by Madison V. Fisler
Jan. 15, 2014. For many people, snowboarding and skateboarding are a beloved past time that helps them recharge, compete and have a great time year round. Not many people, however, get to say that they get to make a living out of their passion every single day.
For Ashley and J.P Pardy, owners of Recess Skate and Snowboard shop in Boone, what started out as an unbridled passion for snowboarding and skateboarding grew into their own business.
“I have been doing this pretty much forever, since I was about 13,” said J.P. Pardy, who attended Appalachian State University prior to starting his own business.
“I worked for another company for about 7 years, and then another skate shop closed down in Boone and we saw our chance. In 2009, we got this space and started it all up. In fact, for the first three years we lived above the shop to make things work.”
The dedication for the sports and their customers doesn’t stop with J.P. Ashley Pardy, who graduated from UNC Greensboro, found her passion in the walls of the shop as well.
“I think my favorite part is helping new customers,” Ashley said.
“We are the only year round store around here, and we have a ton of loyal customers. We really love making sure that our customers get the right equipment for them, regardless of whether they are just starting out or are competitive riders.”
Recess offers much more than just snowboards and skateboards for sale.
“We really are the local lifestyle shop,” said J.P. “We have skateboard and snowboard equipment, but we also have apparel, and we do equipment repairs and full tuning too. We even have a small rental fleet.”
The shop has grown from its humble beginnings into the “go-to” shop for local riders who are looking for exceptional service and great product.
“Our customers know what to expect when they come here,” J.P. said. “We have a huge following of loyal customers that we really wouldn’t be here without. In this community, word of mouth is a big deal so once you establish a reputation as a great shop, word gets out fast.”
But Recess does a lot of things outside of the walls of the shop too. The shop is involved with community events such as last year’s Cyclo-via, numerous annual snowboarding competitions on the ski mountains that help the young crowd get into the competitive spirit and the established riders strut their stuff, and even a small team of six riders who are sponsored by the shop.
“We make sure the guys have the equipment they need, and help them get company sponsors,” said J.P. “We like to keep the team small so we can give everyone as much attention as they need. Our shop team has riders from 13 into their late 20s, and we love to help out students with projects or whatever they need. The more the merrier!”
Recess is also known for their on-site skate ramp, which they allow riders to ride for free.
“Boone is a tough place for skateboarding, and we wanted to provide a place for people to skate legally,” Ashley said.
The ramp opened up for riders in the summer of 2012.
“We needed to get people somewhere to skate,” said J.P. “Anywhere really. So we built the ramp. And it’s free, so it gives everyone a place to have fun.”
J.P. and Ashley run the operation with help from just two more employees. The four- person “skeleton crew” provides all of the manpower for the local shop, which deals with customers from all over the nation.
Aside from J.P. and Ashley, two students from Appalachian State University, Greg Andersen and Bill Splawn are the people that make the magic happen every day in the store.
“Being a small business is tough, but great too,” J.P. said. “We have our guys, and our team comes out sometimes to help us out on the weekends, but for the most part its our crew that gets it done.”
One of the biggest draws for the Pardys was the local community and the atmosphere surrounding local businesses in the High Country.
“It’s great being a local business here because we all support each other,” said J.P.
“The local businesses are a community. We support each other and send each other customers. If a customer is looking for something that I don’t have, but I know exactly who has it, I will send them to another place where they can find it. And I’m comfortable sending a customer because I know that the other businesses will do the same thing for us.”
Recess is an avid participant in the High Country Local First movement, which offers a discount card good at many participating local businesses in the area.
“People love to support the local businesses, and having the discount card is a big deal,” said J.P. “It’s one thing to have a student discount, or a local discount, but this is something bigger than that. We signed up as soon as we heard about it and have been involved for over a year. It helps to bring the local businesses together to help each other and it really supports everyone in the community.”
The local shop is open 7 days a week Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is located at 1158 N.C. 105 in Boone. The shop carries many skateboard and snowboard brands including Capita, Salomon, Rome, Forum, Element, Gravity and many, many more.
To learn more about Recess, stop by the shop to see J.P and Ashley, visit their website here or call 828-355-9013.
Check out some photos of the shop, and be sure to stop by!
Photos by Ken Ketchie and Madison V. Fisler