Ben Corey (left) and Ross Jenkins, owners of Pops Skate Shop in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Ben Corey (left) and Ross Jenkins, owners of Pops Skate Shop in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Purchase Photo

This new skateboard store in downtown Everett really ‘pops’

Is Rucker Avenue undergoing a retail revival? The owners of the Pops Skate Shop think so.

EVERETT — Wooden skateboards have plenty of “pop,” and so does this new store in downtown Everett.

Two friends and skateboard enthusiasts, Ben Corey and Ross Jenkins, opened Pops Skate Shop at 2826-A Rucker Avenue.

It’s all about the skateboard scene. You won’t find rollerblades or ice skates here — just skateboard decks, wheels, safety gear and clothing.

“We wanted to do a shop in Everett,” said Jenkins, who operated a Marysville skateboard outlet in the early 2000s.

“We didn’t intend to open it as soon as we did,” Jenkins said, but the venture picked up speed when the two friends and a third partner found a tiny storefront on Rucker Avenue.

“We worked up the numbers and it just made sense,” said Corey, 36. “The whole thing came together between October and December.”

They fixed it up on a shoestring and opened on Dec. 5.

Corey and Jenkins have kept their day jobs. They take turns behind the counter.

“It’s great these guys have opened,” said Kelsey Boyd, who stopped by one morning with his 7-year-old son, Eli, and left with a red-and-black knit cap.

Neighbors include Mr. Cuts Barber Shop at 2828 Rucker Ave. and the rock climbing gym, Summit Everett, at 2820 Rucker Ave.

“We’re stoked about this location,” Corey said. “According to my landlord this location was empty for a long time — it used to be a call center.”

Pops Skate Shop isn’t the only new kid on the block. The Best Puzzles & Games store at 1315 Hewitt and the Salish Sea Ceramic Studio at 1111 Hewitt are also neighbors.

It’s a modest retail revival. “We all opened within a month or two of one another,” Corey said.

The Rucker Renewal Project, intended to make the street more pedestrian-friendly, is paying dividends, Corey said.

“The work they put into Rucker is awesome,” Corey said. “We hope the city continues to think about pedestrians.”

Skateboarding took off the 1950s when kids took apart their roller skates and attached them to soapbox scooters. Then riders tossed the soapbox but kept the chassis.

In the 1960s, urethane wheels smoothed the ride and replaced metal wheels. Lighter boards made of composite materials or plastic resins never took off. “They don’t have the same ‘pop’ as a wooden board,” Jenkins explained.

Skateboarding has become more of a mainstream sport in the past 20 years,” said Jenkins, 41.

“It was frowned upon when I was a kid,” Jenkins said. “Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, skateboarders weren’t always welcome.”

Today it’s a $5 billion global industry. More than 11 million Americans say they enjoy skateboarding on a regular basis, according to Skate Review, an industry group.

The sport recently got a big lift from the Olympic Committee when it added skateboarding to the summer lineup. It’s scheduled to debut this summer in Tokyo — if the show goes on.

Skate Review also says that 77% of skateboarders would rather shop at a small independent shop than a big box store.

Jenkins and Corey hope that’s true.

“This is a work in progress,” Corey said. “We’re just really happy to be here.”

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

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