While skateboards and longboards have often been the platform of choice for athletes looking to test their mettle off the beaten path of team sports, one shop in Redmond is trying encourage the rising tide of pro scooter riders with equipment and soon an indoor park.
David Power is the owner of the Pro Scooter Shop in the business park off 95th Street. While the actual shop is a for-profit business, the scooter park he is building in the back has filed for nonprofit status and in many ways, he hopes it will be a public service provided to the community.
“People want a place for their kids to come where it’s safe, it’s friendly,” he said standing in his shop last week.
Pro scootering has become more prominent over the last decade, he said, as the designs for the scooters have become increasingly more solid.
Most people have likely encountered the pro scooters’ predecessor, the Razor collapsible scooters which allow riders to zip around city streets and skate parks, often to the chagrin of skateboarders or BMX bikers.
In the past, there has been somewhat of a rift between skaters and scooterers, Power said, but as scooter designs continue to improve, that may be changing.
Pro scooters are not collapsible, and have heavier, solid metal decks with larger wheels. This provides them the strength needed to perform tricks without breaking.
Power’s shop boasts an impressive array of already assembled scooters, as well as walls and displays full of grip tape, decks, wheels of varying sizes and safety equipment.
“Just like stereos or cars, you can build or customize them as well,” he said.
Power helped start the company in 2012 as an online business and began the retail shop in 2013 around the corner from their current location. They moved to their new spot around four months ago, and the space now provides them more retail space as well as room for the scooter park in the back.
This coincides with a larger increase in the Seattle scene, he said.
“Business is growing, the scooter scene in Seattle is taking off,” Power said.
One of the reasons Power credits for this recent boom is a lower technical barrier of entry for scooter riders. He said scooters can be easier to ride than skateboards, even though he grew up skating.
In the scooter scene, there are two main camps of riders: park and street.
Park riding is primarily focused on tricks and flips, whereas street riding is more technical and focused on using the environment at hand, he said.
In the back of the shop, large scooter park features like quarter-pipes, stairs and rails among others were being constructed. While they were still in construction, the general shape of the indoor park was forming.
When it is completed, Power hopes the scooter-exclusive park will be able to host up to 20 riders at a time.
There are many skate and BMX parks in the greater Seattle area, he said, but none are dedicated exclusively for scooter riders. He hopes to have the park open by this fall.
Already, Power said he has received inquiry from people in the community about hosting birthday parties and events at the park when it is completed.
“The feedback from the community has been incredible,” he said.
Power also tries to give back to the scooter community and his shop, which also operates heavily online, has sponsored some 14 riders across the United States, Canada and China.
And ultimately, he would like to see the sport continue to grow and attract new riders.
“They’re a pretty close family,” he said of scooterers.
The Pro Scooter Shop is located at 14766 Northeast 95th Street.