When it comes to skate shops there is still a huge lack in Europe. With Space Skates and Roller Skate Europe two well-known faces are filling the gap.
The demand for roller skates continues, even in Europe the scene keeps growing. But still, it is difficult to get one’s hands on a pair of good roller skates. And we are speaking of solid products you can use to shred the streets and parks, not cheap ass stuff which falls apart and is not made for this purpose anyways.
Roller Skate Europe fills a gap in Switzerland
As difficult as it is to find skates, there is also a lack of shops in Europe with people running them who have a solid knowledge of set ups, hardware and are well rooted in the community. With Roller Skate Europe in Switzerland and Space Skates in Eindhoven (NL) two well-known faces want to fill this gap. RSE is run by Nami “Tsunami” Kressebuch. The Switzerland-based skater has been travelling through Europe with her partner Marc for many years. They are a true skate family with their dog Snoopy (we love him to death) and their little son (who will get a sibling soon). Nami says that Switzerland has been a bit behind the eight ball when it comes to skate supplies. Let’s be real: they are not in the EU what makes imports difficult and expensive. So after running a community platform for about two years, in the beginning of 2021 she decided to go for it. Among many big names like Moxi, Chaya, Riedell, CIB and Antik, Nami carries a few international brands which cannot be find everywhere such as WIFA, Discotech, Radgal or Persistir (and DogDays).
For now, they are a webshop but plan on having pop-up-stores on a regular basis. Until June 12th they run a pop-up-store in Luzern (address: Sinnlicht-Areal, Industriestrasse 13).
Space Skates is the skate shop if you look for brands like Chuffed
Moving a bit up north to Eindhoven, we have Marjolein aka Mayo who recently opened Space Skates. Mayo has a lot of experience as a shop owner. She used to co-own Turn Left Roller Derby Shop with her friend Emma from 2012 until 2018. “After a long internal debate with myself I decided to dive into the deep end and start a new shop”, she says.
“A couple of reasons why I wanted to start Space Skates are, because I want to help people find good skates, I want to inform them about gear and I want to spread the skating stoke by teaching people basic skills and skatepark tricks”, Mayo adds.
Space Skates isn’t just a shop. It’s also a blog and you can book skate workshops. “The workshops are done by me and my friend Yara under the name Rolmaten (it’s a pun in Dutch, hard to explain, basically a “rolmaat” is a tape measure, but if you split the words up in to “rol” and “maat” it can also mean “skate mate”).”
Mayo’s idea for Space Skates is to provide good skates and to make it easy for new park skaters to get the perfect set up. “Because the demand is so high and the supply low, it is super hard to find suppliers and when I do find a supplier, most skates or parts are out of stock”, she says. For Mayo this meant to get creative by working on her own products like skate leashes, wax and sliders. “Hopefully I’ll be able to develop more products, because it’s really exciting!”
Mayo wants to make brands available that are not big in Europe yet, like Grindstone from Texas and Chuffed Skates from Australia. “I love that these brands are skater owned and operated, just like Space Skates.”
Other skater-run roller skate shops (some have started out during the roller derby wave and have been active for years) but also carry stuff for park, street and dance skating are:
Sucker Punch Skate Shop, Gent
Roller Derby House, Hochheim
Words by Marta Popowska