Stepping in to the Boardriders store in Phoenix Market City, Mumbai, is like getting punched in the face by the 1990s, as you might expect from a large shop dedicated to skateboarding and surfer culture. The array of boardshorts, high-tops and loose-fit checked shirts might dial you back to an era when music videos were still a relevant art form. But Boardriders is retail paradise for athletes, beach bums and fans of slacker chic. Most intriguingly, the store’s centrepiece is a 3x6m skate ramp, where skateboarders can come to learn, practise or goof around. The store assures us that it is one of only eight such “concept stores" in the world, and the first in Asia.
This may be the best store yet in Mumbai for shoppers who want authentic surf fashion. Boardriders stocks clothing and accessories from Quiksilver, as well as DC—whose range of flat-soled skate shoes look scrumptious—and womenswear brand Roxy. The store’s options for men currently outweigh those for women, but all the fashion on display looks sassy and sporty, and much more versatile than the sort of sportswear you’re likely to find at your regular, single-brand sneaker store. There are enough shorts, flip-flops, beach bags and swimsuits here to last through several months of sun and sweat, which makes it a good place to check out even if you aren’t spending summer in Baja California.
You can buy Quiksilver, Roxy and Cartel brand skateboards, and the store’s staff can offer solid advice on whether you should be buying a stunt board, a cruiser or a ramp board, depending on how (and where) you plan to use it. They’re also actively building skate teams and momentum for a championship, so skaters or aficionados looking for a community of board fanatics might do worse than stop by.
While there’s no dearth of surf gear, the surfboards themselves aren’t currently anything to write home about. When we visited, four of the five boards on display were damaged, presumably dented while shipping out. The store assures us that new stock will be coming in soon, but anyone looking to get started early on their beach holidays will have to wait until that happens.
Boardriders offers a variety of skateboards with prices ranging from ₹ 3,500 to ₹ 6,500. Surfboards start at ₹ 17,000 and go up to ₹ 35,000.
The Boardriders store opened this month at Phoenix Market City, LBS Marg, Kurla, Mumbai.