Did you know? Plymouth has its very own family-owned and -operated snowboard, skateboard and longboard shop, Create-A-Board, where customers get to not only customize their board, but get to help physically piece it together.
Owner Heather McCracken-Iverson was inspired to open the shop after she noticed how uninvolved her kids were when she took them to get skateboards 4 years ago. “All you did at these stores was point to what you wanted,” she says. After spying the Plymouth location off Old Rockford Road, McCracken-Iverson and her husband Derek Iverson felt this was a perfect opportunity to create something where kids would be able to “touch” what they wanted; Create-A-Board, an independently owned and operated shop, opened in June 2011.
Based on McCracken-Iverson’s initial impetus for opening the shop—her kids’ experiences—she predictably finds it important to talk with customers one-on-one to find out what they want their board to do and to become. Even for those who have never considered creating a skateboard before, McCracken-Iverson assists through every step of the process, and in case you need more guidance, there are numbers on the concrete floor of Create-A-Board guiding you to the various design stations. Customers fine-tune and hand-pick everything—from picking out a deck (what you stand on) to choosing a grip tape (so you don’t slide off) to attaching the trucks (axle-like structures), and the wheels and bearings.
“It’s a very fun process,” says McCracken-Iverson, sharing an anecdote of a 20-year-old college student customer who came in for the first time, and two little-kid regulars helped him put everything together.
Create-A-Board carries 35-40 different wheels—different ones are required for skating in parks versus streets and for doing tricks; and those are just the wheels! What this wide variety of products means for customers is that newer boarders or skaters can end up with equipment that costs as little as $55, and experienced riders can get a high-quality board for about $200. “The price depends on what the person picks,” says McCracken-Iverson.
To ensure customers walk away happy and comfortable with their new board, she has customers try out their board right in the store. Her basic thought: You shouldn’t have to break in a customized skateboard. Create-A-Board also stocks helmets, pads, T-shirts, beanies, and accessories like wax and stickers, and also does some repair work on snowboards.
Perhaps the most exciting thing for serious skaters and snowboarders to know is that Create-A-Board sponsors its customers—seven skateboarders and two snowboarders, currently.
“The skateboarding stigma of skaters being troublemakers is not true,” Heather McCracken-Iverson says. “These are nice, polite and fun kids with talent. [A sponsorship] gives kids a sense of pride and helps them have a passion and [a chance to] be outside.”