Tarentum skateboard shop that likens itself to community center celebrates 1st year
Skateboarding is for everyone.
“There’s no gender. There’s no age limit,” said Brian Snyder, who owns the shop with his wife, Wendy Thimons. “Grab a skateboard and start riding it.”
The event drew a good turnout despite the uncomfortably hot weather, which was estimated to get up to 91 degrees by mid-afternoon. Skateboard enthusiasts of all ages came to street skate, listen to live music, eat food and make merry.
All seemed to be taking the weather in stride.
“It’s hot. It’s so hot,” Snyder said. “But the sun is shining, and it’s not raining, so get down here.”
Adults, children and teens showed off their skateboarding moves and tricks on homemade ramps and on the street as bands played and people chatted and mingled around the East Sixth Avenue store. Some stuck their landings while others stumbled or fell, but all appeared to be having a good time.
Being in business for a year means a lot to the couple, who never doubted they would make it. They’re doing it for the community and for the kids.
“We’re in this for the long haul,” Thimons said. “It’s not just a business. We get rewards in other ways, just with all the kids being here and skating, just all the great people we get to meet.”
“It’s our hope that people will come and find something maybe bigger than just a store,” Snyder said.
Skateboarder Hunter Lang hangs out and skates at the shop as much as he is able. He said he had doubts about whether it would make it at first, and is happy it has been successful.
“It happened and here we are today, a year later,” he said. “Something must have worked out.”
The couple said local kids come and hang out at the shop every day. They sit outside and paint and skateboard. They joke that they’re like their parents. “All these kids have a story,” Snyder said. “I always get emotional when I talk about them. They’re all like I was growing up. They’re just the misfits, the outcasts. This is their community.”
Thimons said the shop is like an unofficial community center. “Kids come here to paint, and design and skate,” she said.
Lang is friend’s with the couple’s son, Cana, who helps out at the shop. He said that it’s nice to have a place to hang out. “It’s just cool because we finally have a place like this,” said Lang, 17, of Tarentum. “It gives everybody something to do.”
Snyder said the skateboarding community is full of people of all ages, and they encourage people to get better and do things they maybe normally wouldn’t do if they were skateboarding on their own.
He said older skateboarders work with younger skateboarders and teach them how to do things. “It’s like a mentoring thing. They’ll show them how to do tricks and stuff,” he said. “(There’s) a lot of camaraderie in skateboarding.”
Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected] or via Twitter .