“Oh Ten Shops Volume Nine! I think I’ll miss you most of all!”
That’s not exactly what Dorothy said to the Scarecrow, but I understand how she felt. At the beginning of each new SKATEboarding Business year, we pick ten shops in the U.S. and Canada to be our friends and confidantes. Every issue we contact these ten shops to ask a question that relates to our magazine and industry. As time goes on, we learn a little more about each other and look forward to sharing information. Then before you know it¿POOF! The year is gone and we have to say goodbye in preparation for choosing ten new shops to represent the next volume of our magazine. So Volume Nine shops, thanks a million¿it’s been fun and you’re really terrific.
But the Volume Nine retailers aren’t out of the picture yet! They’re here to answer one last question, and what these folks have to say may reinforce what you already know¿or it could shock and surprise you. At any rate, the information we bring you from them will help both shops and manufacturing/distributing businesses. If you have a question you’d like to ask our next batch of shops, please send it to: SKATEboarding Business Ten Shops, 353 Airport Road, Oceanside, California 92054; or FAX: (760) 722-0653.
This issue’s question: How do you decide whether or not to carry a new truck?
Marc Mohammed at Irie in Brossard, Quebec, Canada
“I try a little of each, and the ones that sell, I’ll bring in. The Destructos are doing pretty well, and so are the Tracker Hawks. We always sell Indys, Thunders, and Ventures. I have people trying new trucks, and then they end up going to Indys¿maybe because I push them! They’re a little heavy, but they’re good trucks; they’re reliable. I don’t know about warranties¿in Canada, I don’t know if the distributor is so eager to take the trucks back. I can’t say the warranties hold from the States into Canada, so that’s why I suggest Indys¿they don’t break.
“I try to carry most of the colors, and in sizing I carry trucks for 7 3/4- to 8 1/2-inch-wide boards.”
Nick Pedemonti at Cutting Edge Skatepark in Bennington, Vermont
“How do I decide? To tell you the truth, I’m pretty much carrying Indys, Ventures, and Thunders¿that’s really the main ones I carry. I haven’t tried to carry any of the new stuff¿maybe if the companies sent me some new stuff to try, I would. That’s a hint!
“I haven’t done a lot of colors¿just the basics. I carry trucks to cover boards between eight and 8 3/4-inch widths. I don’t get people with broken trucks trying to collect on warranties¿they usually grind ’em up and can justify buying new ones.”
Eric Obre at Street Machine in San Diego, California
“Basically, first of all I decide by who rides for the company¿their team. We try to get feedback from team riders or from people who’ve seen the trucks. We usually get the regular standard size, like a case of the regular, and then we order a few of the different sizes.
“In the colors, we usually carry a few, but not a lot. They’re fancy, more expensive than the other trucks¿usually two to three dollars more expensive. Double that amount for a pair. For kids that’s a lot, and I already think trucks are quite expensive. Hmmm, let me count how many trucks we carry¿we carry ten brands of trucks.”
Mike Bennett at Warped Sports in Kearney, Nebraska
“Generally we buy new trucks based on the customers’ input¿if they want something or to just check it out, we’ll get it in for them. A lot of people like Krux because of the high-polished look, and they like the Grind King because of the kingpin. A lot of people are real loyal to Indys still¿it’s one of the main ones truck brands I sell.
“We carry a little bit of everything as far as sizes go, a few lows and highs¿keep everydy happy. Nobody here really goes for color much¿it’s rare.”
Aaron Costa at Krudco. in Rochester, New York
“Oh my gosh! That is a dilemma with all the new trucks coming out. We usually at least check ’em out, unless there’s something really weird about the company, like they don’t have any riders or something. Orion, Mercury, Standard¿those are some of the good new ones.
“Destructos are new and they’re really good¿the ads had all the kids asking for them. Ends up they’re good trucks. If the ads don’t convince me they’re good, the team might¿at least the riders make the truck seem legitimate. We stick with the basics for the most part: Indy, Venture, Thunder, Destructo, Krux, some Tracker, Orion, Grind King, Gullwing, Mercury, Standard. When we started the shop, there were only a few brands. Now look! I have a hard time remembering all the names of the trucks! Just like the other day late here at the shop¿we tried to come up with all the shoe company names and just gave up!”
