Connect with us

CULTURE

Skateshop Spotlight: Sidewalk Surfer, Scottsdale AZ

Published

on

We caught up with Keven Stern of Sidewalk Surfer, Arizona’s original skateshop. This unshakeable Scottsdale staple has grown tremendously in the last 40-some years, welcoming skaters of all stripes.

I see that Sidewalk Surfer’s been around for a little while now. Can you give us a rundown of how you came to be?

We started October 15, 1977. The owner is a woman named Sandie Hamilton and she started it because there were no skateshops in Arizona at the time. There were only bike shops you could buy skateboards from. So she decided to take a little money she had saved and start a shop. And that’s how it got started in only 250 square feet.

And the rest is history, right?

The rest is history so to speak! Yeah, we’ve moved around, always in Scottsdale, but this is our third spot. So we’ve gotten progressively bigger as we’ve moved, you know, from 250 square feet, then 2500 square feet, and now we’re in 5000 square feet.

That’s fantastic! So tell me a little about your background as a skater.

So I’m one of the managers here; there’s 3 of us that run the store. The owner Sandie retired in 2005, and we worked with her, and we’ve run it for her since then. I’ve been doing this for 29 years. I’ve been at Sidewalk Surfer for almost 25 of those 29 years. The other two managers have been here for 40 years, and they’ve worked here since 1981. So yeah. That’s our background.

Do you skate yourself?

I do, yeah. As you get older and you get more responsibilities and become a parent and all that stuff, it gets harder, but yes, ultimately we’re all skateboarders.

What would you say is Sidewalk Surfer’s mission right now?

Provide product and knowledge to consumers, customers, clientele, skateboarders. Have them be happy with their experience, and feel good about their purchases. Making sure you tell them the right stuff, you know what I mean? Make sure they are happy with what they’re doing, the decisions they’re making. Really trying to guide the new generation with the right info.

Do you have any local events you participate in, or anything coming up?

We help out a lot with local contests. There’s a Scottsdale park near us called the Wedge Skatepark. Were the primary sponsor for the Wedge contest which, obviously it didn’t happen last year, but it’s usually in March. We provide for that and other contests and events, too. The only ones we aren’t directly involved with are Cowtown’s PHXAM event. That’s their baby so to speak, Cowtown being the other shop out here.

What are some of the more exciting products you carry in your shop right now?

I think our hard goods selection in general, whether it be regular skateboards, longboards,  cruisers, is pretty strong. I mean, we go heavy in apparel — it’s big. Footwear is big. We do solid with hardgoods. That’s a big part of us: boards, trucks, wheels, footwear. We do a little bit of everything!

Any specific brands you like to support?

Skate One, we have a super good relationship with them. Baker Boys, we have a super good relationship with them. Deluxe. And then footwear side, Vans, we do super well with. Nike we do well with, and Soul Deck.

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

Special visitors, oh goodness. Let’s see. Gosh, there’s a lot of good ones here. One of my favorite ones, personally, was when Shaquille O’Neal came to our shop and had to duck under every single door jamb and door frame when he walked through the store. Couldn’t have been a nicer guy and he was the largest person I’d ever seen in my entire life. And his hand was equally large when I shook it. He’s a big dude. So that was really good. Tom Cruise was here when they were filming Jerry Maguire, ‘cause that was filmed a lot in Arizona. He came in here. Again, another super nice guy. Did a little bit of shopping and stuff while he was here. We’ve had our share of, you know, celebrities and actors and sports people. When you’re around for 44 years, you kinda see a lot! 

Can you leave us with your thoughts on how skaters can get involved in their own communities at home?

Advertisement

Sure! I’d say the best thing to do, I’ve always found that the cities you live in, their parks and rec programs either know of or are trying to put on events for certain skateparks. Also, go to your local shop. Always ask them about what events are coming up. Or if there’s nothing coming up, you can just try to help out in other ways. A lot of it revolves around your local skatepark, so if you’re there and you see good things happening, encourage it. If you see bad things happening, say something. So I think there’s a lot that can be done through your local parks. 

Thanks so much for chatting with us today!

Sidewalk Surfer is Arizona’s longest-running skateshop, and one of the most established in the country. You can visit them at 2602 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, AZ or online on Instagram, Facebook, and sidewalksurfer.com

The original Sidewalk Surfer Shop

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CONTESTS

Get Behind the Scenes of the Red Bull Bowl Rippers

Published

on

In September, Red Bull Bowl Rippers brought pro skateboarding action back to Marseille’s famous beachside Bowl Du Prado after a two-year hiatus.

As thousands of enthusiastic French spectators witnessed the action-packed event, Marc Churchill and Corbin Harris interviewed the participating skaters, as well as industry veterans such as Greg Poissonnier, Chris Gregson, and Bryce Kanights. They also spoke with the event organizer, Jeremie Grynblat, and local hero Vincent Matheron to understand what makes this unique proving ground so special and why people keep coming back to it for decades.

The first Bowl Rippers was held in 2016 at the iconic park to celebrate its 25th year. Now on its sixth edition, The Red Bull Bowl Rippers continued the Bowl Du Prado’s legacy of enshrining legends into a new era.

The Bowl Du Prado, designed by Jean-Pierre Collinet, has been visited by every great skateboarder to leave their mark on the sport. Along with famous names like Cardiel, Speyer, Trujillo, and Petersen, there are also local legends like Molinier, Benoliel, Salah, and the Matheron clan who have all contributed to the skatepark’s worldwide notoriety.

Continue Reading

CULTURE

Atita Verghese: India’s Top Female Skater in ‘Skate Tales’

Published

on

In this episode of Skate Tales, Madars Apse visited Bangalore to meet Atita Verghese, India’s leading female skater.

Atita was introduced to skateboard culture by the Holystoked crew, who constructed India’s first DIY skatepark in Bangalore. Her life was transformed when she stepped onto a skateboard, and she has never looked back.

In 2014, Atita established Girl Skate India, a non-profit organization that encourages young women to pursue skateboarding. Atita is a source of inspiration for women worldwide, particularly in India, where skateboarding is still in its early stages.

She has been involved in the construction of the majority of skateparks in her home country to this day, having learned how to mix concrete and shape transitions with the Holystoked collective.

Skateboarding has led her to appear in numerous advertisements, a TED talk, movie roles, and even a cameo in the Netflix series Skater Girl.

Atita has created a one-woman movement beyond providing boards, pads, or lessons. In a society where opportunities for girls to be free of social constraints and have fun are limited, Atita’s work is definitely worth checking out.

Continue Reading

CULTURE

Andrew Arthur: From Sponsored Skateboarder to Fashion Photographer

Published

on

The Transworld Skateboarding crew catches up with Andrew Arthur in this episode of “Brain Floss.”

Andrew Arthur was raised in Oceanside, California, surrounded by some of the best skaters who eventually became pros. Although he once pursued skateboarding and even reached the amateur level, his career took a different path when he found his niche in fashion photography.

Fast forward ten years and Andrew now resides in New York City, where he continues to skate and stay connected with the local scene. His latest photo project, which will be compiled into a book, is a unique take on the sun bounce setup popularized by Peter Lindbergh.

Continue Reading

How To

Advertisement
Advertisement

Video Archive

Trending