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September 19, 1996 - Image 19

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-19

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-16B The Michigan Daily Wee d Magazine -- Thursdayeptember 19,1996

9' 9 9S

9

The Michigan Dy Weekend Ma

Cover Story
Skateboarding flourishes
while remaining illegal

® About Town

Steve and Barry's relocates, creates
world's largest 'M' clothing outlet

By Kari Jones
Daily Arts Writer
Imagine a world where playing foot-
ball was illegal. Millions of rebel kids
would dart through back alleys, tossing
around footballs while they ran from
the police. The University would shut
down for lack of funding. People would
have to find a new reason to get drunk
on Saturday afternoons.
Now imagine a world where rolling
down the street on a skateboard was
illegal. It's not too difficult - you're
standing in it.
"If you didn't have a football field or a
basketball court, you'd see people play-
ing in the streets;' said LSA senior and
10-year skating veteran Enrique Cesar.
"But they have parks where you can play
football and basketball and tennis. Why?
llecause it's socially acceptable?"
Although the popularity of skate-
boarding seems to have exploded in
recent years (who would've thought
extreme skaters would show up on
ESPN?), there are currently no skate-
boarding parks in or around the Ann
Arbor area. Veteran's Memorial Park,
located near the corner of Jackson and
Stadium, had a multi-level ramp
(including a 12-foot vert ramp), open
for a few years in the early '90s, but it
was closed due to "lack of use."
"We were down to where there were
about five people from Ann Arbor using
it," said Richard Schiller, facility super-
.visor for the park. "It's a skilled activity
... There's just not that many people
*Athat will drop .iat l2 feet"
Becaus there are -no skreparks

"The people in
cha;rge of making
the lawsn . . .
definitely not
skateboarding,.
-- David Stockwell
Architecture Senior
nearby, many local skaters are "taking it
to the streets." Unfortunately, they are
also "taking it to the wallet" if they get
caught because it is illegal to skate on
sidewalks in downtown areas. Unlike
rollerblading, skateboarding in these
places can draw tickets that normally
range around $5, but could (in rare
cases) go as high as $75, said Ann Arbor
bicycle patrol officer Martin Morales.
"Those kids are awesome - they can
flip over trash cans and everything,"
Morales said. "But they can't stop ...
With rollerblades, you have stopping
power. With skateboards, you don't."
Anyone who has ever been plowed
into by a first-time rollerblader might
question their complete "stopping
power," and Morales did admit that "the
skateboarders were the ones that were
picked on because when the laws were
made, rollerblading wasn't that popular."
Architecture senior David Stockwell
agrees and says that perhaps the reason
-"the Man" gets down on skateboarders,

and not rollerbladers is because "the
Man" is out there rollerblading, too.
"I think they use the fact that skate-
boarding might be a little bit dangerous
to let them have their rules. Sixty-year-
old people are out there rollerblading.
The people in charge of making the
laws are out there with rollerblades.
They're definitely not out skateboard-
ing," he said.
Stockwell skated when he was younger
and picked it up again a few years ago. He
considers it "a social sport" that may have
as much to do with hanging out as it does
with physical activity.
"In some ways that's good and in
some ways that's bad," Stockwell said.
Apparently, it's cool to travel in the
same circles with people you have
something in common with, but
Stockwell said he has run into skaters
who fell a little too deep into the skating
counter-culture and became "too cool
for their Vans."
Whether it justifies laws or not,
skateboarding is indeed "a little bit dan-
gerous"-as 19-year-old Ypsilanti res-
ident Matt Leismer illustrated with his
long list of past skating injuries. "I've
had a broken elbow, broken wrist, both
ankles sprained in the same week," he
said.
"I broke my arm, my ankle. I hurt my
tailbone really bad," Cesar added. "Falling
on steel hurts. Falling 12 feet onto steel on
your hip is not very friendly."
While skating may not be for the
meek, Cesar pointed out that there are
many dangerous sports and life in gen-
eral isn't always safe.
"If you listen to people who say skat-
ing is a dangerous sport, playing foot-
ball is dangerous. Playing tennis, I
mean, did you see what happened to
Monica Seles? It's dangerous.
Everything is dangerous!"he said.
Impending danger doesn't seem to

