Tekgnar (née Blondies)
What originally opened in 1987 as Lonestar Skatepark & Pro Shop, Austin's first skatepark, and further evolved into Blondies skate merchandise and entertainment emporium, is now Tekgnar, on MLK at Guadalupe. From this vantage point, shop owner Laurie Pevey has witnessed Austin's skate and music communities evolve for the past 13 years.
"People are starting to recognize skateboarding as a sport with exceptionally good, confident, extremely coordinated, and fit athletes," says Pevey.
Tekgnar sells skateboards, exclusively: All things skateboard, no snowboards, no rollerblades (or as Pevey says, We haven't sold out!). In addition to the boards and accessories, they carry a line of skate-friendly and skate-inspired clothing.
We don't sell foo-foo fashion. We sell board shorts, swimsuits, caps, T-shirts. It's what you might call Austin-wear, says Pevey.
Their main focus, though, is the boards themselves. They've done their homework, and it doesn't matter if you're doe-eyed and 13 or looking for your 35th birthday present, these folks will set you up and get you a-flyin' down the street. For an average of $140, Tekgnar will help you find the board and safety gear that's perfect for you. They got the gear, the instructional videos, and most importantly, the patience. In my experience, it is rare to find a skate shop with an open attitude toward anyone curious about the sport, so Tekgnar gets a big fucken rock on for being cool to everyone who walks through their door.
Pevey says that the shop doesn't see many girls or women who are buying for themselves -- maybe one or two a month. Interestingly enough, it seems things are changing. After I first spoke to Pevey, she reported that the very next weekend the store had sold three boards to girls and that one dad came in to buy one for his six-year-old daughter.
It's growing. We're seeing younger girls, Pevey says enthusiastically, Not college-age girls, but younger girls: junior high, pre-driver's-license age!