SuperShops: K-5 Boardshop
|SuperShops is brought to you by Arnette and highlights the best core retail shops in snowboarding.|
The San Diego area isn’t well known for its snowboard scene as much as its skate and surf counterparts. Most shops that have tried their hand at breaking into the snowboard scene are no longer in business, or they have dropped snowboarding and focused on other markets. But after 25 years of living and breathing the art of getting sideways, K5 Boardshop has been able to keep both feet firmly planted in the snowboard industry.
For co-founders Jergen and Tom Schultz, it’s about the passion and love of shredding that has kept them in the game. “It just started with me and my brother, we are just rippers,” says Jergen Schultz. “We were always surfing since the beginning so riding has always been a part of our DNA. This day in age, if you’re not passionate about something it won’t happen.”
Along with the passion, the K5 crew is confident the reason they have weathered the lack of storms and bad economy is simple — community and focus. Having three shops in a twenty mile radius, K-5′s community is bigger than most, but they are stoked to take an active role, explains Marketing Manager Wallace Hargraves: “There is nothing like seeing someone’s face after they have learned how to turn. Just connecting with people and building a community is really important. We try to keep core, whether they are core riders or weekend warriors we want them to feel like they have a place here.”
K5 holds regular skate sessions and competitions as well as stand-up surf clinics to get people stoked. And new for this season, the shops will be starting Flat Broke Fridays this November, where the crew will be barbecuing and premiering top snowboard videos for anyone who wants to show up. Also, these guys are putting these events on for free. “We have always had the core philosophy, you know, support the community and support the kids,” says General Manager Eldon Hargraves.
While supporting the community has been a main ingredient to staying successful, Wallace believes it was their approach to snowboarding that kept them alive in the industry. “For other shops, snow was a second thought. For us, we have always looked at it like it’s another thing we do — not a second thought,” says Wallace.
So many nationwide stores are now carrying snowboards that it has become much more important to stand out and represent the industry by understanding it and caring about it according to Eldon. “For a core store, it is always going to be about the love. It is a true lifestyle from top-to-bottom,” Eldon says. “These are all guys that are about surf, snow and skate. You have to be a part of these sports to work here.”
Being one of the last remaining core snowboard shops in the San Diego area, keeping snowboards on the shelves is about the love of making turns, not the potential for profit. “You’re not going to make a ton of money doing it so you have to have passion to do these sports. At the end of the day you’ve got to have some fun,” says Schultz.