Chris Jensen at High Rollers in Las Vegas, Nevada
“Kids are pretty much going with the Indys and the Ventures. Krux is going good because its something new. The new Orions are doing well. The two biggest surprises were low-end Gullwing trucks, and Z-Rollers¿which have been around for a while, but they’re taking off right now! The best seller now is probably Indys.
“The companies with the no-slip axle warranty also sell well¿kids are asking for the trucks specifically with the warranty.
“The companies I do carry, I go deep in them¿not just one size. I go deep in every size. I’d rather have them sit on the shelf for a month than not have them at all. I think some people do care about colors to match graphics on boards, but hardcore guys just want something they can blast on. The Krux mirror-finish trucks are nice, though; people like those.”
Kyle Reynolds at Cal’s Pharmacy Skateboards and Snowboards (CPNW) in Portland, Oregon
“Well, mainly I decide by first taking a look at the truck¿you can kinda tell a lot just by looking. If kids ask for a new truck, we’ll carry it, but mostly we just know a good truck when we see it. The newest truck we’ve brought in are Destructos, and they’ve been doing real well. I do see some people going back to their tried and true truck after going with the new trucks that aren’t that good, but not if the new trucks are good¿and all the new trucks we carry are good. And there is a bit of the old standby thing.
“The trucks we carry, we sell ’em. We don’t sit on anything. All the time, people ask about truck warranties. Anyone who doesn’t offer a warranty or fixed-axle truck is crazy. We do a lot of Krux, and they do such a good job with their warranty service. We sell a lot of trucks based on warranties offered. Indys would be perfect if they offered that!
“We carry pretty much all across the board with Indys, and two sizes and a lot of colors in the Destructo and Krux. If colors are available, we pick them up¿like with Thunder. Some of the Furys are looking pretty good, too. But because of space needed for all the variations, we don’t go too crazy with it.”
Peter Karvonen at Faith Skate Supply in Birmingham, Alabama
“Mainly we stick with the ones that have been around forever: Indys, Ventures, Thunders, and Grind King. Other than that we brought in Destructos and Mercury; they have big ad campaigns, and they have some of the best riders. Kids also ask for them. We stick mostly with the classics¿but I’m willing to try new things they offer, like the Venture Superlights, which are guaranteed not to slip axles. Kids look for those kinds of guarantees.
“We narrow down the colors¿carry mostly the raw or polished versions, and just a few of the colors. Widths are mostly 5.0 and 5.25 inches¿I’ll of course special-order if kids need bigger ones.”
Steve Kobata at Sessions in Sunnyvale, California
“Well, it has a lot to do with what’s been proven in the past: Indy, Venture, and Thunder are Northern California mainstays. Krux are made by NHS, and they’re getting a lot of steam right now; they have a solid team. A lot of guys who live in Northern California support Northern California companies. It seems like Tracker and Gullwing are more popular down south.
“If a new company has an ad in Thrasher or TransWorld, if it’s a good ad, I’ll consider the trucks if they have a good team and a good distributor. Destructo has good trucks and a good team¿if they didn’t have a good team, people wouldn’t be able to identify with them. If I was gonna buy from a new truck company I hadn’t seen yet or didn’t know that much about, I’d maybe only buy ten sets right off the bat¿not a whole case. We have a small shop, basically.”
Parker Deamer at East Coast Sunsets in Chantilly, Virginia
“We pretty much try a couple of the trucks, and then we give ’em to the local kids who give us the best feedback. They come back and tell us if they like them or not. A lot of requests come from the magazine ads. If a kid asks for them, we’ll get them. But sometimes kids get stoked on them new trucks for a couple months, and then they might go back to their Venture Superlights.
“The kids here only go for color a little bit; if we carry the different colors, they get that option, but if we don’t, they don’t seem to mind. We’ll try a couple different sizes, but usually the smaller-size trucks sell the best. We go through new product pretty quickly.”