Man runs shop for 'the love of skateboarding'
As a young skateboarder in Lenoir nearly two decades ago, Drew Lindley had to make the trip to Hickory any time he needed to visit a skate shop.
Today, Lindley just has to go to work.
He's the owner of Main Boardshop at 908 West Ave. NW in downtown Lenoir, the only skate shop in town, but he offers more than just a store to buy equipment.
Main also serves as a gathering place and safe haven for local skaters, who can ride inside Lindley’s store.
Saturday the11th National Go Skateboard Day, the “official holiday of skateboarding,” which encourages skateboarders to gather and celebrate the sport. The brainchild of the International Association of Skateboard Companies, the holiday seeks to promote skateboarding and make the sport more accessible.
Lindley is hosting an event he is calling “Every Day is Go Skate Day” Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. behind his shop.
It will include a "best trick" contest and a game of SKATE, which is like playing HORSE except instead of making basketball shots it's landing skateboard tricks, with prizes for the winners, as well as a cookout and tent sale.
Lindley started out in 2004 managing the skateboard products and services for the former Hogwaller Outfitters in Lenoir. That store closed during the recession, and Lindley opened his store in November 2012. He carries a variety of top-tier companies, including Nike SB, Four Star, Antihero, Krooked, Spitfire, Real and more, from clothing to shoes to skateboard decks.
He wanted to create a place for skaters to not only get their gear but have a place to hang out and skate harassment-free. Lenoir isn’t the most welcoming of cities when it comes to skateboarders, with yelling and shouts often greeting skateboarders when they venture downtown, Lindley said. The city prohibits skateboards from any city street, park (aside from the skate park), building or parking facility, and even prohibits skateboards from sidewalks in downtown Lenoir, so skaters in the city are left with few options.
Most don’t want to go to Lenoir’s skate park because the gate is often locked, due to limited hours of operation, and the strict rules require helmet, knee pads and elbow pads at all times, equipment most skateboarders find cumbersome and think is not needed.
“A 2-year-old can go down a 12-foot slide with no helmet,” Lindley said. “That’s just how it goes.”
So Lindley tore out 3 layers of flooring at his shop, so skaters could skate inside his store on boxes and ramps he set up right inside the front door.
Skateboarding has always held Lindley’s interest, even through playing three sports while at Hibriten High School and while on a full baseball scholarship at Lenoir-Rhyne University.
“The love of skateboarding – that’s it,” Lindley said of what keeps him working the shop day in and day out. “I’m not going to get rich. I’m trying to keep kids interested and give back to the community what we never had.”