Vashon Boards skates into town
By Marina-Rae Gill, Reporter
Vashon Boards, a local island shop that sells skateboarding products, recently made the move into downtown Vashon, filling the building formerly occupied by the second-hand store Luna Bella’s. For about a year and a half, Vashon Boards has operated out of a box truck in Burton, run by its owner Dustin Landry. Landry is a long time skater of over 30 years and resident on the island.
Landry was prompted to open his shop when he was wanting a new skateboard, but was unable to find one in any store on the island.
“I saw a need for a skate shop, because the skateboard park just kept growing, and there wasn’t anybody supplying skateboards,” Landry said, “So it just seemed like there was a need for it.”
Vashon Boards experiences a wide range of customers.
“[We get] a multi-demographic,” Landry said, “And I think that when the little pump track gets built at the park, the older folks like my age that used to skateboard way back when will come back and start skating again. So it's going to bring a lot more people out and about playing around on the skateboards.”
Landry is also planning community events, like local competitions and skateboard demonstrations with professional skaters.
“The demos are having professional skateboarders come out to the island, and doing little shows… but it has to wait for this pandemic to pass before I can start holding those.” Landry said, “So the plan is to have demos and contests and then have little events that are free just to get people more interested in skateboarding.”
Like all businesses, Vashon Boards has had to adjust their system in order to comply with state rules that concern coronavirus.
“[Vashon Boards] has done pretty well. I always have a steady flow of people that come in,” Landry said, “As far as keeping everybody separated, it’s worked out pretty well, and I’ve done curb-side pickup [too].”
Landry and island skater Bobby Dodd are working together to develop a YouTube channel so kids can take lessons online. One of Landry’s main goals is to create an affordable form of exercise for kids and anybody else who wants to participate.
“[Vashon Boards] is there to give back to the community,” Landry said, “and to get kids to do something that’s fun, and that's least expensive to do.”