Written By: Matt Bucci
Originally posted: 10/29/17
Summer is but a distant memory now that cold weather is here and the holidays are fast approaching. It’s a harsh dose of reality but we at Cha Vibes choose to stay in a sunny state of denial and focus on where our inspiration comes from, the ocean. The original concept for Cha Vibes was formed on the Atlantic coast in the town of Ocean City, Maryland. For a lot of people, Ocean City is a drinking town that happens to be on a beach. Personally, I have way too many friends who never make it out of the sand at Seacrets long enough to realize that there is a real beach across the road. But hey, to each his own; and Seacrets is a hell of a good bar. I’ve emptied my wallet there drinking Pain-in-the-Asses while watching some great live music on more than one occasion. Although, there are many problems associated with this summer tourism that somewhat takes away from the character of OC. Maybe not entirely, though it gives the town somewhat of a bad wrap, hence the nickname, Ocean Shitty. Allow me to clarify...
Ocean City is the melting pot of Maryland during the hot summer months. You can certainly enjoy some decent people-watching from a front porch with a good view of the coastal highway sidewalks, the majority being renters and tourists. These people stroll back and forth between Sunsations and putt-putt courses for a few days at a time, then are replaced by the same kind of vacationers, and so on until September rolls around. Then there are the SLOCALS: the kids who live and surf in oc, but only for the summer when the party never stops. Finally, there are the natives, the year-round citizens that call this city home. For an outsider, it’s hard to wrap your head around people living in a vacation destination, especially one that is subject to seasonal changes. Year in and year out the locals watch the basis of their economy come and go as they trash the city and pollute the air and ocean with excess transportation emissions for three months. The sad truth is that most locals believe the city will never progress past these issues because of their economic reliance on tourism. The signs are all too clear from the litter on the shoreline and salty ocean air becoming more and more tainted every summer. But, there is still hope.
I grew up a little further north in Dewey Beach, but have surfed Ocean City breaks since I was ten. The locals would probably call me a kook but, oh well, if I’m dropping in on an east coast wave, I don’t care where you’re from, get outta my way. Nevertheless, I have a profound appreciation for my experience with Ocean City and the same can be said for everyone at Cha Vibes. Our founder, Johnny Arlauskas fell in love with the town by frequenting 13th street every summer from a very early age, and that admiration is what developed his vision for Cha Vibes. That being said, we feel it is our duty to give back to the town that has given us so much enjoyment over the years.
Since the company was founded, Cha Vibes has intended to build it to a point where a portion of profits will go towards clean-up efforts both at home in OC and abroad. We have already set money aside to begin a water restoration project that we hope to launch as the company grows to really make a difference in OC. However, even though Ocean City is home to us and we wish to protect it, there are much bigger fish to fry at the moment. The past two months blessed us with some great waves but the hurricanes during that time have destroyed entire communities in Houston, south Florida, and the Caribbean. So, starting today until January 1st, we will donate 20% of our online profits to www.unicefusa.com to support clean-up efforts in Puerto Rico. The island is still experiencing incredible devastation and we feel a great responsibility to spread the Cha and help out however we can. Please click here >>>www.unicefusa.org<<< to check out their website and leave a donation. Any and all donations are going to a great cause.
Photos provided by: Mike Treeolow