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Posted: May 12, 2014 Skateboarder shares his passion

The skateboarding scene is developing fast in Eau Claire. When Lakeshore Park opened last year, there was a growing need to serve the skateboarding community.

"The skate scene is booming right now.  The demand is definitely there," said Christopher Johnson, owner of Passion Board Shop, which opened Apr. 11 on 218 N. Dewey St.

"I really see it being the cornerstone of the skate culture in Eau Claire," he said.

Johnson explained he wants his shop to be a unique place. Passion Board Shop is grassroots local, which makes it distinct from stores at the mall.

He opened the store in order to be inviting for a variety of people.  For example, he invites local artists to show their work in his shop or to use the artwork for his store's apparel. He also welcomes customers to submit their skate action shots or videos to the store website.

"I don't want people to think it's my skate shop; it's our skate shop," he said.

Johnson said "most local skate shops have that core feel," meaning it can sometimes be intimidating for younger kids to come in with their parents. He said when kids are looking for their first board; they often turn to general sporting goods shops, which may not be helpful because they do not specialize in skateboards, only sell them, among all the other equipment. 

Sometimes, people view skateboarding negatively, but it is just as beneficial as other sports, he said.  Skateboarding gets kids off of the couch and gets them socializing.

 "A big part of this shop is to get the whole idea of skating in a positive direction," Johnson said. 

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