Best Skateboard Shop (2000)

Sub Society
1250 East Apache, Suite 104, Tempe

This shop is the epitome of what's so beautiful about the sport and its enthusiasts. It's independently owned by three skaters in their mid-20s who have put their emphasis squarely on the tools, not the fashion, of skateboarding -- more gear than clothes.

And you won't find snowboarding or, ugh, inline skating paraphernalia. The shop has one focus, skateboarding (well, perhaps two: The motto on its tee shirts reads, "Tonight we drink, Tomorrow we ride").

Freshly reworked so it's not cluttered by racks, Sub Society has found a new aesthetic sensibility inside the front door. It's organized, with one wall of skate decks, one wall of clothing, and a corner dedicated strictly to shoes, plus the requisite couch and TV where skateboarding videos play all day.

The neatness and friendliness of the staff make it parent-friendly, as well. Most representative perhaps is the fact that there's a chess board set up next to the assembly area; these kids are thinking.

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