The Spot: 13-Year-Old Momentum Ride Shop Welcomes a New Era of Skating
Evan Caples, former pro-surfer, father of pro-skater Curren Caples, and owner of Momentum Ride Shop in Hueneme, California, is on the phone with Green Label. It's about twenty minutes into our conversation and the vibe has gone from sorta straight-faced to totally stoked: the businessman has given way to the life-long boardrider.
"The progression that's happening on both the surf and skate side of things is just amazing," says Caples. "Who thought people would be paddling into 70-foot waves, you know what I mean? And guys doing 720s on a surfboard and taking skateboarding into the water?"
In the 13 years since Momentum opened its doors, Caples has seen both sports—both cultures—explode, contract, evolve, and progress. In fact the vanguard of skateboarding has been hanging out at his shop for years: son Curren and longtime cohort/hella rad skater Louie Lopez were on the Momentum team long before they were the toast of the international skate community.
"I really like the ability to help guys come up that have talent, that are good kids, that have aspirations to do something in skateboarding,” Caples tells us. “I love when I'm presented with the opportunity to get someone sponsored."
"It's near and dear to my heart. I grew up and became a pro surfer. I see the importance of having somebody behind the scenes to see help you navigate that maze and make the right decisions. But more than anything I love being part of that process, handing that sponsor-me tape to the right person, getting that person hooked up."
Caples' love for the sports and their lifestyles trumps trends or nostalgia or the too-cool-for-school nay-saying that can creep into the tone of veteran retailers. The balancing act that is running a board shop in the 21st, balancing the athletics with the aesthetics with the economics is a challenge that Caples relishes.
"I'm all about new people getting into skateboarding. I think we all need it, even if they're posers."
Caples chuckles just enough to underscore the absurdity in not welcoming newcomers into the sport.
"Hopefully through some education you get 'em in, you stoke 'em out. And, hopefully, if they turn into real skaters they'll figure it out."