“Soul Skater,” a common term which is used to describe a person who skates for the simple love and purity of the sport. Today this term comes much more difficult to find with the mainstream popularity of the ESPN X-Games and hot name brands trying to get their names into the skateboarding business. Just about any board shop I have often visited would include nothing but the top name brand items for outrageous prices that guarantees to put a hole in your pocket.
With all these skate shops buckling to the demands for popular brands, it makes true soul skaters wonder if there is any spot left in the world for them to feel the essence of skateboarding. Well, there look stops here with a shop known as Diabolical Boardshops.
Originally started as a skateboard company in 1997 by Tai Kahn and fellow skate friends Mike Santarossa and Steveo Melkonian; Diabolical skateboards is here to give these skaters the true feeling of an “all skateboarding” shop.
“I really wanted to keep as true to the sport as possible. Every brand that you find in my store is strictly a skateboarding only brand,” says Tai Kahn, owner of Diabolical Boardshops. “I remember receiving a call once from a kid asking if I had the latest Nike shoes in stock, and I replied 'sorry, I only carry skate shoes',” laughed Kahn as he relaxed in a lazy boy chair; which was placed in the middle of a mini ramp.
Upon walking into the shop, you immediately begin to notice how the entire room looks more like a skate park with a shop inside it. Instead of benches and chairs for customers to sit on, they have ledges and manual pads. On the north side of the store all you will find is endless rows of skateboards, including popular 'old school' decks for the die hard 'ramp rats'. The back of the shops features a hand constructed mini ramp completely decorated with photos of team riders and posters.
After the companies creating in 1997, it died down in 2002. It wasn't until a little more than a year ago when Tai decided to bring back the company and open up a boardshop. “I recently decided to give the company another go and began talking to my friends (Mike and Steve) about my idea. They were cool with my plans, so I started to dig up old artwork and spiced it up for our new logo.
Kahn recently moved his operations to a bigger shop, after only 11 months in a smaller location. With their high competitive prices and passion for all that is skateboarding, it is no suprise that skaters can truly find a refuge here.
For more information on shop locations and team rider information, you can visit the shops website at www.diabolicalboardshop.com. Or you can visit their store in Englewood just south of Oxford along Broadway.