Skate Shoes

We're Moving! Best Snow & Skate Deals of the year start February 1st!

Long's Board Shop is coming up on 5 years, and we're able to celebrate because you have embraced and supported us. You choose to buy local, you've told friends and family about us - all of this has helped us grow...

We are moving to a bigger space, under a mile from our current location, and we get to open our doors just before we get ready to celebrate 5 years this spring. Help us move by coming on by these next three weeks and grabbing some great deals - the more you grab at an amazing price, the less we have to move!

We will be closing at our current location at 7PM February 21st and will be opening at our new location Thursday March 9th. You can bet our 5 year anniversary event will be one for the books this year!

Tom, Sarah & the LBS Team

 

Thank You Fallen

A2 As most of you know by now, Fallen has announced the end of the brand. As all of you know, i am SUPER opinionated when it comes to shoe brands so you knew this wasn't going to come and go without some kind of commentary here.

Jamie Thomas is one of my favorite skateboarders. Although i have always been a huge fan of his incredible skating, it's really his work ethic, drive, and conviction of ideals that is what has kept him in my short list of favorite skaters for so long. When you care that much (sometimes maybe too much), believe that strongly, and work that hard you may upset a few people along the way, but never trust someone who EVERYBODY likes because if you haven't pissed a few people off you don't really stand for anything. i have been fortunate enough to have met Jamie a few times, and every time he lived up to that character i had built up in my head. He is friendly, generous, and his passion is undeniable.

i have been wearing Fallen off and on since they began. i loved that they only went through skate shops. The brand's aesthetic and styling fit right in with my own, and i always appreciated that they usually had a vegan option in their lines (as i have not purchased shoes with suede or leather since 1998). When i decided to finally follow my dream of opening a skate shop i knew Fallen was one of the shoe brands i wanted on the wall the day we opened. i quickly found out how difficult some shoe companies can be to work with but not Fallen.  They were with us since day one and i am happy to say that we have carried their shoes right 'til the end of their line. As a skateboarder who stands for something, i opened a shop that stands for something, and it's nice when i get to carry a brand that also stands for something.

From a shop owner's perspective, unfortunately, i could see this coming (as could many). In the 4 years we've been open i have seen at least one core skate shoe brand go out of business a year. Weekly i have some young skater tell me about how he's going to start his own skateboarding clothing line, etc while wearing a pair of Adidas.  Almost daily someone in the shop will rave about some new deck company started by a skater while they are wearing Nike. You can't have it both ways - you can't want skateboarding to be OURS and then support athletic shoe companies. A core skate brand cannot match the price margins, they cannot match the marketing budgets, they cannot match the cheap manufacturing, R&D, or paychecks.

By refusing to carry the athletic shoe brands i realize that i am not making as much money as a shop as i could. i realize that it means i may not have the brand of shoe that some of the skaters coming in want and that each customer will have to make a decision whether to buy a core skate brand from me, their local skate shop, or go buy one of the other brands from some chain. i also realize that there is not a clear line dividing core brands from athletic brands as there are many companies falling in that grey area of life but there is NO question about which brands lie at either end of that spectrum and the athletic end is rapidly making the skate end disappear.

i didn't open a skate shop because i wanted to get rich, i opened a skate shop because i love skateboarding and i wanted to give back and support skateboarding for all that it has done for me. i want to support the local scene as much as i can.  i want to support the art of skateboarding as much as i can. i want to support every skater that comes into my doors as much as i can.  i want to support the brands that support skateboarding as much as i can.

When you buy a core brand from a skater owned shop you are actually helping skateboarding twice. Brands like Fallen were with us from day one while some other brands said we needed to be open for "X" amount of time before they would work with us. We never would have been able to make it to those pre-set dates if we didn't have brands like Fallen supporting us and standing with us. Our shop began and is around because brands like Fallen were in this with us from the moment we opened our doors and were a part of this crazy dream that all involved at any level of skateboarding are just trying to make work. All of us, just trying to help push skateboarding the way it helped push us.

Thank you Fallen, for everything you've done for me, our shop, and for skateboarding!

-tom

Fuck Nike: What Skateboarding Needs To Learn From Snowboarding

If you've been watching any snowboard events lately you'll notice many blank snowboards, covered up boots, and non-descript black apparel. Top ranked snowboarders without sponsors. The west coast had a horrible snow season last year, and this year's El Nino has left most of the east with the worst snow season in recent memory, which is effecting everyone in the industry's bottom line and having some impact on sponsorship numbers but there is something much more sinister causing the lion's share of the issue. If skateboarding isn't careful, the very same thing could happen to it. As snowboarding gained in popularity, eventually it grew to the point where it began to garner the attention of the sports companies. Snowboarders and rider-owned companies created this beautiful art-form, fighting for the right so be allowed on mountains, creating our own culture, and this creativity carryed over into development of ever improving technology and a steady evolution of style. All this tasty-ness got brands like Nike licking it's lips and the athletic footwear super-predators decided to sink their teeth in.

With pockets deeper than most snowboard companies can compete with Nike (thanks to decades of overpriced products manufactured by slave-like labor) started scooping up top riders. The money started flowing and these masters of marketing worked to buy their way into the culture. Swooshes filled our magazines, website banners, and podiums. Even the biggest snowboard companies felt the pressure of this global giant and smaller companies were pushed to their limits.

And then it happened...

Nike learned how shitty snowboard margins are and how fickle old man winter can be with his dumpings and droughts. Just like a middle-schooler with an abstinence-only education, Nike pulled out. Us snowboarders were not lucrative enough an enterprise for their spreadsheets (at least not at this time).

So a sponsorship vacuum was created. A slew of top riders were now without key sponsors. Many other snowboard companies already had full rosters and other where spread too thin after having to go up against huge sports companies to pick up this now free talent. Moves were made, riders dropped, and the finite number of sponsor slots got re-shuffled. Some great riders are losing their means of income, some great companies who care about snowboarding just could not compete and are gone while others are stumbling, and snowboarding's deep culture ended up a bit more shallow.

Large corporations do not care about us, they only care about our money. Although this statement seems like common knowledge our actions as a community show that it is not understood. Once these athletic shoe and sports companies aren't getting what they want from us they will move on and what will be left of our culture? What core companies will be left to help us pick up the pieces and re-build? We must support those who support us.

Nike and others only dabbled in snowboarding for a couple of years and look at all the damage. These greedy mammoths have been staking a claim in skateboarding for much longer now leaving a wake of closed companies and shops. Many of us are old enough remember the last time they made a play for skateboarder's money and how they were quick to turn their backs on us when skateboarding hit dark times in the 90's. Once skateboarding bounced back Nike and the like jumped back in to cash in, causing many of the companies that helped us through those struggles to close their doors.

Skateboarding needs to learn this lesson from snowboarding and skateboarders need to support skateboarders and not athletic shoe companies. Skateboarding is not some sport to be added to their portfolios. Skateboarding is more than simply an activity we participate in, it is our culture. This is more than just a battle for the heart of skateboarding.  This is stopping to realize who will be there for you through thick and thin? Who will not only be there when you are at your best but who will still hang around when you are broken?

i know who that will be... do you?