WHALLEY - Local skateboarding legend Hippie Mike - real name Mike Faux - has had a deck under his feet for more than three decades, but he's just now breaking ground with his longtime dream of opening his own skate shop.
Faux is set to open Authentic Board Supply, an independent skateboard shop, at the Dell Shopping Centre in the heart of Whalley, on Friday, Nov. 1. ABS will join the local skate shop scene alongside the likes of Coastal Riders in Guildford, Ollie North in Cloverdale and Pura Vida Skateboards and Apparel in South Surrey.
The shop is three blocks away from Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, home to one of Faux's personal top three skateparks in the Lower Mainland. While Faux could have set up shop anywhere in the city, he picked Whalley for a number of reasons, the top being the local kids who've benefitted from his work as a skateboard instructor and youth worker for the City of Surrey over the last 10 years.
"I've made a lot of relationships with a lot of certain kids and skateboarders in general - they just want someone to have a conversation with that they can relate to," he said. "Those kids can still feel free to come by and hang out."
He added, "Recently, the other skate shop that has been in Surrey for a long time moved to Langley, so there wasn't really many opportunities for the kids to go to a skate shop anymore. I wanted to try to be as close to this skate park as possible."
Faux has put his work with the city on hold so he can dedicate his time to opening his shop, but he's assured that once things are up and running, he will still organize skateboard camps and competitions.
ABS will sell typical skateboard fare - decks, trucks, griptape, wheels, stickers, curb wax and clothing - across most major brands, as well as Faux's Protest Skateboards company.
In addition, ABS has sponsored a team of six local skateboarders handpicked by Faux to promote the brand at skateboard demos, but Faux's not saying who they are just yet.
"Nobody knows who those people are except me."
Faux hopes that his shop will further his pursuit to make skateboarding accessible to everybody, stressing the importance of the sport as a creative outlet in contrast to traditional team sports.
"People always look at skateboarders as kids and they look at the older guys and they go, 'Why do you skateboard? You're 30 years old, you're 40 years old,'" he said. "They don't understand that part, that this is your soul. That's how you express your true self.
"Every person that skateboards skates differently, and nobody can tell them that what they're doing is wrong."
ABS will be at 10604 King George Blvd. Visit authenticboardsupply.com.
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