Madi and Demi went and interviewed Skip at his shop recently to find out more about why he’s chosen Eaglehawk as his ‘new home’.
Skip (Albert Skipper is his ‘real’ name) says. “I have wanted to create this skateboard shop for 2 years. As a skater it is one of those dreams that every skater has, to have their own skate shop”
The idea to create the space was conceived when Skip was at his business partner Michael’s cafe drinking coffee. They got talking and thought, “hey, why don’t we combine both our loves for coffee and skateboards and make a shop?” They decided after a lot of trial and error that Eaglehawk would be the spot for it, and here they are! “It was a stroke of luck that we found this place, as Eaglehawk is my very own backyard!”
The store has been open for four months now, and the place has been evolving into more than just a skate shop – you don’t have to be into skateboarding to come here – this place is a community space. “It is for everyone to come and talk, or simply hang out. I believe it is helping Eaglehawk move forward, that’s what we love about it, it’s not just for youth, it’s for the wider majority of people from all walks of life.”
“Eaglehawk has a bigger and stronger sense of community than in the CBD of Bendigo, and I can really see Eaglehawk moving forward in big steps! We look after our own here. I believe that in the future this place will be where everyone wants to live.” Skip told us.
Their aim is to inspire others to get into skating, they have a ramp in the store! “We know that “dropping in” is the scariest part of skateboarding, and we thought it would be a great idea to have a ramp in store so that people can learn how to drop in safely.”
Skip and Michael are working towards making sure this space is a grows as a community house for Eaglehawk. “This is the first of many! There needs to be more spaces that have this atmosphere. When I was a younger skater, these shops used to be where you would come and hang out with your mates and there isn’t any spaces that offer that nowadays. I want to bring that community culture back – there needs to be more of it!”
Skip is passionate about skateboarding, and working with the youth. Skip is an 80’s skateboarder, he started when he was 14 and he worshipped it! “It really is a religion”.
When he started skating, there were not the facilities that are available now, there weren’t many designated areas to skate, people had to find creative outlets like park benches. It has always been a part of his life, however he took a break for a while and rediscovered skateboarding around 8 years ago – “I came back to life! I’m 47 now and still skate. I absolutely love it.”
Skip said his biggest achievement has “honestly been helping other people. This space has been a big achievement, but mainly for me personally my achievements have been talking and sharing my experience and knowledge with others. I am passionate about passing what I know to others to help them.” Skip loves to work with kids to follow their interests (and stay in school!)
Skip is also teaching skating for anyone who wants to learn!
“We are putting Eaglehawk on the map… I love this place and and everything it represents. I don’t want to be anywhere else. I am home. This is home.”