How long have you been in business?
We opened July 7, 2012.
Can you explain how the idea for a store came to be?
When the Parks Dept bulldozed the Ben Soto Skatepark. Angelica and I decided to open an indoor skatepark. Through all of our research, we learned we would need a shop to help keep the skatepark open.
Who owns the shop?
Angelica and I. We met riding street on Staten Island about 10 years ago and we have been together ever since then. It’s a real rider owned company like Animal Bikes.
Who works there?
Angelica and I. But there are a lot of people who work / help out here. Bupsy (Marc Kachtan) is practically a partner. We call him the CTO. Tom and Chris Nazzaro, Alex Avilla and Vin Crispino are our go-to guys whenever we need a hand.
What events have you done at 5050 Skatepark in the past few years?
We really focus most of our time on events. This place would not be here without holding events. It’s a lot of work but it is instrumental to keep a business alive. The last major event was the 5050 Animal Jam. It was a lot of fun. We made custom shirts and signs.
NEMS X DANSE “Skavenger” video, filmed at 5050 Skatepark.
What changes have you noticed in the scene since the shop opened?
The scene has exploded. There are new riders in here every week.
What does 5050 Skatepark offer that mail-order doesn’t?
We have an online store also. I think it’s better to go into the store and see what you are getting, and see the business you are supporting. It’s different with BMX. Everybody knows each other. That’s why I try to always support rider owned businesses.
Top three best-selling Animal products:
Animal black Hamilton Pedals, Animal Headsets, and Edwin Grips.
Strangest experience selling an Animal product:
The guy next door to us works at a lighting store he bought pegs and grips. He says he rides street. I could never imagine him riding street., but I guess you can’t judge a book by its cover.
Why carry Animal?
Because Ralph Sinisi is a pioneer in BMX. Especially for the East Coast. Now he has graduated to a professional business man, and he hasn’t forgotten where he came from. He’s always reinvesting into the company, working to give us a great product and innovate BMX.
What’s something you never expected to happen after opening 5050 Skatepark?
That 4 months later we would get hit with Super Storm Sandy, and we would have to rebuild it all over again.
Any future plans for the shop?
Just grow and try to adapt to the ever changing BMX Scene.
How many trends have you seen come and go since you have been open?
Well now we are in the cat/ pot trend. I think the cat thing is cute. My option on the pot trend isn’t so positive. I feel it’s making us lose whatever respect we were getting from society. Riders don’t care about the younger generation who looks up to them. It seems like riders just want to express themselves, not knowing that all of their Instgram and Twitter followers are mostly young kids and want to be just like them. These young kids think that they have to smoke weed, drink alcohol, and smoke cigarettes to be as good as they are. And that’s simply not the case. Look at Scotty Crammer, he has never did a drug in his life and can do just about anything.
If you can have one BMX product that doesn’t exist yet what would it be?
Brakes without cables. Ha.
Where do you see the shop in ten years?
I hope we are still here, really. I hope the sport can stand the test of time. There is no strength without unity. Support your sport.
All photos courtesy of Chris Marshall and 5050 Skatepark.