By Jessica Allen
Skateboarding might have gotten its start on the West Coast, but New York has a deeply entrenched skater culture, and a multitude of stores selling everything from kicks to decks to caps. Here’s our five favorite stores. Shred the gnar!
85 North 3rd St., Unit 118
Brooklyn, NY 11249
KCDC Skateshop has been around for a long time, earning fans of all ages for its customer service and attention to equipment. In other words, if you’re new to skating, you’re absolutely, positively welcome here. The staff will patiently explain the difference between a c clip and a kingpin, and you can even take a lesson in the little ramp inside the Williamsburg space. The store sometimes offers kids lessons too. Want to #shoplocal? Buy a board from 5 Boro or another NYC-based brand for sale.
46 Canal St.
New York, NY 10002
Labor Skateshop is more than a skateshop. That is, you can get all kinds of decks (lots and lots and lots of decks). Labor is, above all, for skaters by skaters. But you can also check out footwear and clothes, as well as magazines and DVDs. The shop is located near where Chinatown meets the Lower East Side, an area full of nooks and crannies just begging for a ride or two, including but not limited to the LES Coleman Skatepark. In other words, you can skip the bag, and just roll your purchase out the door.
158 Orchard St.
New York, NY 10002
The first SHUT gear and decks appeared in the city in 1986, formed by a group of teenage skaters. (To see just how far back the company goes, have a look at the “family” gallery on its website. Old School, capital O capital S.) The company hasn’t slowed down since. From the Lower East Side flagship store comes the same cool rides that have earned SHUT such a great reputation over the years. Keep your cockiness at home, however; as the folks won’t hesitate to tell you, “you exist because of what we did first.”
78 St. Marks Place
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Skate Brooklyn is big enough to host not one but two mini-ramps in its Park Slope space. Mind you, the “big” is a relative concept in New York, so the store carefully curates its selection of hoodies, hats, t-shirts, and every kind of equipment you need to get your board in tiptop skating shape. This skateshop also regularly hosts gallery openings, demos, and live music, a way of both further welcoming a variety of folks into skateboarding culture and helping to serve as a true community hangout.
Uncle Funky’s Boards
128 Charles St.
New York, NY 10014
Truth time: we almost picked this Village spot for its name alone. But, upon further research, we realized that Uncle Funky’s deserves a mention for its apparel, gear, and, of course, fierce selection of longboards, street cruisers, and other ridables (a word we totally made up). See something you like? Make it yours by taking advantage of Uncle Funky’s willingness to customize. You will never fear being a lookalike again. Historians will also want to take note: the basement space stocks vintage boards.