Believe it or not, Skateboarding in Alaska has become so popular that it actually supports two specialty stores known as Bruce's Street & Skate, with outlets in Wasilla and Soldotna that cater to skateboarding enthusiasts.
According to John Debettencourt, manager of Bruce's Street & Skate, skateboarding is huge in Alaska in spite of the long winters, "Both stores have been doing really great for us, skateboarding is really a huge sport in Alaska," says Debettencourt. Skateboarders also make a fashion statement for contemporary minded youth that are very loyal to specific brand names, "Especially in this area we have a lot of kids that like to dress more comfortable in styles from specific brand names that fit really well," agrees assistant manager of Bruce's Street & Skate Jonus Angleton.
Angleton says that kids as young as 8-years-old are already picking up on the popular sport and sticking with it throughout their teenage years. Street skating is still the most popular according to Angleton, when the ice is off the sidewalks, but he believes the parks in Soldotna and Kenai have done a lot to further the interest in skateboarding. The boards as well have advanced greatly since the early days of plywood boards with roller skate wheels attached, "Now days you have more curves and concaves inside the short boards which allows kids to do specific tricks like kick flips and variables or whatever they want to be specifically good at depending on their ability," said Angleton. Protective gear such as helmets and pads have also been developed specifically for the sport and are required at many skate parks. Everything for the true skateboarder or those who just want to dress like one is now available to local shoppers at the Peninsula Center Mall at Bruce's Street & Skate in Soldotna. For more information call Jonus at 260-4939.
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