The Short Story
Five Stride Skate Shop is New York City’s only full service roller skate shop, with a second location in Portland, OR as of 2017. When we opened our doors in May 2010, we wanted to build a haven for all skaters to be able to feel, touch, and most importantly try on skates. Knowledge and education is one of our core values as the store set out to build a generation of educated consumers who always had a place to turn for an honest opinion. Five Stride is owned by roller derby skaters Bonnie Thunders and OMG WTF but the shop is much more than just derby. We carry a full selection of products for derby, rink, and recreational skaters. From your most basic skate package to a fully customized package assembled in our shop, we’ve got what you want and won’t sell you something you don’t need.
Past, Present, and Future
Roller Derby skaters Bonnie Thunders and OMG WTF were constantly frustrated by the inability to find the perfect skate for their feet. At that time, there were no local options to buy gear. After stumbling upon a tiny 150 square foot retail space for rent down the street from their house, they figured this would be the perfect test site for a skate shop in NYC, and with that, Five Stride was born in early 2010.
Bonnie and OMG were the perfect pair to open the shop. Bonnie’s experience was in competitive ice figure skating so she was knowledgeable about boot fit. OMG is a trained bicycle mechanic who previously owned their own bike shop. Combined with Bonnie’s experience in not for profit organizations, where you do a lot on a small budget, this combination was flawless.
They quickly grew out of the original Astoria, Queens shop and made the move to Brooklyn at the end of 2010. The shop joined the ranks of the Graham Avenue Business District and fellow small businesses, King Kog, The Richardson, and Beaner Bar (RIP), to name a few. As one of the first five brick and mortar derby shops in the country, Five Stride set out to be different. They didn’t want to be a roller derby shop- they wanted to serve all types of roller skaters. With NYC’s rich roller skating history and skating making a come back, they focused on building inventory to serve derby, recreational, and rink skaters at the new shop.
With NYC’s rents always on the rise, Five Stride moved a little further east in 2015 to its current location on Bushwick Ave in East Williamsburg. Then in 2017, the owners hired and trained staff to manage and operate the Brooklyn shop so they could move to Portland, OR to open a second Five Stride location. The PDX location is a hidden gem located in a non-descript brick building without much character just off of Sandy Boulevard in the Kerns neighborhood. The shop is focused on derby but in time, and with the growth of roller skating in Portland, we hope to recreate the diversity of our BK shop in Portland.
Five Stride is more than a shop, it’s a culture, it’s a place to learn, and most importantly- it’s an opinion you can trust.