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Brockport shop offers refuge for local skaters

by Brianna Bush - Executive Editor
Tue, Oct 1st 2019 11:00 pm
Jaded Skateboards, located at 4 Market St. in Brockport, N.Y., offers a variety of custom skate items, including decks and apparel.
Jaded Skateboards, located at 4 Market St. in Brockport, N.Y., offers a variety of custom skate items, including decks and apparel.

When you think about skate shops, you probably think of Zumiez or other big-name stores monopolizing the skating industry. People do not usually think of skate shops as places to hang out or make connections, but Jaded Skateboards offers a community for skaters as well as the general public. 

Owner of Jaded Skateboards James “Jim” Gommenginger is a Brockport local working at tattoo shop Pink Armadillo as an artist. In touch with his artistic background, Gommenginger decided to open Jaded Skateboards. 

“I’m an artist by nature and I have always been involved in skateboarding in some way or another and doing art for different people,” Gommenginger said. “This was something that I have wanted to do for a number of years and I really wanted to put my best foot forward.” 

Gommenginger explained he loved the independence of skateboarding and that it was seen as “punk” growing up. 

“I was a teen when I grew up in the ’90s, it was different, everybody was different,” Gommenginger explained. “So I was a real standout, wasn’t really popular — when I went to school there were only two or three other people who skated.” 

Gommenginger opened his shop to give people a place to be who they want to be and share his art with those around him. He explained this is something fun for him to do, he never really wanted to make a profit off of it. Gommenginger also offers jobs to residents of the Village of Brockport like Josh Gillette. 

“Working at Jaded [Skateboards] is hands down the coolest and most fun job that I have ever had,” Gillette explained. “As someone who has a deep appreciation for skateboarding and is a giant skateboarding nerd, it is a dream job. My favorite part about working at Jaded is meeting all sorts of different types of people who are all brought together through skateboarding in the local area. There is so much diversity when it comes to the people who walk through the doors of Jaded, but everyone who skates has sort of a silent connection to one another, because we all get what skateboarding means to us.” 

Gillette explained no matter the age, race, ethnicity or background, people who skateboard can find common ground at Jaded Skateboards. 

Recently, Gommenginger added a skate rail to the outside of his shop to attract anyone who happens to walk by. Gillette likes the skate rail in particular because of the new connections made on it everyday. 

“I have seen friendships made every single time people have stopped by to have a skate session on that rail,” Gillette said. “Helping and interacting with the local skateboarding community in any way that I can, whether it be just being there to nerd out on the newest professional skateboarders video part, or setting up someone’s very first skateboard means a lot to me.” 

For Gillette and Gommenginger skateboarding has been an outlet for people like them to relieve the stress of day-to-day tasks. Gillette explained that Jaded Skateboards served as a “hub” for the skating community in Brockport. 

“It already has impacted the skateboarding community,” Gommenginger said. “There are so many new riders out there who I see pushing around every day and that is amazing to see.” 

Over the summer, it was announced skateboarding would be making its debut in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, and Gommenginger shared his opinion on the new revelation. 

“The Olympics is a huge thing,” Gommenginger explained. “I used to see [in the Olympics] football players and the jocks. Now, it’s [skateboarding] awesome. It was cool for when it was for the punk kids or the outcast kids and that got made fun of, but now it’s for everybody and that’s real cool.” 

The Olympics are a big thing for the skateboarding industry, but Gommenginger plans to keep his business small and run as an independent skate shop. 

“I don’t ever want it to get franchised or go to different places,” Gommenginger explained. “I want it to stay a small independent skate shop that makes its own products.” 

Gommenginger explained he has put out a new deck design that he will not have to do it again; he wants to make his business unique. Gommenginger also explained he did not open the shop to make a profit. He said his end goal is not to make a lot of money but to provide his customers with affordable, high quality product. 

Even students who have never heard of Jaded Skateboards plan to utilize the services Gommenginger provides. Brockport student Michael Saladeen had never heard of Jaded Skateboards but explained why he would choose it over a big corporation. 

“I would definitely go there,” Saladeen said. “It’s more down to earth and at home, and they know what they are talking about — opposed to talking to a suit.” 

It shows that even if someone has never heard of a business like Jaded Skateboards, it is a personal versus impersonal atmosphere that draws customers. The small local businesses will remember your name and your face whereas larger corporations see you as a number.

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