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On a roll: Push X-Change Skate Shop

New skate shop could cement SCV's status as skateboarding destination

Posted: September 24, 2009 11:01 p.m.
Updated: September 25, 2009 4:55 a.m.

A group of 13-year-old skaters scan the colorful skateboards displayed for sale at Push X-Change.

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Four wheels and a piece of wood. That's the backbone of Craig Glover's life.

After years in the corporate world, the 38-year-old Saugus resident is living his dream as the owner of the Push X-Change skate shop. He opened his business about a half-mile away from the city's new skate park.

"I wanted to be close to the park," he said, "at the heart of things."

The new skate park itself, in a way, is a hard-fought victory for Glover. The veteran skateboarder had led the effort to build the city's original skate park, which opened in 1997.

And when he heard about the new park Santa Clarita opened in March, Glover, who was in San Diego at the time, said he decided, "I guess it's time to go home."

Glover said the park is the best he's seen in California, with one in Chino coming a close second.

And the Volcom skateboarding apparel company apparently agreed. Last weekend, the 40,000-square-foot park was the only California stop for Volcom's nationwide Wild in the Parks skateboard competition tour.

The event drew hundreds of participants and spectators.

And Glover's shop, located near the intersection of Golden Valley Road and McKeon Way, has already has acquired a strong contingent of local skaters - possibly another indication that Santa Clarita might be on its way to becoming a skateboarding Mecca.

Additionally, Glover said, it's the perfect place for novice skaters to become great skaters.

"I want to see these (skater) kids progress," he said.

He said being close to the park will make it that much easier to organize skating events.

This weekend, Glover is taking several skaters from his shop's team who qualified last weekend to the Wild in the Parks championship in Arizona.

‘Just skateboards'
Glover, who has been riding since 1976, said his shop is unique locally, in that he focuses solely on skateboards.

"We're just skateboards. Nothing more, nothing less," he said.

Additionally, Push has an exchange program, allowing skaters to donate used boards or equipment. That gives skaters a wider price range from which to select.

Sometimes, that means free. On Thursday one young skater picked up a free used board, to replace one which he'd broken.

Proximity to the city's skate park - which opened to much fanfare last March - means when school lets out every afternoon, Glover's shop gets busy.

The road home
The road to opening his own shop took Glover from Santa Clarita to San Diego and back.

"I wouldn't be in this situation if it wasn't for ValSurf," he said of the board and clothing shop. "They are the reason why shops like this can exist."

Glover worked at a ValSurf chain store for a number of years, and in 1997 - after leading a 10-year campaign for Santa Clarita to build a skate park - moved to San Diego to work in the action sports industry.

After working in distribution and marketing, he eventually went to work doing marketing for CCS, which he described as the world's largest skateboarding retailer.

However, he began to miss the face-to-face aspect of working on the retail side of things, and started thinking about opening his own shop.

Within the coming year, Glover said his goals are to build a good reputation in the community, offer products skaters might not find elsewhere and hopefully start doing business online.

"This is my dream," he said. "This is what I've always wanted to do."

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