Alliance: We hear Anoka is the Halloween capital of the United States. How did the town earn that honor?
Pinewski’s Ski and Board Shop: Back in the day there were too many pranksters tipping over outhouses and letting cows loose to roam the streets, so a parade and festivities were created to keep them out of trouble. I think it’s the numerous graveyards, an old insane asylum, the native burial grounds, and the history of gangster activity from the 1920’s.
A: The shop is celebrating a pretty cool milestone this year. How long has the shop been around?
PSBS: We are very blessed and proud to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year!
A: How did it all get started for Pinewski’s?
PSBS: Dan’s dream of owning his own ski shop came true in 1987 when he converted an 800 square-foot office space into a part-time downhill ski tuning and accessory shop.
A: When did water-based activities hit the showroom floor of Pinewski’s?
PSBS: The success of the shop could only be reached if we were open year-round. In 1989 Dan quit his job and took Pinewski’s full-time into the summer selling waterskis and kneeboards. Then the summer of 1993 wakeboards made their debut.
A: Pinewski’s is one of the largest brick and mortar specialty retail stores in the Midwest. Why hasn’t Pinewski’s jumped on the online-store craze?
PSBS: We believe building a relationship with the customer and reinvesting back into the community is important for longevity. The 3/50 Project is a study that revealed 68% of every $100 spent at local and independent stores will go back into the local and state economies (taxes, payroll, utilities), whereas online sales report a near 0% return*. Plus, we like to hear stories about people landing their first BS 7, TS 5, or even getting up for the first time.
A: Tell us about your annual Wake Demo Days. How is it different this year?
PSBS: We started doing a wakeboard demo every year to give riders a chance to try new product, help local riders progress and give newbs a chance to try wakeboarding and riding behind a wakeboard boat. This year we’re partnering with Vision Wake Park to get people out on Minnesota’s only cable system.
A: What brands can we expect to see in the shop?
PSBS: Ronix/Radar, Slingshot, HO/Hyperlite, Liquid Force, D3, and Manoff’s Pro-Model if it ever makes it to production!
A: Over all the years of buying, what’s the one product you wish you wouldn’t have carried in Pinewski’s?
PSBS: (Laughs) Soap shoes and Sled Dogs.
A: The Midwest has its fair share of awesome wakeboarders. Which wakers do Pinewski’s support?
PSBS: Josh Tranby is our main rider. He’s got several Red Bull Winch Session Episodes to his name, and is a huge advocate for wakeboarding and snowboarding in this area. Mike Liddle is also a fast rising rider of ours. He’s got a couple photos in Unleashed, has one of the smoothest styles around, and rides a lot with the Red Bull crew.
A: Has Pinewski’s considered selling boats? Why or why not?
PSBS: No, we don’t have the space. Plus we don’t need snotty customers complaining about not having enough cup holders.
A: Despite the current economic challenges, how does Pinewski’s continue to grow?
PSBS: The love, passion, and dedication our employees have for the shop is immeasurable. We constantly find different and unique ways to create hype and excitement through comps, events, demos, and social gatherings. This has created a very loyal customer base responsible for our survival in these slow economic times.
A: Pinewski’s has a great motto. What is it and why is it so important?
PSBS: “Without Roots, the Whole Tree Dies” was adopted and altered from a Consolidated skateboard ad. We feel it represents our mission and obligation to our customers and vendors. That, in addition to having the correct product (not the most) and having a staff that takes pride in Pinewski’s are the roots we’ve grown from. Plus Dan is the greatest guy to work for.
A: Word on the street is Pinewski’s is still keeping the inline scene alive. How’s aggressive inline rollerblading these days?
PSBS: Yo no hablo inglés
Pinewski’s Ski & Board Shop
546 W. Main St.
Anoka, MN 55303