By Anita Chik
Daily Staff Reporter
Steve and Barry's University
Sportswear opened last Friday, occupy-
ing the long-empty store space on 303
South State Street. "We (were) running
out of space in our (old) location
(across the street)," said Bob Duerksen,
manager of the Ann Arbor store. "(The
new store) is going to be four times the
size as the old store."
According to Duerksen, the present
store is only 1,500 sq. feet, while the
new store is 14,000 sq. feet, leaving
more space for a larger assortment of
merchandise.
"We want to create a great Michigan
store, much bigger than anywhere else,"
said Steve Shore, co-owner of Steve
and Barry's. "I've never seen any col-
lege store just devoted to one universi-
ty's clothing."
The new store has two floors. The
first floor is similar to the old store,
which maintains a collection of "buy-
one-get-one-free" T-shirts and sweat-
shirts. The second floor contains dif-
ferent areas, including a kids' collec-
tion and a bathroom section.
Shore said the new store has installed
32 speakers and 11 televisions on both
floors, aiming to create an upbeat
atmosphere for customers.
Shore stated he and his partner,
Barry Prevor, have always wanted to
expand the existing store. He said the
bigger space allows them to include "an
unparalleled selection of designs and
merchandise." He said they have waited
for nearly three years to get the space
where their new store is located, adding
that the store's leasing agent was picky

about to which business they rented
their space.
"Once (the rental agency) knew that
we are able to run a good store," Shore
said, "they felt comfortable dealing
with us and rented the space to us"
Prevor said he and Shore established
their first university sportswear store
at the University of Pennsylvania.
They then opened about eight more
stores on seven campuses. The too are
also planning to open another new
store at the University of Illinois next
month,
"We always liked Ann Arbor," Shore
said. "(The University has) a combina-
tion of great athletic programs and top
academic reputation (which) makes us
want to involve our business here."
Prevor and Shore said they became
friends when they were 15 years old.
Prevor said they met each other on a
bus trip for a summer camp program
which joined kids from different
cities together. He said Shore only
lived about 20 miles away from him.
"We used to sell T-shirts in flea mar-
kets. We used to buy a lot of misprints
after events are over," Prevor said. "By
doing so, we got to visit a lot of print-
ers, and we learned a lot about printing
(T-shirts). It's natural that we are both at
this business."
Prevor said they were partners at flea
markets for about six years, and they
have had their own stores for about 12
years now.
Shore said the previous flea market
experience helped him develop his
interest in selling clothing today. He
joked about how he and Prevor were
"cheap guys" who learned from their

street selling experience to always keep
their costs lo .
Prevor, who graduated from the
Wharton School of Busniess at the
University of Pennsylvania, said not
all business concepts he learned in
college were applicable in a real busi-
ness.
"I think college puts you in a mind-
set of getting the ability to learn,'
Prevor said. "Most of what you learn
about business happens when you stay
in that business. College is not a trade
school. You have to learn by experi-
ence."
While many people may wonder
why "Steve and Barry's" is the store's
name, Shore said they used their own
first names because they were more
original and unique. He also said the
names made them feel more account-
able to their store, reminding them to
take full responsibility for their own
stores.
Regarding future promotional
strategies, Shore and Prevor said they
have planned to continue their "buy-
one-get-one-free" policy, as well as
advertising on banners that will fly
over the University's football games.
"The store will sell itself," Prevor
said. "Hopefully, people will be over-
whelmed. They will tell their friends
and families. Hopefully, people will
come that way."

Steve and Barry's new supe

JENNIFER BRADLEY-SWIFT/Daily
A skateboarder jumps over a trashcan in the street in front of his house.

be scaring any kids away from the
sport. In fact, several local skaters
expressed a wish that someone
would build a skate park in the Ann
Arbor area. Matt Powers, 19, from
Ypsilanti, would like to see some-
thing along the lines of Burnside (a
huge and fairly famous skate park in
Portland, OR).
"I think (the idea of building a park)
is great because the kids are always ask-
ing for one," Morales said. "If they gave
them a park with rails and stuff, it
would be great. It would be used."

Schiller actually hasn't ruled out
the possibility of re-opening the
Veteran's Memorial Park ramp under
certain conditions. "We have not torn
it down, and we have talked to differ-
ent people about selling it. We also
talked to different people about what
it would take to modernize it," he
said.
And if nothing ever changes, local
skaters will probably continue to skate
where and when they can. Hey, some
people stand still in a world without
skating. Some people roll through it.

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