To build up our street cred and satiate our curiosity, Treeson and I recently visited Shut Skateboards at 158 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side. We luckily had a skateboard enthusiast and designer, EVOKER, with us to tell us the story of Shut and why it is so significant in the skateboarding community. Back in the 80s, unsatisfied with the Californian image of the sport, two New Yorkers, Rodney Smith and Bruno Musso took it upon themselves to create their own boards to use and sell, and to reflect the tougher, grittier image of skating New York’s streets. This became Shut, the first NYC-based skateboard company, opening in 1986. Shut developed their own team and gained notoriety amongst skateboarders everywhere. After some time, Shut had to close its doors and one of its founders, Rodney Smith, went on to open Zoo York, one of the most influential skateboard companies in the last twenty years. After experiencing much success, Smith, along with the other founders of Zoo York decided to return to their roots, selling Zoo York to Ecko Unlimited and opening Shut back up in 2006, just in time for its twentieth anniversary. Walking into the shop, you can feel the history and pride oozing from the rich culture that Shut has formed over the years. Even if you are not a skateboarder, you have to check this place out!
If you know of any places in the LES neighborhood near the gallery, let us know. We’d love to come visit!