What was your first location like?
The Boarding House: We’ve been in the same location since 1984 . . . .
How did your first year turn out?
The Boarding House: Good, as shop already existed it had strong support, I just tweaked it in first year I was there, extending the floor area and of course bringing more BMX stuff into the mix.
How big was your local scene in the beginning, and how big is it now?
The Boarding House: Probably about 5 or 6 riders . . . . much bigger now, good group of dedicated locals
Do you feel you've contributed much to your local scene?
The Boarding House: Yep definitely. In the 20 years I’ve had the shop, due to much campaigning and working with the local Council has seen Exeter go from no skatepark/ramps, to four, two of which are concrete and lit at night. We’ve also always run local jams, had pro riders visit, video premieres, sponsor local riders, all the stuff you want in your local scene really.
Name some of the riders that you have sponsored?
The Boarding House: Harry Mills-Wakley, Jamie Skinner, Dan O'Neale
What kind of events have you put on locally?
The Boarding House: Jams, Pro demos, Video premieres, exhibition at local art centre of the skate/bmx history in Exeter.
What brands do you like to work with?
The Boarding House: Ones that share our ethos - support of local scenes, loyalty to independent bike shops
Do you also do distribution of BMX products?
The Boarding House: Nope
Have you considered doing other products such as skateboards, scooters, MTB?
The Boarding House: Yep, we carry skateboards, scooters and roller skates also.
What's the closest good indoor riding spot nearby?
The Boarding House: Mount Hawke in Cornwall, hour and half drive away
Is winter tough to survive for you?
The Boarding House: Winter is ok, as your good Xmas turnover carries you through the quieter Jan to March time.
A kid shows up with a department store shitty bike, what do you do?
The Boarding House: Fix it usually, as it’ll be haggard!
Pricing for all products have gone up except for BMX bikes where the quality has become so much better also. What bike in your shop is your favourite to sell to a beginning 14 year old guy?
The Boarding House: United Supreme. Consistently good quality and value for money every year.
What 16" and 18" bikes do you stock in your shop?
The Boarding House: United or Fit
Do you only carry products that you like yourself?
The Boarding House: No . . . . . . see range of products we sell under ‘other products question’ . . . .
What should be done to make the BMX market better?
The Boarding House: More support of independents. Less discounting and de-valuing of product by mail order price wars.
What is needed to help grow BMX Freestyle?
The Boarding House: Uniforms and rules.
Thanks to: My family for all the support through the years, all the distro's that have supported our events, particularly 'Cookie Jam' which is Jamie Skinner's comp, it has fund raised over £10,000 for Hospiscare in the 9 years it's been running, amazing.
All team riders, employees and customers past & present.
The Boarding House