The community that has grown around the skate scene over the years overlaps with music and art in a way that other sports don’t necessarily connect with. It’s not just a sport; it’s a lifestyle. The subculture has evolved since its start in the 1950s to encompass multiple avenues of creativity while valuing authenticity.
“That’s always been one of the raddest things about skateboarding,” says Flagstaff resident Rich Phillips. “It’s kind of a no-holds-barred art scene that allows you to get really creative and express individuality.”
When Flagstaff’s local skate shop Oncore Skate & Snow shut its doors this past July, Phillips didn’t want to give up. He had worked at Oncore since its opening in 2011 and wanted to keep the community thriving, so when the previous owner left, he made a deal with the landlord to keep the building until they got back on their feet.
“He gave us two months to kind of make everything happen, and I think we’re gonna be able to make a go of it,” he says.
He plans to open the store this month with co-manager Bobby Ballard and continue to sell skateboarding and snowboarding gear but rebranded as Rōv Ride Shop. To help the shop build up their inventory, several local skateboarders even came together to plan a fundraiser concert.
“Honestly, it’s not something I ever expected so it’s pretty rad,” Phillips says. “It’s a good gesture, and it’ll just be fun to get everyone together.”
Once the idea was born, interest spread and people began volunteering to help any way they could.
The Hive will host the event during the First Friday ArtWalk with music performed into the night by Tiny Bird, A Band Called Sports, Hot Lunch, Emma Zimmer and Sourdough Spock, and an art exhibit earlier in the evening with a silent auction. The fundraiser originally was going to be a house show, but Tiny Bird singer and guitarist Eli Katz suggested utilizing the Hive’s community and art space when the band was invited to play.
“I think that there are a lot of kids in the local skate scene that don’t necessarily go to shows and it’s an all ages venue, so that’s kind of a win-win for the Hive too,” he says.
Local artists Katz, Asha Ryan, Jess Tennyson, Emma Rutigliano, Lauren Graves, Rachie Metz, Hector Viramontes, Lyss Lombari, Nikki Hand, Claudia Landes, Unsung File and Emma Zimmer donated pieces for the auction. Katz also bought blank skateboard decks for some of the artists to paint which will be raffled off during the event, as well as a Rome Snowboard and print by French artist Lucas Beaufort.
“He got really famous in the skateboard industry just drawing over skateboard photos, stuff like that,” Ballard explains. Beaufort had gone to one of the last events put on by Oncore in June and wanted to contribute what he could when he heard that it had temporarily closed. “One of our friends hit him up and just his name alone I feel will draw some people in for sure.”
Rōv aims to fulfill the needs of skateboarders and snowboarders in northern Arizona with the launch, providing a place for them to gather and build up the existing community with events such as skate video premieres throughout the year.
“I grew up in Orange County, and I always ended up going to the local skate shop,” Ballard says. “You’re not at a mall, you’re in a little store where people know exactly what they’re talking about, they’re knowledgeable, they’re stoked on what they’re selling, there’s just nothing fake about it.”
“You’re not sitting on your computer at home,” adds Katz.
“Yeah, exactly,” Ballard says. “It gets you outside, it’s fun, you can meet new people. You just need a local skate shop. Every town needs a skate shop.”
Swing by the Hive, 2 S. Beaver St., on Friday beginning at 6 p.m. to view the art on display–entry will be by a $5 donation once the music starts around 7:30 p.m. Rōv Ride Shop will open this month at 123 W. Birch Ave. Visit www.rovrideshop.com for more details and the official opening date when it’s announced.