Paris Skate Boutique Owner Reflects on 20 Years of Skateboarding Culture

Paris Skate Boutique Owner Reflects on 20 Years of Skateboarding Culture

The Development of Skateboarding and Its Challenges, Straight from the Heart of Nozbone
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Welcome to an in-depth chat with Alexis, the owner of Nozbone Skateboard Boutique in Paris. Since 2003, Nozbone has been a leading destination for skateboarders, offering a wide range of boards, equipment, accessories, and apparel. Situated between République and the canal Saint Martin, Nozbone boasts over 100 square meters dedicated to skateboarding and its culture. Recognized as European Skateshop of the Year 2016, Nozbone continues to be a vital player in the Paris skate scene. Let's dive into the conversation and learn more about Alex's journey and the state of skateboarding today.

So, tell us a bit about your journey with this skate shop. I heard you recently celebrated your birthday here?

Yeah, that's right. We had our birthday party here about two months back. It was a blast.

Nice! It's great to meet you. You're the owner, correct?

Yep, that's me. I've been running this place for about 20 years now.

That's quite a legacy. How did it all begin?

Well, it started out in another location in Paris. Eventually, we moved here over ten years ago because I knew this spot near République (Place de la Republique) would be prime real estate for skaters. It's become quite the hub for skaters from all over.

It sounds like you've seen a lot of changes in the skate scene over the years. How would you say it's evolved?

Oh, it's changed a ton, especially in terms of mentality and communication. Social media, like Instagram, has really transformed how skaters connect and share their passion.

What do you mean by the shift in mentality?

Back in the day, skating was more about having fun than anything else. Nowadays, there's a stronger focus on turning pro and the business side of things. But despite that, the fun element is making a comeback, even so in a more business-oriented context.

So, would you say the rise of events like the SLS and the Olympics has contributed to this shift?

Absolutely. Events like those have injected big budgets and a more mainstream appeal into skating. While it's great for exposure, I worry about losing the underground spirit that makes skateboarding so unique.

That's a good point. The underground scene definitely brings a lot of creativity to the sport. How do you think we can preserve that aspect?

It's all about striking a balance between the mainstream and underground sides of skating. The underground scene is where the real innovation happens, where skaters of all backgrounds come together to express themselves through music, graphics, and more.

Have you noticed any other positive changes in the skateboarding community?

Absolutely. One of the most positive shifts has been the increasing diversity in terms of both generations and genders participating in the sport. It's a sign of progress and inclusivity that's really exciting to see.

It's clear that skateboarding has become more inclusive and diverse over the years, with women and members of the LGBTQ+ community making significant contributions to the sport.

Absolutely. It's been a positive shift towards greater representation and acceptance within the skateboarding community. In the past, skateboarding was predominantly male-dominated, but now we're seeing a much more inclusive environment.

You mentioned concerns about the growing emphasis on the mainstream and business aspects of skateboarding. Would you mind expanding on that?

Definitely. While it's great to see skateboarding gaining more recognition and opportunities, there's also a downside to the increasing commercialization of the sport. Many young skaters feel pressure to turn pro or become influencers, which can take away from the pure enjoyment of skating.

That's an interesting point. Do you think this pressure to excel professionally is discouraging some skaters?

Absolutely. Many young skaters feel overwhelmed by the expectation to perform at a professional level. It's disheartening when they realize they may not reach that level and lose interest in skating altogether.

Skateboarding seems to have a complex dynamic. What's the current state of skating, especially after the pandemic?

Post-Covid, the skateboarding scene changed a lot. Initially, people were interested in outdoor activities. Now, we're seeing fewer skaters hitting the streets.

That's surprising to hear. Why do you think this is happening?

Some people don't seem to be as interested in skating as they used to be. In skateboarding, there's a noticeable divide between those who skate for the love of it and those who skate for social media influence.

Skateboarding faced similar challenges in the early 90s. Despite the decline, there's still a vibrant culture surrounding the sport.

It's kind of paradoxical. Skateboarding is getting more recognition with the Olympics, but we see a decrease in dedicated skaters.

Exactly. It's a paradox we're grappling with, especially as business owners in the industry. Despite these challenges, our shop remains a haven for dedicated skaters who spend their days grinding in the streets.

It's great to hear your shop still serves as a skater hangout.

Our shop is more than just a place to buy gear; it's a hub for skateboarders to connect, learn, and grow together.

Thanks for sharing your insights with us today Alexis!


Visit Nozbones next time you're in Paris:

Nozbones Skateboard Boutique
7 Rue de Marseille
75010 Paris

Let's talk Skate pants with Nozbone employee

Are the Polar Big Boys still popular here in Paris?

Oh, yes, absolutely. But unfortunately, we're out of stock at the moment.

Can you recommend an alternative to anyone who doesn't want to join the Big Boy hype?

Definitely! Here's the Carhartt Brandon Pant. Their loose fit and style is similar to Polar pants, but with their own twist. I can put them on for you;

Wow, sounds like a solid alternative. Thanks for sharing with us!
For anyone interested you can cop them here.

Photography © DOSE Skateboarding


The DOSE Paris Skate Shop Series:
Part 1: VEGA Skate Shop's Insights Into Paris' Skate Culture
Part 2: Nozbone Reflects on 20 Years of Skateboarding Culture
Part 3: A Visit at Arrow & Beast Skateshop in Paris

Related: skateboarding , skate culture , Paris , skate fashion , paris skate shop series , Nozbone .