Meet the owners
A new addition to King Street’s thriving independent scene, Concrete Surf is a mecca for skateboarders. We chat to owner Kym Michell about what’s in store…
What inspired you to open a skateboard shop?
I actually started off buying a surf shop in Perranporth in Cornwall on a whim about five years ago, with my then husband, as we both love surfing. He had a skating background, I skated as a child growing up in South Africa – and we both liked the skating lifestyle – so over the years the surf shop became more of a skate shop.
We’ve lived in Cambridge since 2003 and our four kids have been skating since they were around two years old. So, we decided we’d like to open a skate shop in Cambridge. We spent years looking for premises and finally, number 2 King Street came up and it’s perfect, within a really welcoming community of independents!
We’d love to hear about your product range?
We offer core skate gear, so skate decks, wheels, the bearings, everything you could possibly need. We cater for everyone from elite skaters – so people who skate all the time and know their stuff – to complete beginners, stocking great brands including Santa Cruz, Toy Machine, Deathwish, Baker and Real. We also carry out repairs, can build skateboards and get hold of specialist stock if we don’t have it in store.
Which are your bestsellers?
The thing I’m selling most at the moment is decks, which is the top part of the skateboard. I actually had no idea how big the skating community in Cambridge was; it’s massive! You’ve got the amazing Shredder Skate School, which started in Burwell as the founder was trying to raise money to open a skate park and it just took off, so now he runs skate schools in Cottenham, Trumpington, Burwell and on Jesus Green. Then there’s a girls’ skating group in Cambridge, a Trumpington skate group, it’s insane!
We are working with Cam Skate, which is bringing local skate groups together to try to get an indoor skate park opened in Cambridge as at the moment, in winter, skaters have nowhere to go and the skate school find its tricky to hold skate lessons.
What’s the feedback been like so far?
Everyone is stoked, especially as over the past two years the skating community has boomed, possibly because of the pandemic. We built a skate ramp in our garden during lockdown and lots of customers said they did the same!
What is incredible is the amount of people that have started skating since we’ve opened as they’ve come in and been inspired. We’ve had everything from older men who used to skate and fancied another go, down to four-year-old children who visit with parents because they are desperate to try skating. It’s nice they have somewhere to get advice and learn about the right options for them.
Can you share your vision for Concrete Surf?
We’d love to become a hub so people can come in and feel comfortable spending time with us. Recently some kids came over from St Neots with their skate boards and bought grip tape, spending the day re-doing their boards. They were here from 11am to 4pm, which was lovely.
Concrete Surf is at 2 King Street, Cambridge. Visit concretesurf.co.uk
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