Shop Interview: Board Asylum

Posted March 7, 2005 by éS

Shop name: Board Asylum.
Year shop opened: August 1998.
Owner name: Turk Black.
Your name and job title: Brian Henderson, Store Manager.
Shop address: 128 American Alley, Petaluma, California 94952.
Shop hours: Monday-Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Web site: boardasylum.com

How's the shop doing?
We've been doing all right this past year. We're still going through our ups and down--just like the rest of the industry. Back-to-school and holiday are always our best times of the year for sales. January and February are usually our slowest months, but we just had a good January, so that was kind of cool.

Who is Board Asylum's typical customer?
Our main customer is usually a 15-16-year-old skateboarder of the punk rock / hesher variety.

Do you have any good shoplifting stories?
Mainly just kids putting new shoes on, throwing their old shoes into the box and bailing out.

How do you fight that?
We just try to keep an eye on kids. We have a lot of other kids who are pretty loyal customers. They take pride in the shop and keep a lookout for us. I've worked in so many shops where shoplifting happens, that I always look at kids' shoes when they walk in, keep a mental list, and watch what they're wearing when they leave.

Do you get any crazy people coming in off the street?
There's this one guy who used to come in all the time and play air guitar and tell us he was Cliff Burton from Metallica. He would talk to this Iron Maiden poster that we have hanging up. He would also write crazy, cryptic notes and show them to the poster. We got a hold of some of the notes, and they were just crazy hieroglyphics with pictures of guitar amps and people and weird stuff. He would also talk all crazy to the television when skate videos were on. He'd claim he had been to some of the spots hundreds of years ago--even though some of them were obviously new.

Name the most popular skate videos currently playing in the shop.
Girl Yeah Right, Toy Machine Good & Evil and Almost Round Three. TransWorld Skateboarding In Bloom is a popular older one. It's a watcher that kids keep asking about.

Do you hold any special events?
We try to do premieres for any new videos that come out. We just premiered the Toy Machine Good & Evil video. We're actually getting ready to premiere the new Blind video next week.

Do you have any upcoming events?
We have an éS Game of SKATE coming up soon, but we don't have a date set yet.

Are there any skateparks near the shop?
There's the Petaluma park, the Novato park and a bunch of others.

Do you have any Board Asylum shop team riders?
Lionel Rocha, Kevin McGowan and Wells.

What's the best part of running a skate shop?
Just being able to work in skateboarding every day. It's been my life since I was really young. I've been skating for almost 18 years. So, it's just nice to be able to do something I love.

Which éS shoes sell the best in your shop?
The Accel, of course, and the Accelerate. Also, the Rodrigo Tx. and Penny 2 have been doing pretty well.

What's the best part about éS?
The team. The éS riders just seem totally approachable. I have met a lot of them, and they have all been really nice and fairly easy to talk to. Plus, if you've ever seen them skateboard, you know why the éS team is the best!

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