Skaters gotta skate in South Sound, but now they’re wondering where they’ll buy decks, wheels, trucks and bearings after a longtime skateboard shop announced it will close this month.
That business is Northwest Snowboards on Harrison Avenue, also known as NWS to its customers. The owner of the business acknowledged last week that the business is closing, but he declined to comment further.
Attempts to learn more about the business by calling the former Tacoma store — it has since moved to Belfair — were unsuccessful.
The NWS website shows that the Olympia store opened in September 1994.
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But four skateboarders interviewed by The Olympian at Yauger Park skate park on Olympia’s west side and Rainier Vista Park skate park in Lacey said the store is going to close this month.
It also will be missed, they said, describing it as a place that was convenient, had a sense of skater camaraderie, and if you were a couple bucks short of the full amount needed to make a purchase, the business didn’t worry about it, said Justin Wucherpfening, 29, of Tenino, who was riding his skateboard at Rainier Vista park last week.
“Not sure what they’re going to do,” he said about South Sound skateboarding youths and where they might turn to find their gear.
Thurston County doesn’t have many skateboard shops. Suburban Skateboards and I and I Board Shop are closed, according to local skateboarders and a check by The Olympian.
Rainy Day Records in downtown Olympia apparently used to carry some skateboard gear, but it has since been phased out, an employee said.
That means skaters will have to shop out of the area, shop online or shop at a nationwide chain store like Zumiez, which has a store at Capital Mall.
One drawback about shopping online is it may not match what you really want, said Amani Schless-Krzyzek, 13, who was riding his skateboard at Yaguer Park last week. He also said NWS was close enough that he could get there in 10 minutes on his board.
“I’ll probably have to go to Zumiez,” said Maia Kattenbraker, 15, who also was riding his skateboard at Yauger Park last week. He used to get all his gear at NWS, including the occasional hat and longboard.
“It’s sad,” said Noah Nizam, 12, about NWS closing. Noah was skating with Maia and Amani. Noah said he shopped there about once a month.
Even Dewy Calderaro, 19, of New Jersey — who was visiting a friend in the area — said he had heard that NWS in Olympia was closing.