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Skateshop Spotlight: Classic Skate Shop Reno, NV

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Owner Eric Lantto showed us how he Keeps it Classic in Reno. Classic Skate Shop (aka The Biggest Little Skate Shop stocked with a curated collection of boards and gear) is best known as the only skater owned/operated/frequented shop in Nevada. In this Spotlight feature, Eric treats us to a closer look at what makes Classic one of a kind.



I had no interest in selling flip flops, overpriced sunglasses, wakeboards, or whatever the latest trending brand was.

Let’s start with the backstory of Classic Skate Shop. How did it all come together?

Classic started with the mindset of being a true skate shop, not a board shop. I thought so many places that sell skateboards morphed into a lifestyle shop. I had no interest in selling flip flops, overpriced sunglasses, wakeboards, or whatever the latest trending brand was. We went barebones and made our mark slowly in the local scene.

Tell us a little bit about your personal background as a skater.

I started skating in 1984. It was pure love. I had found my calling, and in 37 years I never quit. I also knew after memorizing every image in magazines that I had an interest in the skateboard industry. I thought that would have come to fruition in San Francisco but, after a trip to San Diego I met Ozzy Alvarez who was pro for Zorlac. We became friends immediately, and shortly after I had my first “skateboard job” at a company called Fishlips. It was kind of the perfect nightmare. No money is tough. Being able to create board shapes and graphics was a dream come true. Time flies, and I have worked for many different companies since and still do including my own brand Biggest Little Skateboard Co out of Reno. I still get to tour the world because of skateboarding and I never take that for granted.

To support our local scene first and foremost. That is everything.

I see that Classic is a skater-owned shop focusing on boards and skate products more than apparel. What would you say is your company’s mission?

To support our local scene first and foremost. That is everything. Beyond sponsoring locals, putting on events, we want people to feel welcome to the shop. Beginners are always nervous and don’t want to ask the wrong questions. I remember walking into my first shop and the guy behind the counter “cool guying” me a bit. That doesn’t happen at Classic. I love skateboarding, so why would I want to give a potential skater a bad first experience? Shops still do that and I’ll never understand that.

Skater XL - Brands and Customizatio...
Skater XL - Brands and Customizations Trailer

What are some of the most exciting items you carry in the shop?

There is a local brand named Techne that is cool. They are all over the world and I love to see them grow. We’ve been with them since the beginning and I love to see them on the racks. Obviously Dunks do well. New Balance is another great brand to work with. Anything DLX does is fun. They are something truly special in our industry. I’m also a big fan of FA/Hockey. They are doing their own thing and that’s always refreshing in a world overrun with logo boards.

Do you have any local events coming up? If not, what are some of your favorite events you normally participate in?

COVID shut down events for the most part. We squeezed in some here and there. It’s pretty exhausting dealing with it. Every year we do a Death Race which is best described as organized chaos. It’s a two person race through the park with minimal rules. We’ve been doing it for 11 years. This year I worked with the City of Reno to create a skate plaza in one of our spots that is skated regularly. It was an honor to be a part of the ribbon cutting with our Mayor in the city I love so much.

Have you had any special visitors or fun stories you’d like to share with us?

Signings and demos are always special. Kids meeting their first pro is what it’s all about. The first pros I ever met were John Lucero and Jeff Grosso. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Even cooler is when I have a friend visiting (no name dropping required) and a customer walks in surprised to see them. A random sighting in the shop is the best.

Leave us with your thoughts on how beginners can get started.

Make sure and get set up with the right gear first and foremost. Shops still pushing board size based on height and shoe size is ridiculous. It’s ALL about personal preference. Take the time to show beginners multiple sizes and give them options. Parents ask about skate lessons and I always suggest letting the beginner learn from their friends. Between Youtube and your first skate crew, it will all fall into place. I explain that you are going to fall a lot and that’s the reality of it. There’s nothing more rewarding than landing a trick after battling it forever. If you make it through the struggle, you’ll understand what it’s all about. The influx of women’s skateboarding is one of the most rewarding things to happen in decades. It’s been incredible to see that scene evolve. Skateboarding changed the direction of my life. It’s important to me to help new skaters in any way I can.

Visit Classic Skate Shop at 299 East Plumb Lane #105 in Reno, Nevada or online on Facebook or Instagram.

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CULTURE

Sixth Avenue Skatepark to Host Punk Rock and Paintbrushes Exhibit

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Sixth Avenue Skatepark will be hosting Punk Rock and Paintbrushes art and photography exhibit on September 5 from 3:00-8:00 pm.

The event will feature the works of Blair Alley, Ray Barbee, Paul Kobriger, Jason Adams, Mark de Salvo, Christian Hosoi, Sean Cliver, and Brandon Novak.

Trevor Keith of Face to Face will be performing during the event.

This event is free and open to the public although the organizers request attendees to RSVP to not exceed capacity.

Punk Rock and Paintbrushes will also have a VIP event on September 4 with Brandon Novak and Christian Hosoi. This will be held in Gladwell Guitars on Woodland Street. Ticket prices range from $40-$100 and can be purchased here.

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CULTURE

Watch Unlock the Spot Albuquerque Highlights

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Mariah Duran returns to her hometown in Albuquerque, NM to “unlock” the Civic Plaza for an open skate jam for local skaters. Watch the highlights below.

Mariah was stoked about opening the Civic Plaza to skating for the event as she narrated how they would get kicked out of the place when they were skating there before. She also talked about how the community shaped her into the skateboarder that she is.

The Unlock the Spot in Albuquerque featured cash-for tricks and an open skate jam for the local skaters.

This is the third stop of Unlock the Spot organized by Mtn Dew as part of their “Skateboarding is Unstoppable” campaign. The series of events takes place in Mtn Dew Athlete’s hometowns. Each event would give local skaters a chance to shred spots that are otherwise off-limits to skating.

The fourth Unlock the Spot will be this Sunday at Gilham Park in Kansas City, MO with Sean Malto.

Instagram will load in the frontend.

The first of the series kicked off last July 3 at Hula Lakeside, Burlington, Vermont with Chris Colbourn. The second one was at the Recreation Park in El Segundo, California with Theotis Beasly.

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Mtn Dew’s “Unlock the Spot” Next Stop is in Albuquerque, NM

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Join Mariah Duran and Mtn Dew as they “unlock” the Civic Plaza for an open skate jam with local skaters on July 17 from 11 am to 3 pm. This is the third “Unlock the Spot” event organized by Mtn Dew.

Skate content creator Lamon Holt will also attend the event.

The Unlock the Spot events feature Mtn Dew’s skate team members returning to their hometowns. Together with the locals, they skate in spots in their town that are otherwise off-limits to skating. The series will culminate with the Summer Dew Tour in Des Moines, Iowa on July 29-30.

Watch the highlights of the recent Unlock the Spot in El Segundo, California with Theotis Beasley.

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