Half the fun of the Secret Forest Café is finding it
Boardhub Shop in Cape Town
The new Long Street stockist of one of SA’s largest selections of sick skating gear
Like many of the Mother City’s most successful small-scale ventures, Boardhub, a new Long Street shop that’s home to one of the broadest ranges of longboarding and skating equipment in the country, developed out of a childhood dream.
Launched on 1 July 2013, the city centre store was founded by long-time friends Mitchell Blackburn, Richard Dweza and Naartjie (from P.H.Fat), all avid skaters who grew up racing down hills and were all too eager to turn their youthful passion into their adult profession.
Needless to say, the one-stop shop, which also has an online counterpart selling an even bigger selection of products, is the founders’ way of sharing their love for sidewalk surfing with like-minded locals seeking information, board riding gear and a central home base.
“We want people to see the brand as a partner in the sport, as the mothership of the boarding world,” says Mitchel. “It’s about creating a cultural hub for skaters.”
Which is why Boardhub is not just about selling sick equipment; more broadly, it also aims to grow a community. Thus, the brand also lays claim to a media division (run by Naartjie and UGEN Photography) that’s responsible for everything from shooting skate lifestyle movies and covering national competitions to organising major annual downhill events.
In store though, the core focus is on the basics. Because longboarding and skating equipment in SA is extremely expensive and in limited supply, the physical and virtual outlets aim to offer enthusiasts a much wider choice of products than they’ve had previously, and at much more affordable prices. At the shop, visitors can expect to find high-quality, beautifully designed speedboards, cruising boards, pool/park boards, freeride boards and slaloms from well-known brands like Fibretec, alongside Metro wheels, Randal trucks, helmets, gloves, functional footwear, clothing and more.
Both complete boards and incomplete decks (all boasting eye-catching artwork) are available, so riders can customise their own unique piece if they wish, and the team is always on hand to offer advice to patrons who aren’t quite sure what to go for (customers are also welcome to try out the shop samples).
Though most of the items are currently imported from Switzerland or the US, the co-owners are keen supporters of local product development and plan to spearhead the manufacture of proudly South African skateboards, complete with Mzansi-inspired graphics, in the near future. What’s more, while well-priced longboards are the focus for now, the edgy store will expand to include surfing equipment in due time too (most likely by early 2014).
Naturally then, whether you’re keen to get immersed in the local riding scene or just looking to pick up a few accessories to pimp out your board, this thriving new Long Street hub is the spot to glide by.
Tip: Apart from being a one-stop shop for skating fanatics, Boardhub is also a great place to hang – it offers free Wi-fi, sells cups of coffee and will soon lay claim to a large flat-screen TV showing the latest in extreme sports videos.
The Bill: The brand aims to provide riders with the most affordable equipment around and also offers a price match guarantee, so if anyone finds an item cheaper elsewhere, they promise to drop their costs. Complete boards range from R1600 to R3800, decks go for between R600 and R2200, wheels cost from R300 to R800 and a pair of trucks will set you back between R400 and R4000.
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Note: The online shop (Boardhub.co.za), which offers nationwide delivery, will only be live as of Friday, 12 July 2013.
303 Long Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 423 0303
Big into the board riding scene? Read about another rad new Cape Town haunt, The Boardhouse Surfbar and Skatepark.
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