FishBrains Skate shop opened its doors in Asheville, North Carolina, providing a fresh and inclusive haven for inline and quad skaters alike. With prior experience at Ohio Surf & Skate in Dayton, OH, during the late 90s, FishBrains founder Mark Thalman had always nurtured the dream of having his own shop. Fondly reminiscing about the good old days, he recalls a memorable video premiere for Brain Fear Gone at Ohio Surf & Skate. “I helped film Omar Wysong’s section, and it was one of the best days. I just wanted to get back to that kind of life,” said Mark.
Related: Inline Skate Shops Worldwide Guide
A Dream Two Years in The Making
To guarantee the success of his shop, Mark began his journey two years ago, first with thorough research, followed by enrolling in business classes. He meticulously composed a comprehensive business plan and secured the necessary funding. And just like that, FishBrains skate shop became a reality carrying Rollerblade inline skates, Moxi roller skates, wheels from Hydrogen and Dead, and 187 safety pads, and he plans on adding even more stock from different brands. The store does not plan on selling online, instead, FishBrains will focus on growing the local community.
A Focus on Community Building
Asheville, a vibrant and trendy city, boasts thriving inline and quad skating scenes. With three excellent skateparks situated nearby, park skating has gained immense popularity. Additionally, the city has constructed numerous paved trails and pathways ideal for recreational skaters, with plans to add even more. FishBrains has a unique opportunity to foster Asheville’s inline and quad skating community and help the scenes grow by encouraging more people to get into skating.
Mark’s primary focus is to serve as a community hub and gathering spot for skaters of every skill level. While he has plans to host events and sponsor skaters in the future, the main goal is to create a welcoming space where skaters can come together, learn, and foster the growth of the sports they are passionate about. “The quad community here in Asheville is very active and needed a place to help them get parts and accessories when needed. I think the communities mesh well, so I was excited to help service both aspects of skating”, Mark added.
Furthermore, the shop will attract people off the streets to learn about skating and possibly discover a new passion. Mark says, “Having access to shops creates more skaters. It’s important to be able to talk to people about skating; that’s how I got into it, so I’d love to pay it forward.” To make it even more enticing for those uncertain or wanting to experience skating before making a purchase, FishBrains intends to establish a rental program. This program will provide a variety of skates for people to try out on the city’s greenways and trails.