By Ben Tinsley
FAIRVIEW — A 19-year-old college sophomore and his business partner plan to promote skateboarding responsibility and safety at their new skateboard shop, which opens April 30.
The Point Skate Shop, 181 Fountain Court, at the Village of Fairview, will offer skateboards, helmets, clothes and shoes — as well as a huge bowl inside the shop on which customers will be able to skateboard.
Daniel Brodsky, a student at the University of Texas at Dallas majoring in Information Technology Systems, said The Point is much more than a simple skate shop. His partner, Nathan Smith, agreed.
“Our indoor ramp, our bowl, is 1,500 square feet and we teach our skating lessons on it,” Brodsky said. “It is huge. It is a big part of our business. We teach all ages and all skills levels. … We also plan to have a skate camp over the summer, but that is not in full swing yet.”
Nathan Smith, 27, said he and Brodsky didn’t cut any corners with the bowl. They hired a pro — Austin resident Jason Speer of Speerco Skatepark Construction — to construct it.
“It is professionally built by someone who has built ramps for the past 30 years,” Smith explained. “He has built a lot of famous ramps. People are going to notice the quality of this ramp. We want them to see we are a pro shop, a skateboard shop where you can get anything you need and at the same time see the nicest indoor bowl from here to Houston — the only indoor bowl north of Houston.”
Their slogan is “Full Service Skateboarding,” Daniel Brodsky said.
Before their partnership, Brodsky and Smith worked at the same local skateboard shop for a couple of years when it was under different management and known by the name of Vertigo.
Smith said he and Brodsky became fast friends and started bouncing the idea of their own store off one another a couple of years ago.
“We kept bouncing it around until we couldn’t ignore it anymore,” Smith said.
Brodsky, a member of Temple Shalom in North Dallas, said customers would always be welcome to hang out and learn however much about skateboarding they wish to.
“We are really here for the skating community of North Dallas,” Brodsky said.
The store will serve quite a large community, Smith said.
“There is such a huge community for skateboarders in North Dallas, McKinney, and all the way to the Red River in Oklahoma,” Smith said. “It includes people who don’t have a local skate shop and need one.”
Smith said he and his partner will guide customers and encourage safe skateboarding with them.
“It’s hard to master but with enough time you can really get something out of it,” Smith said.
Smith said their shop might also present a very welcome solution in areas in which skateboarding is illegal. There are many areas of Texas where that is the case.
The duo’s business dream was made possible when they managed to get a good rate on a crucial business loan, Daniel Brodsky explained.
“The stars aligned and it made sense for us to open our own shop,” he said.
Their store will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Brodsky said the store would have over 300 boards on the wall at all times. Although costs can range from $100 to $500 per board, the average cost of a skateboard is about $160, Brodsky said.
As far as safety is concerned, it is imperative that those who skateboard use protective equipment, according to skateboardsafety.org.
Because skateboarders move quickly over hard surfaces, the practice of skateboarding can lead to injuries that range from minor cuts and bruises to catastrophic brain injury.
Each year in the United States, skateboarding injuries cause about 50,000 visits to emergency departments and 1,500 children and adolescents to be hospitalized.
When skateboarders lose control, they can fall or collide with a motor vehicle, road hazard, pedestrian, other skateboarder or bicyclist. As a result, they can suffer serious injuries, according to skateboardsafety.org.
As Daniel Brodsky and Nathan Smith are doing, a growing number of communities provide supervised skateboard parks to help promote safety, the site states.
“These may have professionally designed ‘bowls’ and ‘ramps’ or other designated skateboarding areas that are located away from motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic,” the site states.
Brodsky said he wants to eradicate any negative connotation of skateboarding that exists out there.
“This is something we want to change and bring skateboarding to a larger audience,” Brodsky said.
“We want our students to be successful. They may fall down at first but they will learn something. Falling down is part of it. But skateboarding is all about falling down and learning to get up again.”