Santa Maria Sun / Biz Brief
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 44
Spotlight on: One Way
BY FRANK GONZALES
Time to shred! That was what insiders used to call—and possibly still call?—skateboarding and snowboarding. Keeping current on the activities and their associated slang can be tough, but with the November reopening of One Way, formerly known as One Way Board Shop, fans of the sports (and their surfing brethren) have a local lifeline once again. In fact, they’ll be in Nirvana—and not only because that band often emanates from the store’s speakers. The store has an extremely clean design on the inside, with neat racks of merchandise and well-placed counters that give the small business a better layout than most chains. From clothing to shoes to an entire section dedicated to customizing a skateboard with different wheels and trucks or Cadillacs (the terms for different skateboard suspensions), action sports fans have a new one-stop shop. But the pièce de résistance has to be the new and improved skate park connected to the store itself.
Such a comprehensive action sports business didn’t spring up overnight.
“My brother and I have been in retail in Santa Maria for over 12 years. One Way and the One Way Skate Park have been open since November of 2012,” said Dave Pankratz, who runs the business with his brother Dan. “This location has been here for seven years, but we shut down in October as One Way Board Shop and we reopened as One Way in November.”
In addition to their business experience, the brothers bring their own passion for action into every aspect of their operations: “My brother and I, we love to skateboard, surf, and snowboard, and so that’s why we started this business,” Dave said. The brothers have been in love with these sports for 20 or more years.
“We started skateboarding when we lived in the Central Valley back in the ’80s,” Dave said.
He mentioned the Bones Brigade and names like Tony Hawk, Mike McGill, and Lance Mountain as the legends who inspired him to take up a board.
Fittingly for a store whose central mission is action, the adjacent skate park allows customers to try out their new equipment on site. But far from a small extension, Dave hopes the new skate park will become a destination in and of itself.
“The skate park will be very involved with lessons and camps for kids,” he explained. “Also, we have a goal of setting this up to help foster kids’ desire to be involved in skateboarding beyond just the level of actually skateboarding, and doing things where kids will be involved in doing video editing and photo editing and journalism-type things.”
To fulfill that goal, Dave and his brother enlisted instructors—including Dan himself—to give lessons, and they contracted with one of the best-known skate park companies to set it all up.
“These ramps were actually made and designed by Ramp Carnies, and they’re a world-class skate park company,” Dave said. “These guys have made ramps for the Dew Tour, they’ve done pros’ personal skate parks and stuff like that. They’re very reputable.”
He added that customers will be able to choose from yearly and monthly subscriptions to the park in addition to paying for one session, which ranges from 1 1/2 to three hours.
As for the retail end of their business, the Pankratz brothers are just as thoughtful: “We try to find brands that are maybe not necessarily the most popular at the moment, but brands that we know are going to become the next big thing,” Dave said. To find the next big thing, Dave talks of going to trade shows and keeping tabs on the up-and-coming pros and the brands they’re using.
“Sometimes the crystal ball is pretty clear and it’s pretty obvious,” he said, “and then a lot of times, like right now, it’s hard to tell what is the next trend because this industry and action sports are in a pretty big transition from a lot of the major brands moving out of being in the core shops and selling in J.C. Penney and Target and that kind of thing. So now we’ve got to find the brands that are going to be the new cool brands that’ll sell in cool shops like [ours].”
Dave said that overall, he enjoys being able to do what he loves and getting to see kids just as excited about coming to One Way as he was going to skate shops as a boy. But beyond that, the Pankratzes also have a grand vision: “Our goal is also to make this a center, to put this on the map for the skateboard industry. We’ll be doing events with pros and all sorts of stuff. Our goal is to bring skateboarding and the skateboarding world to Santa Maria.” By developing a world-class action sports store and skate park here, they’re well on their way.
For more information about One Way—located on the second floor of the Santa Maria Town Center Mall at 412 Town Center East—go to onewayboardshop.com or call 347-3323.
Biz Spotlight was written by Intern Frank Gonzales. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.