Introducing URBAN ROLLING SKATESHOP!

          
          Below is an interview that I put together for the infamous Be-Mag a short while ago showcasing my good friends Neil Wicks and Sean Wicks; the Owners of Long Beach’s ONLY SKATER OWNED & RUN Skateshop “Urban Rolling”. This interview was done before the skateshop opened so take the time and get to know The WICKS and their dedication to Rollerblading. Enjoy!

INTRODUCING URBAN ROLLING SKATESHOP

          It is a breath of fresh air to hear that a Father/Son duo are working together to open up a skater-owned shop in Downtown Long Beach, California. Heck, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear that a skate shop is opening…PERIOD! Neil Wicks ( Father ) & Sean Wicks ( Son) are the new faces in Long Beach, California that are now doing their part in contributing to the rollerblading industry. I have lived in Long Beach for 2 years now and I was very disappointed at the fact that there was not 1 skate shop in the Long Beach area that caters to “US”. With the huge amount of skaters that show up every Monday Night at Houghton Skate Park for the weekly session, you can easily see the clientele for a neighboring skate shop. The GOOD NEWS though, is that in a few weeks a NEW skate shop will be open with some local Pros making an appearance in order to make the grand opening something really special. (I’ll be there as well so make sure you say hi! )

SUAS: Let’s start this off with the basic introduction so that everybody can become familiar with the both of you…Who are you, Where are you from and How long has skating been in your blood?
Sean Wicks: Hi, my name is Sean Wicks and I am 19 years old. I am from the UK and now live in Long Beach, California and I have been skating for nine years.

Neil Wicks: My name is Neil Wicks, I am Sean’s father and we are from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. I and Sean’s mother, Sue, have supported Sean and his blading since he was 10 years old when he started competing. I had a skate shop,(Sk8 Shak) in the VertX skatepark in Sunderland until it closed in 2004. We re-located to Florida in 2005 where I bought a property management and vacation rental business. Sadly, Sean’s mother passed away in January 2009 and I decided to sell the business. As we did not wish to return to the UK we made a decision to re-locate to the LA area after taking a 5,000 mile road trip.(mostly visiting skateparks!!)

SUAS: My condolences and blessings go out to the both of you. It’s interesting to hear that you have had prior skate shop ownership experience. That is definitely a good background experience to have when opening up a new shop in another location. What was running Sk8 Shak like?
NW: I enjoyed building up customer loyalty despite online stores offering better deals. I used to carry out repairs for customers free of charge to gain their loyalty, especially drilling out Razor frame bolts!!! At the new store we are setting up an area for customers to customize their skates after buying products.

SUAS: That is a great idea! I love putting skates together and customizing them as well. I’ll donate some parts that I have to the shop for any skaters in need. What made you both decide to open up a skate shop in Downtown, Long Beach?
NW: I needed to consider a business when we arrived in Long Beach. I identified that there were no specialized skate shops nearby and that the skating scene in SoCal was strong.

SUAS: I want to take this time to say congratulations to Sean on being picked up by Razors and a few other companies. How did that come about?
SW: Demetrios George was impressed with my skating ability and decided to flow me Undercover Wheels and Kizer frames. I have recently been testing the new compound Undercover Wheel. With regards to Razors; Dre and Mac visited us at the shop where the idea of flowing me came up as I was flowed in Florida and the UK. While living in the UK, I was invited to the NASS festival in Peterborough to the qualifying competition, for the finals to be held in Bath UK, when I was 13 years old. I came third in the open competition and qualified to skate in the finals with all the Pro riders including Richie Taylor (R.I.P) who skated his run fakie!! TKC, the UK distributor for Razors offered me flow, which I accepted.

SUAS: Who came up with the name “Urban Rolling” & does the name have any meaning behind it?
NW: After many false starts and frustrations, I eventually came up with the name. I wanted the name to reflect the fact that the shop will cater for all types of rolling which will include, in the future, rental. Also, I hope to stock product lines that epitomizes the urban aspect.

SUAS: Skate rentals are a big source of income that I hardly see utilized in skateshops anymore. You could even provide customers with a free skate lesson per skate rental. I am so glad to hear that you will be providing this service to the community.
NW: As stated, I consider it imperative to include other forms of inline therefore renting skates is an idea that will need to be brought to fruition. Initially, I intend to take advantage of the Long Beach exercise culture and promote ultimately a purchase of skates. There are litigation issues but that has not stopped the rental business at Venice Beach!!

SUAS: What are some of the companies & products that you will be carrying in your shop?
SW: Razors,Remz,USD,Nimh,Valo,K2,GC,Kizer,50/50,Undercover,Rock Killers,Street Artist,Eulogy, Gost and many more.

SUAS: If a company wants their product to be carried in your shop who should they contact and how?
SW: At this time, best to contact Neil at neil.wicks@urbanrolling.com

SUAS: Will there be Flow spot opportunities at “Urban Rolling” and will there be an official “Urban Rolling” Skate Shop Team?
SW: Yes, once we are up and running.

SUAS: I hear that the grand opening of the shop is right around the corner, will you be kind enough to give us a sneak peek of which Pros are confirmed for the Grand Opening?
SW: I have spoken to Chris Haffey, Dre Powell, Demetrios George and JC Rowe who are all keen to attend the opening.

NW: We are about there but there are several things we still need to address before opening the store. With several contests being held in October as well as WRS in Las Vegas on the 31st many skaters are on the road. Indeed Dre and Demetrios are out the country at this time. However, Arlo has highlighted he is keen to attend the Grand Opening and JC Rowe has offered his assistance with the organization of the opening.

SUAS: Do you have any monthly events planned such as video premiers, bbq sessions, box jams, etc. to promote the shop and rolling in general?
SW: We are comitted to promote blading in the local area and will forge relationships with the local community to encourage people to take up blading and promote the sport. This will include such events you have mentioned.

NW: Also, as we progress we are looking to sponsor competitions such as LA allday and SDSF; even a LB Allday perhaps!!

SUAS: Do you have any plans to have an online shop as well?
NW: Yes, the site is being built at this time and the address is  http://www.urbanrolling.com

SUAS: Ok, I guess that is enough poking and prying for the time being. Any shout-outs to end this interview?
SW: RIP mom; everyone I skate with in Long Beach – Chris,Joey,Joe, “White” Mike, Kim aka Brazil,Gregory,Anthony Williams,Demetrios george,David Jones,Sean Cowen, Scooby and Jordon as well as anyone I missed!!

NW: I wish to thank all the skaters in Socal that have helped with the shop from it’s conception including JC Rowe, Demetrios George, Robert Lievanos, Alejoh etc.

SEAN WICKS Co-Owner of URBAN ROLLING SKATESHOP

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