By Léo Azambuja
A mover and a shaker, but above all a hardcore skateboarder, Cameron Lovelace is all about rolling. His shop is thriving at a storefront location on Kuhio Highway in Kapa‘a, after changing locations three times.
Yes I Kaua‘i Skateshop, the only strictly skateboarding store on the island, opened more than four years ago in a tiny corner space in Old Kapa‘a Town.
“It was in the back, it was pretty small, I didn’t have a lot of products,” Lovelace said of his first location. “But there was also rarely any skaters back then.”
It didn’t matter, back in those days, he realized there wasn’t a skate shop supporting skaters on Kaua‘i, so he just figure he would “give it a go and see what happens.”
And what happened is that the store grew over the years, moved around due to business demands, and has fathered two local skateboarding brands, producing decks, wheels, clothing and apparel. All this helped to catapult the sport on the island to a whole new level.
“There are lot more kids skating now,” Lovelace said. Most of his traffic is from locals, and he hears about new backyard ramps popping all over the place.
His business definitely had something to do with it. Yes I has organized and sponsored many skateboarding contests. The last one, two months ago in Kilauea, had about 40 kids in it. The next contest, yet to be announced, is planned for after the holidays.
For a couple years now, Yes I Kaua‘i has produced its own skate decks and clothing apparel. With about 10 team riders, Lovelace is currently shooting a skate video all about Kaua‘i.
The success has been such that he branched out and created a second brand, Coconut Skate Company, which also has decks, clothing and apparel, plus its own line of skateboarding wheels.
“I always want to do more and more,” Lovelace said. “I’m not happy with just keeping it normal, I always want to make something new.”
Yes I Kaua‘i is already geared for the holiday season.
“The whole month of December we’re going to have a lot of new products coming in.” said Lovelace, adding there will be new designs joining a recently added line of reflective clothing, with T-shirts, hoodies and hats.
One of many ways Yes I supports local skateboarders is by keeping it affordable. A complete skateboard by a popular brand sells for about $150. However, a complete set up with a Yes I Kaua‘i deck and Coconut Skate wheels, just as good as any known brand, is only about $110.
Lovelace says skateboarding is just like surfing, an escape from our everyday lives.
“Just have fun and skate with friends, it’s not about who’s the best,” he said. “It’s all about fun, fun with your friends.”
Yes I Kaua‘i is at 4-901 Kuhio Hwy. A, and can be reached at 222-5076.