This morning I went tot the grocery store, an activity I enjoy.

I do not use the self-checkout. I like talking to the cashiers. I also want them to have a job.

I know the woman who checked me out today which is to say she’s been my cashier enough times where we’re both familiar with each other. She’s young, sweet, and today she was wearing this big, Bob Marley crocheted hair wrap.

I bag my groceries. My cashier says she’ll do it but I decline. I like to bag; it gives me something to do–a challenge to get them all in the bag, like Tetris or something. I used to work at a grocery store in high school as a bagger. I tell her this and we talk about how those types of jobs are being replaced by self-checkout machines…

As I was leaving I saw an old customer of mine at the skate shop; Blake. He would come into the shop with his Grandma a lot when he was younger. I see him at the grocery store often and we always exchange hello’s (what’s up?). He seems to be doing well. He’s always there when I go (once a week or so…) I yell a hello to Blake across the parking lot and he says hi. ‘Have a nice day”. I smile. It makes me happy to have these community connections.

I can’t help but think that these types of human interactions are being limited more and more. Whether it is because of the want of convenience or the greed of the Amazon’s and Wall Mart’s of the world to cut costs, I don’t know. Most likely both.

What will happen to our community when Blake can’t come into the local skateboard shop with his Grandma because the shop has closed–a fatality of online direct-to-consumer culture? The cashier will not have a job because either the grocery store has decided to go to all self-checkout or more and more people are buying their groceries online. Maybe the grocery store has to close and Blake loses his job.

Consumers will likely still get what they were looking for but at what cost? Their neighbor doesn’t have a job anymore. Their house gets foreclosed on. The house values on the street go down due to the renters who don’t mow their lawn (because they can’t afford a lawn mower). Maybe the local skateboard shop owner develops a trusting relationship with his customers and prevents a suicide or helps keep a kid in school…

Our community thrives as a whole due to the sum of its parts. Without the local stores who not only employ our community, they offer a personal relationship to the community which reach extends far greater than the walls of the store. The human interaction is what drives our sense of belonging to a community and our want to make that community a better place.

Skate Videos

Skateboard videos are embedded in skateboard culture as much as magazines or God forgive me, Instagram.  Ever since Powell Peralta put out Bones Brigade Video Show in the 1980s (too lazy to look up the actual year) (1985?), watching skate videos has been on every skaters breakfast, lunch and dinner plate.  No doubt watching videos got many  into skateboarding in the first place.
With the advent of youtube and instagram, skateboard videos have become less important to the companies who made them.   Mostly it’s all single parts straight to Thrasher site.  Video magazines like 411 and Logic are long gone.  Now the best we can hope for is one major video every year or two, and a handful of local and independent vids.  But boy do we look forward to those.
I’m not sure if most kids coming up skating today even have a dvd player but I hope they do. 

Owning a physical copy of a video (album, magazine, book, etc) is so important and only gets more important as you grow older and can look back on it.  I cherish my video collection.  It’s a time warp to when that video came out.   Memories of the premier, or my skating, or my feelings about the video, skater, fashion, my life, etc. all come back when I see the video box.    You can have 100 of those memories in 5 minutes just by looking at your collection on a shelf!

I hope skateboard companies still make physical copies of DVDs.   As a skater, you put so much time and effort into making this video part.  The skater and the filmer deserve to have it made into a physical piece of art.  All that blood, sweat and smiles compiled into a digital file that comes and goes so fast that no one will remember to look for it in weeks let alone years.  It’s lost.
Since I know you most likely don’t have a VCR, here is the first skate video I ever bought back in 1995.  411 issue 11.   I still have it in the box.

NEW Converse, Adidas, GX1000, and more!

All the Spring lines are coming in and freshening up the shop!  New Rosa DVD, Diva is in and going fast!  It’s the newest Michigan video and Kyle Eby and the boys killed it!  Support your independent video makers!

The warm weather is right around the corner!  We’re starting to see glimpes of the mid-40s and sun and that means skating outside!  50s and 60s are on their way!!  Gear up!!

RIP George Riley

George Riley, who donated over $600,000 to the Farmington Hills Skatepark which was named in his honor, died January 5.  He was 85 years old.
When we were in the early stages of raising money for the park, we were adamant that if we were going to do it, we wanted the park to be the best it could be.  That meant, free, cement, no pads, and most importantly, design/built by a reputable skatepark builder.    We were lucky in that Farmington Hills was cool with that vision; only thing is that a park of that magnitude is expensive!    We were determined to raise money which we did on a local, grassroots level and honestly we would probably still be raising money today if it had not been for George Riley.

The Riley foundation who’s mission is to promote youth activities and specifically outdoor activities, stepped up and donated $500,000 to the park.  Obviously once someone gives that cash to a project it takes it off the backburner and turns it into a reality.   We were floored by that announcement!    Our skatepark is going to be built!!   Dreams do come true!

One more problem…  The park is going to cost close to a million dollars to complete!   Well, Mr. Riley stepped up again!   They matched the next $150,000 donated which enabled Riley Skate Park to be built!

Riley Skatepark has been open now for almost a decade.   There have been so many great memories, friendships, growth, and happiness that have happened there.   I think everyone would agree that the park had been a huge success for the community.

I don’t know if George Riley ever skateboarded but with his vision and love of keeping kids active, he has done more for Michigan Skateboarding than most.   For that Mr. Riley, we say a huge and meaningful, THANK YOU.

Funeral mass will be on Saturday, January 13.   Viewing is on Friday at Heeney Sundquist Funeral home here in Farmington.  I’m going to have a Riley Park board here at the shop to have people sign to bring to the funeral home.   If you’d like to sign it and say a thank you to the man who built our skate park, cruise up to the shop this week.

Converse GX1000 JP Pro

We are stoked to offer the Converse X GX1000 JP Pro!   Blacked out soft-leather, this shoe is a killer!   One of the best looking kicks to come into the shop in awhile!  You’ve seen the GX crew bombing hills in SF and their video was an instant classic.  Come in and check ‘em out or go to the online shop and buy them now!!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!   2018 is our 15th year!  Wow!   I can’t say how thankful I am to still be able to open the door every morning and call this place home.   Thank you for all your support!!

Same as last year, we are going to change our hours for January and February.  WINTER HOURS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

MONDAY – SATURDAY:  11-7pm  SUNDAY:   12-5pm

End of the year sale! skateboards, Nike, Adidas, Converse, Vans and more!

We’ve got a sale going on with most everything in the shop!  Now is a perfect time to come spend those gift certificates or that extra holiday cash!  Make your money go further by stocking up on great deals!
Most full-priced shoes are 30-50% OFF!   Clothing is buy 2 items, get the 3rd FREE!   Come on in!

Normal hours through the New Year

We’re open normal hours:  Mon-Sat 11-8, Sunday 12-5 for this week.  Come on in and spend that Holiday cash or gift certificates you got!

2018 Skate Camp Dates

For information on our skateboard camp, visit:


Riley Skate Park - Farmington Hills
Registration call:  248-473-1800
or online registration: click here.

June        18 – 22
June        25 - 29
July        16 - 20
July         30- Aug. 3
August    13 - 17

Livonia Rec Center- Livonia
Registration call: (734) 466-2900

July 23-27

Michigan Monday: Hartlines edit!

Here is the footage I filmed from the shop contest of this year Red Bull Hartlines event that was held at Hart Plaza in May.   Super fun time!

HARTLINES 2017 from PLUSkateboarding on Vimeo.