“Skate Shop Day” happens on Feb. 19th – Letter from Chris Neiratko of NJ, FAQs & more

“Skate Shop Day” happens on Feb. 19th – Letter from Chris Neiratko of NJ, FAQs & more

We are re-posting the following information (FAQs and more) about Skate Shop Day with the following letter from NJ Skate Shop Owner, BRA Distinguished Retail Member and co-founder of Skate Shop Day, Chris Nieratko addressed to skate brands:

Hello new and old friends,

Chris Nieratko here. You might know me from some of the previous hats I’ve worn over the past 25 in years in skateboarding, or maybe you don’t.

Either way, there is no hat that I wear with more pride than my NJ Skateshop hat. 2021 marks NJ’s 18th anniversary (cue Skid Row’s 18 and Life…) and in that time, like most skateshops, my partner, Steve Lenardo, and I have seen unbelievable highs and crazy lows. We’ve survived a recession, Hurricane Sandy, CoViD as well as emotional personal and industry losses and yet somehow we live to fight another day.

It is my love for not only my own shop but for all shops, especially those that opened their doors to me and my friends on tours throughout the years, that led me to start Skateshop Day this past February 19th with my friend, Scotty Coats.

Skateshops have always been the cornerstone of skate communities around the globe. Skateshop Day is meant to be the time when the skateboarding community celebrates our cultural hubs. The foundations of every skate scene. The places that bring skaters together and act as the glue for skateboarding as we know it. Skateshop Day is meant to get skaters IN to the shops, to show love to the unsung heroes that do so much for skating all year round; the men and women that float you a bearing, throw in free grip, and always act as an ear or shoulder for any skater. 

Collectively we support skate shops every day, but on February 19th we ask all skateboarders, new and old, to truly celebrate them. (You can read more about SSD at SkateshopDay.com)

It is with that that I ask you all to stand in solidarity with skateshops on 2/19 by turning off your online sales in North America for 24-hours on Skateshop Day and drive people to support your skateshop partners. The hope is we can do this globally in 2022… (Feel free to use these logos to help in your messaging.)

I know this is a financial commitment on your part and I don’t take it lightly. I instead ask you to think about your own skateshop experiences as a kid and the value of those memories and then to think of a world without skateshops for future generations. I hate the thought of it but the reality is that there were a whole lot more shops when Steve and I started NJ in 2003 and with everyone going DTC and CoViD taking its toll on small businesses there might be a whole lot less shops a year from now.

I hope that’s not the case.

Your commitment to going black online for Skateshop Day would be a huge sign for the shops that the industry stands with them.

My goal is to send this message of love from the industry to the shops on Valentine’s Day with a social post and landing page of recognition of all the brands that stand with skateshops on Skateshop Day. This timeline will allow you the entire week (2/14 to 2/20) to engage with the global skateboarding community on social media and share the messaging that your brand supports local skate communities over profits.

I hope the shops can count on your support.

Lastly, I would also hope that, as an industry, we never forget how we have counted on skateshops for the past 40 years to get us where we are today…

Heart you all,



What is Skate Shop Day?

Skate Shop Day, like Record Store Day and Comic Book Store Day, is the day that the skateboard community celebrates our cultural hubs, the foundations of every skate scene, the places that bring skaters together and act as the glue for skateboarding as a whole. Go Skateboarding Day is meant to get skaters OUT skating. Skate Shop Day is meant to get skaters IN to the shops to show love to the unsung heros that do so much for skating the other 364 days of the year. We support skateshops every day but we celebrate them on February 19th.

Who is behind Skate Shop Day?

Two old friends who grew up 3,000 miles apart loving skateboarding and music and spending much of their formative youth dreaming of the world just past their town’s boarders thanks to the images were shared in the magazines found in their local shops, Surf Styles in Mission Viejo, CA and Ollie Pops, (Now called Pro Skateshop) in Howell, NJ. (Read Scotty’s story HERE.) Scotty pursued a life dedicated to music while Chris dedicated his to skateboarding, ultimately opening NJ Skateshop in 2003 with his two childhood friends, Steve Lenardo and Troy Jankowski.

The most beautiful part is there is a collective of skate shop owners from all over the world that will help steer Skate Shop Day so that it can be as impactful and inspiring as possible.

Where is Skate Shop Day heading?

In 2020, Skate Shop Day was born. In 2021, it’ll start to take shape thanks to some to some very special projects from a number of our friends like Deluxe, who already do some much for skate shops with their KNOWN ASSOCIATES program.

In the years to come we envision the greatest brands in skateboarding making exclusive product for skaters that can only be found in core skate shops on Skate Shop Day.

Why February 19th?

Most of the world outside of California has actual winters and February is, historically one of the deadest months for many of the skate shops that battle snowy weather. Skaters and skate shops are always looking for a reason to come together. We wanted to create a reason for skaters to hit the shops in the dead of winter and, “We got a letter from the government the other day, I opened and read it. It said…” President’s Day never made sense for skaters or skate shops to celebrate. So we started our thing. Christmas 2 we like to call it. Or Skate Christmas.

How do I celebrate Skate Shop Day if I don’t have a skate shop near me?

It’s a wonderful time to be alive! The beauty of the now is we all have a skate shop in our pocket. Don’t have a shop near you? Don’t actually want to go out in the snow? Go to the website of any of the shops we follow on Instagram or any skater-owned and operated skate shop on the planet and order a shop shirt and/or hat. (We’re working on a comprehensive skate shop directory for our big push in 2021 but for now, use our follow list or Google.)

Why should I care about Skate Shop Day?

The beauty in picking up a useless wooden toy is that you become indoctrinated into something special, something unlike anything else. You start skating and you instantly have people. You can board a plane with nothing but your skateboard and find the skate shop in whatever town you land in and instantly you will find love. Chances are you’ll have a place to crash and a couch to rest on before night fall. That is not to be taken for granted. There are so many people who live and die alone. If you roll, you will never be alone. You belong to a global community, a secret society and meetings of the highest order always, ALWAYS go down at the skate shop.

You should care because a world without skate shops is not an option.

You should care about skate shops because skate shops care about you.


The above content and images came from the Skate Shop Day website. Be sure to click on the following link to learn more: skateshopday.com We, at Board Retailers Association, absolutely agree with the reasons behind Skate Shop Day as well as the necessity for such a Day and encourage all independent skater owned skate shops to support and celebrate. Perhaps we can push it from a single day of awesomeness to “Skate Shop Week” in 2022. – DW

If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join form

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