Free stickers

BdSI

One of the first things I needed to do once I had the skate shop going was to get some stickers made. What could be of any more importance than that? This was going to spread the word and let people know that we wished the shop to help build the skate community from now on. And it had to be eye catching as to make sure anyone who skateboarded would know where to find us, which might sound obvious now but back then, in the summer/fall of 1988, skateboarding was much more obscure than it is now.

There’s a funny quote that I’ve seen around many times that says that one of the best things about being sponsored is the free stickers. Well the sticker also had to be produced cheaply enough so that we could give a bunch of them away. At this point in time I had already owned a TRS-80 computer that would take 20 minutes to load a game of pong from audio cassettes, but designing stickers on this computer was out of the question, clearly not as accessible as it might be today on any given computer. Furthermore, I was not artistically inclined and I had never done anything like it, where to start?

For anyone who skateboarded during that era, the design of the sticker is obvious, we simply used one of the best selling graphics of the time – the Vision Gator – and inserted our basic info. It was an amazing success and was most likely the first contact many had with stickers as we quickly had to start selling them since people wanted hundreds of them at a time. What we did is that we’d give them out for free, like up to five per person, but then if someone wanted 25 or 100, and it happened way more often that I would have ever thought, we’d sell them at cost, whatever that was at the time. It was like people wanted their own little piece of the skate scene. It was a pretty sweet feeling to cruise around the city in my teens and see stickers from the shop at bus stops, on buses and of course, on skateboarders decks.

BdS-Logo-I

For cost minimization reasons, the stickers were printed on paper rather than on vinyl so they did not fare so well in long Quebec winters when exposed to the harsh conditions. That was a downside for sure, specially since we were about to start selling our first snowboards at the shop and that we wanted the love to spread to the snow as well. In any case, we became so associated with this visual that we kept it for a while, well after Gator had moved on to other graphics. Looking at it today, I think it still works. I really enjoy the simplicity of it as well as the visual impact it provides as you’d recognize this anywhere even if only glimpsed from the corner of your eye, the bright orange definitely helping. Who would have guessed that this design project would be only the first of many to come.

Texte par: Emanuel Krebs

hommage paid to the Anheuser-Busch clan

BdS-Logo-III

This version was the third sticker I produced for the shop, and once again, it is very much a reflection of the period. We were right in the middle of the World Industries ‘stealing’ graphics from everyone era and so it was simply “the” thing to do. You can’t really blame me for such an obvious choice as the King of Beers, right? I was a teenager enjoying life to the fullest, skateboarding and snowboarding tons while working hard at making my shop/skatepark stay on top of the game while completing CEGEP (Québec’s equivalent of Junior College). Those were good hectic years with plenty of late-night sessions at the park followed by hommages paid to the Anheuser-Busch clan.

We had gotten past the need for information overload by this time as the word had spread and the skatepark was pretty well known so the objective of this sticker was now to compete against some other shops that by this time had sprung up. It was about image. Of course all the best skaters of the area were sponsored by the shop so that was a big help, although they were also at times our worst enemies (the lesson here is that you can NEVER make everyone happy).

The substitutions on the sticker were made in a very simple manner, and viewed in today’s everyone-has-photoshop times, they look rather primitive. But nobody really took notice and the mass amounts of stickers flowing through the shop kept going, we were still getting kids coming asking to buy large quantities of the sticker, well in the hundreds. This was specially true of kids coming to the shop/park from areas outside of Québec City. I always thought that it was really cool to get such support and I got to meet so many cool skaters from all over the province, many of which who became friends.

Texte par: Emanuel Krebs

TWS & BDS

TWSphoto

Text par: Emanuel Krebs

The photo above, which was on the Transworld Skateboarding cover of the January 1991 issue, is closely linked to an important period of my life. It has nothing to do with the substance of this photo itself but rather with the content of this particular issue. The short version is that as a teenage entrepreneur who was simply following his heart, I had returned from a California summer skate trip with the conviction that a good skateboard shop was essential for a striving scene. Living in a city with 7-month long winters, once the first step of the shop was underway, the natural evolution of this realization quickly grew into a large investment to build an indoor skatepark.

Several tens of thousands of dollars worth of wood later, and the hard work of a particularly talented ramp builder who I assisted, a 10,000 square foot ‘wooden oasis’ was born. Skateboarders from across the province were soon making the trek to Québec to come share with us the stoke. I have countless memories of heated sessions and many friendships were borne out of shared sessions at the skatepark.

Back to the story behind the TWS cover: on a cross-Canada tour, skate photographer-now-turned-Holywood-big-shot-and-of-Girl-fame Spike Jonze and writer Kevin Wilkins turned up at the park. They skated with us and, of course, shot the token photos they would need for their article. Needless to say, when the TWS issue showed up at the shop and I realized I had gotten a full-page photo in TWS Skate, I was estactic. Through my numerous moves across continents and oceans, I had lost the prized issue and the photo was only a memory in my mind, that is until I was lucky enough to go snowboarding over the holidays with TWS Skate Editor Eric Stricker, a friend of a friend. After a few runs of secret pow stashes, I seized the opportunity and asked him if he could do me a favor: Eric was kind enough to dig through the TWS archives and I received the issue this week, happy to have this memento to share with you.

Depuis 1988

old BDS

 

Suite à un mois passé en Californie à l’été 1988 pour skater, fréquenter les « skate shops » et cotoyer des légendes du skateboard (Hosoi, Jay Adams, Natas), Emanuel est revenu avec la conviction que la ville de Québec avait besoin de son « skate shop » : ainsi est née la Boutique du Skate.

Après s’être implantée sur la rue St-Jean en 1988, puis la rue Arago en 1991, la boutique a finalement déménagé sur la 3e Avenue à Limoilou en 2009.

    
Tel: 418 781-2030
519 3E Avenue, Limoilou, Québec, Canada, G1L 2W4