel that seems to be missing in the tight pants community – come on, 7th chords aren’t that difficult, kids. Tracks like “Freaking Out the Neighborhood” and “Annie” illustrate DeMarco’s danceable yet mellow songwriting style full of clean guitars with extreme treble, funky but lax basslines and DeMarco’s easy lyrics. Rounding out the album DeMarco includes songs like “My Kind Of Woman” (a personal favorite) and “Ode to Viceroy” that are relaxed and that straddle the fence between a post surf session feel and a straight needle in the vain. The juxtaposition between these two mellow/fun and mellow…/mellow songs makes for a unique album. “2” closes with a lazy acoustic ditty titled “Still Together” that I am sure will get you laid.

– Patrick

Retro Stoke Harvester

Surfboards by Dewey Weber

December 4, 2012

If we are friends, than you most likely know that I am a sucker for Dewey Weber Surfboards. The first longboard I ever purchased was a 9’0 Dewey Weber Performer. I was working at Cheka-Looka at the time, and pretty much everything I knew about surfing came from Jeff, Bubba, and Ricky. Ricky used to surf for Weber…so he understandably had a soft spot for Dewey’s. That being said, the decision to put me on the DW Performer was green across the board. It was big, it was blue, and it came with a hatchet fin.

I was stoked. Up to that point, my only experience with longboards was with the sticks that Cheka-Looka kept in the rental fleet. Don’t get me wrong, those boards weren’t bad…but nothing could prepare me for my first session out on the performer.

Easy-paddling, dime-turning, stoke-mining, wave-catching machine.

I was stoked. The next day at Cheka-Looka, I grabbed a DW t-shirt, and a sticker to throw on my car.

A few months back, my friend Scott and I picked up a few boards from Almond Surfboards & Designs. Scott bought a Lumberjack, and I scored a Surf Thump. I friggin love my Surf Thump. It’s 9’8″,piggish, and has a glassed on D-fin. After taking the Surf Thump out a few times, I contacted Dave at Almond…to see if he would be interested in selling his boards through the site. Shortly after, we proudly announced a partnership with Almond Surfboards & Designs.

After getting most of Almond’s quiver up on the site, I started talking with Justin over at Peanut Butter Coast about who else Stoke Harvester could bring on board. There are more than a few great surfboard manufacturers out there that SH would be excited to work with. Everyone has their favorite…Dewey Weber is mine.

I contacted Shea Weber. Stoke Harvester now sells Surfboards by Dewey Weber.

At the moment we have three different models available on the site; The Stlyist, Performer, and Feather Fastback. If you’re looking to add a performance fin to your collection, we also have Dewey’s Hatchet fin. More DW boards and clothing will be added to the store in the coming months. In the meantime if there’s something you want, and it’s not listed on the site…Shoot us an email.

One step closer to getting my Red Jacket. ;)

Retro Stoke Harvester

From the Archives: Cheka-Looka Surf Shop – Eastlake

October 23, 2012

Maybe a volkswagen bus with a surfboard on top caught your eye, or you noticed it on a sunny day. Well, there’s a bit of the beach on Eastlake in Seattle. Cheka-Looka is a traditional style surf shop. From the shaping room to the flip-flops, this little surf shop has it all. You can find handcrafted surfboards on display that are shaped right next door, and they will also custom shape any paddle or skim board that you can think up. Among their other products are sandals, shorts videos, a ding repair shop, fin replacement, and wetsuits to keep you warm in the Washington waters.

The shop originally started on July 1st 1998 as a sort of hobby shop that had a good vibe where friends could hang out and talk of the washington surf and at the same time get good deals on equipment. Now the owners Jeff Abandonato and Jason Richardson along with Brian Anderson in the shaping bay, run a surf outlet with name brands such as Rip Curl, O’neil, Mormaii, and Channel Island Surf along with used boards and a full range of rental equipment.

Retro Stoke Harvester

From the Archives: Cheka-Looka Surf Shop – Eastlake

September 30, 2012

I drove up to Jeff’s place today and snagged a box of photos from the old surf shop. It’s always a treat digging through the Abondonato’s garage…Ricky’s 10′ log in one corner, a box of Star Wars toys from the 80’s in the other. I dropped off the board Jeff and I started shaping 5 years ago. It should fit nicely somewhere in between the Dark Tower board game, and Lea’s old red tricycle.

Retro Stoke Harvester

From the Archives: Ricky Young Manhattan Beach 1960

May 20, 2012

We posted this photo on our Facebook page a few months back…but I think it deserves to go up again. When I got hired at Cheka-Looka, Ricky was doing ding-repair for the shop. Back in the day, Ricky was ranked the fifth best surfer in the country and was both working and riding for Dewey Weber. In 1998 Ricky had his own shop in Bellevue, Wa…and was hosting The Kahlua Westport Longboard Classic.

Ricky would take breaks from the shaping bay and school me on the ways of surf life. “It’s important to take coffee breaks when you’re surfing with chicks,” and “you HAVE TO surf a Dewey Weber Performer with a hatchet fin.”

Here’s a Seattle Times article on Ricky from back in 98.

– Shawn