Supporting local skate shops is a central tenet among the global skate community, but for those who don’t have a neighborhood shop to call their own, there are several online options that function as the next best thing. And just as aesthetics and attitude are as integral to the sport as blood, sweat and tears (along with pulled ligaments and bone fractures), the following online destinations are long on skate style, offering the latest in skate shoes, apparel and gear.
Produced by: Dan Hwang
1. CCS CCS has been around since 1985, though new ownership in late 2014 meant a few changes, including the banishment of CCS-branded clothing and those print catalogs we grew up on. Luckily for shoppers, the company’s extensive brand list has survived largely intact.
2. Tactics The retailer’s customer-centric positioning means an unparalleled level of service, with free U.S. delivery and no sales tax as an added bonus. Tactics is literally a one-stop shop, offering all the gear, equipment, hardware and accessories to get you shredding on virtually any surface.
3. Premier Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Premier has expanded into a full-fledged lifestyle store while maintaining its roots in skateboarding. One of the few indie shops in the country where you can purchase the latest Air Jordan Retro as well as ceramic bearings.
4. FTC One of the most respected skate shops in the country, San Francisco’s FTC has been around since the 1980s. The physical shop was something of a central meeting point for skaters during the height of the city’s Embarcadero movement. Keep the legacy going by nabbing FTC’s in-house apparel line, along with a limited selection of hard goods, through FTC’s online store.
5. Flatspot The UK retailer stocks all the relevant brands, including Nike SB, adidas, Palace and Poler Stuff. An expansive range of footwear, apparel and accessories combine with 20 years of retail expertise for an essential online hub.
6. Primitive Started in 2008 in Encino, California, with Paul Rodriguez as one of the owners, Primitive quickly built a following, stocking apparel and footwear from fellow Cali streetwear brands, as well as heavy hitters including Nike, Adidas and PUMA. The store is also the best source, naturally, for Primitive’s in-house line and P-Rod’s Primitive board company, officially launched last year.
7. Skatepark of Tampa Established in 1993, SPoT is self-described as the “crusty little warehouse in Tampa, Florida.” In reality, the shop is respected on a national scale, not only for its amazingly comprehensive list of brands, but also for its annual Tampa Pro and Tampa Am contests.
8. Skate Warehouse Based in San Luis Obispo, California, Skate Warehouse is strictly for the skaters, stocking essential companies like Chocolate, Girl, Anti Hero, Venture, Spitfire, Thunder and Krooked. Get your Nike SB and Converse kicks here as well.
9. Kinetic Skateboarding One of the finest skate shops repping the American Northeast, Kinetic has been operating out of Wilmington, Delaware, since 2002. Legitimacy trickles down from the top, with owner Brannon John of Traffic Skateboards fully involved in the shop’s day to day operations.
10. Active Ride Shop Active is rooted in Southern California, the birthplace of skateboarding, with numerous physical locations throughout the Southland and a robust online presence serving North America. It’s been six years since the company was purchased out of bankruptcy by a group of investors for $5.2 million, and it’s a testament to their strategy and vision that Active has been brought back to profitability by focusing on its core skateboarding business.