In the early 1980s, teenager Peter Ducommun moved from Nanaimo to Vancouver to open PD’s Hot Shop with his late brother Rick, who later moved to Los Angeles for a career in comedy and acting.
Now world-renowned, Skull Skates produces skateboards in smaller runs by choice.
“Our stuff is made in Canada,” said Peter Ducommun. “It’s worth saying because unfortunately the majority of the industry, I’m talking sort of 90 per cent now, make their skateboards in places like China and Mexico. We don’t necessarily care where they’re made. It’s just that when you take something offshore and produce it in a large quantity, as most of the other brands do, it’s very difficult to maintain any kind of quality control at a level that we’d like to keep it at.”
PD’s Hot Shop has two locations in British Columbia, in Vancouver and Qualicum Beach and one in Japan, said Ducommun.
“We’ve always been connected with the music scene,” he said. “Which is how we got into putting out boards for different bands, but that’s something that our Japan shop has really picked up and run with. They do, I think, two to four major national tours a year with several bands. It could be six to eight bands and half-a-dozen different dates.”
Host Peter McCully asked Ducommun if still takes the occasional ride on the board at age 60.
“As long as I’m breathing, I’m going ride a skateboard,” he said. “It’s one of those things that once it enters your system, it’s a hard thing to shake. I like to skate as much as I can. I don’t skate in the rain and I don’t do the kind of things that I used to do, but it doesn’t matter, man.”
If you have suggestions or comments, send a voice message to firstname.lastname@example.org you may be part of our audio podcast mailbag segment.