Storefront: Allied Board Shop
Words: Rob Brink
The Skateboard Mag, September 2010
In the spring of 2006, Crispin Barraza abandoned running Asylum skate shop in Oceanside, California to open Allied Board Shop in nearby Escondido. His goal was simple: To have a down-home skate shop that supports skateboarders, where they could cruise in, chill, watch a video and talk about skateboarding.
Catering to mostly core skateboarders in two locations, one in Escondido and one in cyberspace (alliedboardshop.com), Allied’s “skateboard and shoe walls speak for themselves,” according to Barraza. “We have everyone to beat when it comes to selection and pricing.
“Skateboarders from Escondido a pure street,” Barraza continues, “No fancy skateparks here. We also have really good pools and ditches, but that shit’s kept under wraps. Allied supports the scene the best it can. We have signings and video premieres, but more importantly, we have everyone’s back. If you blow out a bearing or need some hardware, we got you covered.”
So else what separates Allied from the pack? “We’re definitely not down to censor what we carry in the shop,” says Barraza. “Someone might come in and want a board with a baby with a pentagram on its head. And if that’s what they want then they’re gonna get a board with a baby with a pentagram on its head. There are enough people and companies trying to stop us from skating or exploiting us, the last thing you need is your local skate shop doing the same. It’s rad when you set up a customer with exactly what they need and they are happy and shake your hand. That’s respect and that’s why people come back to Allied. I see shop owners that don’t skate and I wonder how the fuck can they look at themselves in the mirror. I would feel like a piece of shit mark. If you can’t relate to your customers then you’ve already lost. The bottom line is, core shops have the biggest influence in skateboarding. We create our own wind and through us educating our customers, we keep the ship sailing straight.”
Barraza’s passion is evident. “When you do something you love you never work a day in your life and I love this shit. Being able to fly the flag of a core skate shop knowing that we are true to skateboarding and going skating with the team or to different events is cool because we’re all fans of skateboarding. And getting to skate with some of the best is an honor.”
No shop would be complete without it’s share of drama and excitement. In Allied’s case, there happens to be an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting hall nearby.
“We are always fighting with those burnouts,” says Barraza. “One time this lady from one of the meetings wanted to try on a pair of shoes. She was all wasted and followed me into the back of the shop. I turned around and she had her top off acting all sexy and shit. That’s one way to earn a discount, I suppose.”
Allied Board Shop
2335 East Valley Parkway Suite F
Escondido, CA 92027