You left your skateboard in the back of an Uber and don’t think you’ll be seeing it again for the indefinite future? Yoh, kak one. But same. It has been three days since that fateful night and I’ve gone through every phase of the grieving process which leaves me with one last thing to do; I need a new setup, but where to look? Which skate shops to start at?
Fortunately for us, the skate scene in Cape Town is quite big which leaves me with no shortage of local skate shops to choose from.
If you, like me, are in need of a fresh kit or are considering picking up skateboarding as a new hobby then this article is dedicated to you. I’d like to chat about several skate shops in Cape Town where you are able to buy quality skate gear designed to last and bound to maximise your usage before you need to upgrade again.
Brick and mortar skate shops are in many ways at the core of the culture and growth of the sport at a local level. Besides being the outlets from where we buy our gear, they also function as cultural hubs where skaters can link up with likeminded individuals sharing the same indominable passion. Furthermore, skate shops are typically run by OGs with a passion for the sport who are able to steer newcomers in the right direction, nurturing a love and appreciation for the sport among the next generation of rippers. And better yet, they don’t sell any kak-gedagte Walmart boards that fracture into splinters after the first flatground ollie.
So, if you are in the market for a skate setup and are in need of some guidance on where to shop, here’s a list of some of the best places to consider shopping at.
1. The OG
Founded in 1998 by Jonathan Muir, Baseline is Cape Town’s longest-standing independent skate shop. In November of 2011, the shop was taken over by Adrian Day and Clint van der Schyf and moved to its new and current location right opposite everyone’s favourite McDonalds on the bottom of Kloof. Baseline is Cape Town’s premier skate shop and has, over the years played a pivotal role in fostering skateboarding’s credibility, culture and progression in the Mother City. Besides boasting one of the largest catalogues of skate gear and apparel in the Western Cape, Baseline also has a stacked lineup of exceptionally talented team riders including Dlamini Dlamini, Yann Horowitz, Justus Kotze and Pieter Retief. It is the dream of many up-and-coming CPT skaters that they may one day get a Baseline sponsorship which only goes to show how influential this store is to the local skate community.
2. THE YOUNG BLOODS
Rollers Skate Shop
Rollers is only a stone throw away from Baseline; by that, I mean it is literally on the opposite side of the road. A personal favourite and my go-to option; owned and run by skaters, Rollers is your one-stop shop for high quality decks from both local and international board companies sold at competitive prices. The shop also sports a wide variety of adjoining gear and hardware for you to choose from, perfect for creating your ideal setup. Rollers has also partnered up with BullyBoy, retailing the local artist’s custom printed griptape for those looking to add a bit of steez to their setup. The store also has a pretty awesome indoor quarterpipe that skaters are welcome to shred at their leisure. Founded in 2019 by Dylan Hoffmann, Rollers has fast become one of Cape Town’s leading independent skate shops with a key focus on boosting the outreach of local brands and giving back to the community that supports local skate businesses. Aged 26, Dylan is the youngest proprietor of a skate shop in Cape Town.
3. SURF & TURF
Boardhub sells the largest variety of boards in Cape Town. Not only do they stock some of the harder to find pro model skate decks, they take the holistic board retail approach by also selling surf boards, body boards, cruisers and longboards as well. Hell, they even sell wet suits. Although they operate from a brick-and-mortar establishment, Boardhub is actually South Africa’s biggest online retailer of skate and surf gear. So, if you aren’t from around these parts, you can order your setup through their digital storefront and get free shipping on orders over R1000. Conveniently located next to the Battery Park skate park, the laidback staff are more than happy for you to use their workbench to tweak your hardware should you encounter any board trouble during your sesh. From personal experience, I can tell you that Battery Park is the best place to pop a bearing since Boardhub is directly downstairs and likely to have some used spares to trade out for mahala.
4. THE LONGBOARDERS DREAM
Although strongly affiliated with skateboarding, Baboon Boards is an OG among Cape Town’s equally thriving longboarding scene. Proudly skater-owned, the business has done a lot to push the popularity of longboarding within the Western Cape over its many years of existence. Its owners want you to know that they retail top-notch equipment from both local and international brands. While the store may be a bit further away from the city centre than others on this lists, its large stock of premium longboarding gear make it well worth the trek. The shop sells industry-leading brands from the United States at competitive prices. Whatever sort of longboard you are looking for – be it for cruising, freeriding, commuting, or hillbombing – the Baboons have you covered.
5. FOR NORMIES AND BEGINNERS
Listen up, kids. If you are a culture vulture or just looking for the most affordable means through which to acquire a full setup to start your skateboarding journey, this is where you want to go. Although you are unlikely to find a staff member in either branch with a shred of credibility in the skate scene, what you will find are some fairly priced stock completes. Although the hardware in these completes are nothing to write home about, they offer a reliable and affordable means through which to get started – especially for beginners who are yet to learn about the nuances of hardware and board shapes and how they may impact a rider’s comfortability. Better yet, every complete skateboard being sold at either store is currently on 40% sale. This is only for a limited time, however, so get cracking.