BOARD AF: Lifelong Littlehampton friends launch new all-in-one skateboard shop and brand
Littlehampton friends who have built a community of skateboarders through their free coaching have launched a new all-in-one shop and brand.
Josh Lane and Mark Harfield launched BOARD AF, standing for Board And Free, at Littlehampton Skatepark to help bring people together and teach them how to skate.
They have been running free weekly coaching sessions and a pop-up shop with branded t-shirts and equipment.
Lifelong friends who grew up in the town, they wanted to give something back to the community.
Josh said: “It all comes from having skateboarding in our lives. We want to be positive role models. We love Littlehampton and it is like California now.
“We never had skateparks like they have today. This is great for Littlehampton, it is bringing people in from all over.
“At the beginning of the year, we decided to give back, ten to 15 hours a week, to skateboarding. What has happened over the course of the year is that we have helped 150 people learn to skate for free and we have built up a community.
“What we have done is merge the community in skateboarding and it is just going to grow. You actually feel what community is.”
The Sunday sessions see around 80 young people gathering to skate and as a result of the community Josh and Mark have built, there are more than 1,000 people interacting constantly.
Josh said: “Skating can be very hard to learn and we just wanted to help. You should see how many young boys and girls are able to come along and just skate together now. The community aspect is great.”
With the growing interest in skating and the success of the BOARD AF community, Josh and Mark decided it was time to launch a proper start-up business, a skate company and a brand, all in one.
They launched the new skate shop with a 3ft-high indoor mini ramp at Unit G, Five Stones, Littlehampton, with a Halloween party on Sunday.
There are more than 250 products in the shop, which is open 10am to 9pm seven days a week, and lessons and private hire are available. Visit www.boardaf.co.uk for more information.