Stoking Skateboard SceneCameron Lovelace
Owner, Yes I Kaua‘i Skateboard Company
Please tell us about your business. Yes I Kaua’i Skateboard Company, located in Kapa’a at Kaua’i Village Shopping Center, caters to all skateboarders. We sell products for street skating, which is a trick-style skating, and then long-boarding, which is mainly just cruising. And then we have items for the serious guys who go down big hills.
However, we largely cater to street skating. We sell complete skateboards, all the part and accessories, helmets and many other items that cover all the bases. I opened the business in 2010 and I opened this storefront in Kapa’a a few months ago with much more inventory.
Do you sell any particular brands? I have my own brand, which is the Yes I Kaua’i Skateboard Company. It’s the most affordable board in the shop and they’re really good boards. All the other brands I sell are some of the top in the industry, like Girl and Chocolate.
Why did you start this business? I wanted to try to keep the kids skating and build the skate scene a little bit. The business just kind of happened.
Are you a skateboarder?
Yes. I wasn’t really skating that much before I started the business. Now I’m skating with the kids all over the place. I started skate-boarding when I was about 12 or 13 years old.
Where do people go on this island to skate? There is a skate park in Kapa’a. There also are two ramps at the mini-golf place in Kilauea that have helped build the skate scene a lot. But a lot of people just build their own ramps in their backyards; a lot of people take it upon themselves to just build their own stuff to skate.What is the skate scene like on Kaua’i? No one really knows that there are that many people here skating, but it’s actually a pretty big scene. However, surfing really overpowers everything and skating is more in the background.
Why do you want to increase the skate scene? If you don’t surf, there’s really nothing to do here.
You can play sports, but a lot of kids just don’t have much to do, so it gives them something to do and release all that crazy energy that they’ve got.
What kind of clientele do you have? I’ve got my regulars, but lately I’ve been getting a lot of skaters I’ve never met before – which is a good sign. Before, I knew everyone who came in the door. Now, more people are learning about it and coming in. I even get visitors who come in to buy products here.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of what you do? Seeing the kids hooked on skating, and skating at the park with all the kids because they always want me to see their tricks.
What’s the most challenging aspect of what you do? Juggling family and business, and letting go some days and not thinking about the business. I just always want to work, and my mind is always on work.
Where are you from originally? I was born on Oahu, grew up on the Big Island and graduated from Waiakea High School in Hilo. I moved to Kaua’i four years ago.
What makes you get up every day and go to work? It’s just fun. Skating is fun.
Do you have a business philosophy? Learning what people want and keeping up with the trends.
Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Sunday
Located at Kaua’i Village Shopping Center