What: Premiere of “Since One Day” skateboard film
When: 6:30 tonight
Where: System Skateboarding, 305 McCaslin Blvd., Louisville
Etc.: The event is a fundraiser for the Johnny Kicks Cancer Foundation
L OUISVILLE — It seems Oakland Childers’ fate was sealed when he took up skateboarding on his ninth birthday.
Childers and his wife, Melissa, co-own System Skateboarding in Louisville, which opened last month at 305 McCaslin Blvd. and hosts a skate-film premiere tonight to raise money for the Johnny Kicks Cancer Foundation.
Oakland Childers said he loved skating, which wasn’t very popular when he was growing up in Delaware, and he met his future bride in a Delaware skate shop when they were in their 20s.
After following a career in journalism, commuting to New York to write for a skating magazine, Oakland Childers ended up moving to Colorado in 1996 to be with Melissa, who had already moved here.
“I had a lot of time to think on the train,” he said.
Oakland Childers — former managing editor of the Colorado Daily — said he always wanted to open a skate shop and he finally took the opportunity; the couple signed the lease for the building in December.
The 1,700-square-foot space isn’t far from the Louisville skatepark, but that wasn’t the Childers’ first priority; they wanted to set up shop in a plaza that was easy to get to and on a high-volume street, Melissa Childers said. They looked at a few spots along McCaslin Boulevard.
“We really wanted something on McCaslin. It’s such a thoroughfare,” she said. “It’s like Goldilocks. Some are too small, some are too big.”
And this space was just right. Well, almost.
The Childers gutted the space and took two months to renovate the building, removing the low ceiling, building a store room and choosing to place very little on the walls — apart from the flat-screen TV — so the products “could be the color of the shop,” Melissa Childers said.
System Skateboarding carries most major brands from about 60 different companies, Oakland Childers said.
He also offers 30 different brands of skateboards and always has more than 100 boards in stock, and nearly all of the decks cost $50.
“We wanted to sell kids skateboards at a simple, fair price,” Oakland Childers said.
He also plans to sell a “shop deck” which will run less than that.
Oakland Childers said he is excited to see municipalities so willing to create skate parks for kids, an opportunity he didn’t have.
“The people of this area really have a world-class skate park in Lafayette. The Louisville skatepark is OK and the skatepark in Lafayette is out of control,” he said. “Both of them are way better than anything I ever had growing up.
“You could walk the country and find baseball diamonds and soccer fields,” he added. “Go try and find a skate park and you would be out of luck. To see municipalities build skate parks for kids is wonderful and fair.”