Calling All Skaters Skateshop opens doors in Sunland
BY SAMANTHA SUTHERLAND | October 23, 2015
After being without a skateshop for half a decade, Sunland’s own Calling All Skaters Skateshop has opened its doors at 8517 Foothill Blvd. to the local community. The shop, run by Jimmy Halperin, offers more than just a place to buy skateboards, it was built with the vision of being able to give local skaters a hangout with positive influences to contrast those they may find at the skatepark.
“I’ve always loved the idea of owning a skateshop,” Halperin said, “but in the last few years especially I’ve been seeing the need more and more. I hang out with a lot of local skater kids and it’s re-sparked the vision to give them a good place to meet up.”
Any given day at the shop, you can expect to see up to 30 kids hanging out, skating, playing video games, shooting pool, doing their homework, watching skate videos and talking with the employees about their lives. Every Tuesday there is a skate session in the shop from 4-5:30 p.m. with pizza and contests for prizes.
“I grew up in Sunland Tujunga as a skater,” Halperin said, “and I had no place to hang out but the skatepark where the influences were not good. So when I had the idea of opening the skateshop I wanted it to be a place that would be a good influence to skateboarders like me.”
Everyone that works at the skateshop is part of a non-profit called Calling All Skaters and they all carry the vision to help the local kids by investing in their lives and being an example for them, Halperin said.
Calling All Skaters started as a weekly barbecue at Sunland Skatepark and, seven years later, the Friday barbecues are still going.
“We saw many kids lives changed at that park,” Halperin said. “Shaun Hover, who started it with me, had vision to do that in every country in the world so he started Calling All Skaters in 2012 and has been training and sending out skateboarders all over the world to do what we’ve been doing in Sunland.”
About a year ago, Halperin said things really began to go into motion for the shop when a connection to a skateshop in Costa Mesa that was closing down arose and offered him the chance to buy its inventory and furniture.
“We saw 8517 go up for lease and the next day we signed the lease,” Halperin said. “This place was a marijuana shop beforehand, the CAS crew came in and helped gut the place, Jon Hall from Long Beach came and painted two huge murals on the wall, and we rebuilt everything to make it nice and give it a new life.”
About 100 people showed up to the shop’s soft opening on May 1st and plans are in motion for a Grand Opening on January 1st, 2016.
“Though this is a for-profit business, neither I nor any of the owners take a profit,” Halperin said. “It all goes to the employees, back into the business and into the ministry. Yes, our goal of being here is to be successful and thrive as a business, but more importantly we want to be a long-lasting home for the skaters in the area.”