Dale Struble doesn’t consider skateboarding a sport or a hobby — it’s a way of life.
“The feeling it gives me is hard to answer,” Struble said. “It’s like me asking you how you feel when you wake up.”
Struble has planted his passion for skateboarding on the square with the opening of Thrasherville Skateshop, located at 119 Bradford St., a couple of storefronts down from Imperial Records Cooperative.
The business sells all of the necessary equipment for someone to put together a skateboard, including decks, wheels, bearings and trucks. Thrasherville additionally has merchandise like hats, T-shirts, and boards reissued from the ‘80s.
Struble takes pride in his store. He said he doesn’t want to sacrifice the quality of his products in order to sell cheap skateboard equipment.
The skateboards range from $40-$110, depending on the style.
“If I go out to a skate park and see my shop deck or shop board that somebody has bought from me, I want it to be good,” Struble said. “Me being different heights and different weights, there’s nothing here I wouldn’t put in my own set-up.”
Struble actively served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years in San Diego, where he worked on airplanes. He stayed in the aviation field for 26 years and “hated every day of it.”
His true love lies with skateboarding, a passion that started when he was 9.
After talking about opening a skate shop for years, Struble finally decided to take the plunge.
Struble said he couldn’t have done it without his wife, Jacquelyn. She helps with the business side of the store, and came up with the idea to place astro-turf on the floor.
The name “Thrasherville” pays homage to Struble’s connection to Atlanta. The city served as his skateboarding stomping grounds for over 12 years.
Struble, who lives in Flowery Branch, plans to foster a skateboarding community in Hall County. He envisions his shop as a place where kids and adults can hang out and feel comfortable.
“Skate shops bring the community and skateboarding together,” Struble said. “People get to actually know the skateboarders and they realize these people aren’t that bad, they're just trying to do what they’re passionate about.”
The new skate park coming to midtown Gainesville will add more fire to Struble’s goal of building a skateboarding community. It’s set to go near the water tower on the corner of High Street and Pine Street.
Julie Butler-Colombini, spokeswoman for Gainesville Parks and Recreation, said the 20,000-square-foot skate park will be finished in early 2020.
“Fencing is going up now and there’s movement on the site,” she said. “This is very exciting and the community really needs this.”
Thrasherville Skateshop’s hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.