Boneyard skateshop opens in Opelika

Elliot de Gruiter, manager of the Boneyard skateshop, poses with one of his favorite reissued skate decks now available at his new Opelika shop.

Skateboarding is making a major comeback, particularly in the Auburn-Opelika area. Construction of a skate park is underway in Auburn, so now could be the perfect time for the unfamiliar to grab a board and give it a go.

The city of Opelika now has its own skate shop, the Boneyard, geared at catering to the sport’s popularity.

Owners Charlie Edwards and Chris Mezick, friends for 25 years, decided to open the shop when Edwards found out plans for the Auburn skate park were confirmed.

“I was infatuated with skateboarding as a kid,” Edwards said. “This is something that I have considered doing for a while. I wanted to see kids with skateboards under their feet, as opposed to electronic devices in their hands.”

The Boneyard, at 1300 McCoy St., has a variety of skateboards, longboards and scooters, in addition to apparel.

Elliot de Gruiter was hired to manage the shop after a chance meeting with Edwards, who noticed he was wearing a T-shirt by a popular skate brand at the time. He also shares Edwards’ desire to see kids outside.

“I think it’s weird when I drive down a local neighborhood and there aren’t a ton of kids in the street, because that’s how I grew up,” he said. “I grew up skating to a friend’s house, biking to a friend’s house. We’d spend all day outside and then when streetlights came on, I had to go home.”

De Gruiter said that the shop will offer custom skateboard building as an initial service. Customers will be able to customize every part of their board from the wheels, to the hardware, to the deck (board) itself.

With the shop having a generous amount of warehouse space, Edwards said they plan to build a half pipe, mini-ramp and other obstacles in the open space.

The Boneyard Skate shop is open from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

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