i consider myself incredibly fortunate that i have lived during the days of the internet. It is fucking INCREDIBLE! All that information at just a finger's click away, i can keep close to friends who are physically far from me now, my stupid opinions can reach beyond the boarder of my state, and i can find Star Wars paraphernalia to all my geek boy's content. Like all things, however, there are limitations to even the internet and on a weekly basis i find myself trying to help skaters, longboarders, and in the winter months snowboarders get back out there on their boards after internet purchases gone awry.
We at Long's Board Shop strive to keep prices as low as we can but refuse to sacrifice the quality of what we carry in the shop. We have sent products back before they even get to the shelves because we were not impressed with the quality and there are a few items that we have stopped carrying after we felt they were not living up to the standards that we and our customers should expect.
The broken board above is a cheap internet purchase, and unfortunately i have seen some shops carry similar quality blanks to tote similar low prices. Although boards braking at the trucks happens because it is a pressure pivot point the way that this one has broken shows incredibly low quality. Unfortunately i see this far too often. We only carry high quality blanks. They may cost a little more at $30 but how many $12-13 boards will you break in the time it would take to break one of our boards? And how many local competitions have those internet sites thrown? How many Go Skateboarding Day BBQ's? How many local skate parks have they helped work towards and helped improve? How many local skaters are sponsored by them?
Low quality is not the only caveat of the cheap internet purchase. Weekly i have customers come in who have purchased longboards yet when they get them they find they are unsatisfied with the ride. No test drives on the internet. We have racks of longboards and we always encourage shoppers to stand on and even push across our shop floor to see how the different set ups ride. Everyone is different and everyone has their own individual style and body make up. Otherwise all boards would be the same and we'd carry only one type of board.
Finding the board that's right for you is important and has a huge impact on how much you will enjoy riding. i work hard with customers who have made unfortunate internet purchase to change up wheels, truck, bearings, or whatever it takes to try and make their ride as best as i can for them. We all make mistakes and their love of skateboarding, longboarding, or snowboarding should not be hurt by this. Trying to right a ride that is "wrong" for you however is much more difficult than finding the right ride for you the first time around.
i am empathetic to the desire to spend less money and how budgets can be tight (hell i'm a small business owner) but think of what you are buying beyond just the item itself. You pay shipping for the individual items you buy on the internet and then you are shipped that item. Having the large numbers of boards, wheels, trucks, etc that our shop receives all shipped together at the same time decreases the overall carbon footprint of the shipping process. Our shop provides local expertise when the inevitable troubles arise and our shop serves as a hub for the skate community where all can meet up, where events occur, and where videos are premiered.
i am not slamming the internet. i carry it around in my pocket i am so absolutely addicted to it. But when using the internet, just like when shopping at brick and mortar stores, i hope you shop as an educated shopper and think carefully about both what and where you buy.