Susan's Super Citizen Showcase

Saturday, July 11, 2009

PD's website sells gear worldwide

PD opened his first skate shop - PD's Hot Shop - in Nanaimo in 1976. And it was the man himself behind the counter yesterday when my son Toby and I walked into his shop on West Fourth Avenue at McDonald in Vancouver, BC, Canada. PD was kind enough to let me take his picture and ask him a few questions, while my son oo-ed and ah-ed. Here's the conversation - "Q & A" style...

SM: So when did you open the first PD's Hot Shop?

PD: PD's Hot Shop started in 1976 and Skull Skates started in 1978.

SM: And where was the original shop?

PD: The original one was in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island. Then the next one was in Vancouver, under the Oak Street Bridge on Marine Drive and then following that was Oak and 67th.

Oak and 67th is the one most people know us for because, by that time, we had become quite established and very early on we were selling a lot of skateboards and even the very first snowboards and the first bmx bikes. A lot of that stuff all happened out of the Oak & 67th location."

SM: Where are your shops now?

PD: Really it's just this shop in Kits - at 4th and McDonald - and our other shop in Japan. But we do sell to a lot of other shops - 80 to 100 other independent skate shops in Canada and a few other independent shops sprinkled around the globe.

We just signed a deal to have distribution start again in the U.S. We were located the US in the 80s for a while, but we haven't had our product distributed there for about 15 years.

Part of our approach is that we want to keep things very limited. We've seen a lot of skateboard brands come and blow up and be really big and then people get sick of them pretty quick. I want to do this for the rest of my life, so I want to do it on a more limited scale.

We also sell off our website and off that we do mail order all over the world. It's actually quite interesting to see. We've shipped skimboards to the United Arab Emirate and our limited edition cruiser bikes to Sweden. It's neat from that point of view - having that connection on the Web because even though we're a small company, it gives us a really international base to work from.

SM: Someone just called and wanted to work here. A lot of people want to work here - but, as you said, it's not all fun, right?

PD: It's a lot of fun. It's skateboards - so when you think about skateboarding, fun is obviously one of the first things that comes to mind. As far as this shop is concerned, I think we've got a pretty good reputation at this point and part of that comes from our dedication to details. When it comes down to it, the difference between a sort of okay skateboard and a really good one lies within the details.

The kind of products we carry - for example, skateboard parts - come in a very wide variety. Each type of wheel, truck, bearing, deck, accessory are all designed for specific use and performance. It's really important that we, as a shop, know what those uses and performances specifically are and that we're able to impart that knowledge to our fellow skateboarders and customers. Which sounds like a load of crap I know - but it really is true. We're here to sell stuff and stay in business but we want people to be stoked on skateboarding.


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