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Skate shop opens near Ripon skate park.
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Gary Edmiston owner of the new Skate Shop located at Wilma Avenue and Hughes Lane near Ripon’s skate park also has a shop in Riverbank that he opened two years ago. GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

RIPON - It’s the wheels that make a skateboard and the senior owner of the new Woodpushers Board Shop in Ripon, Gary Edmiston, has rich memories and interesting stories about his own teen years.

“We’d put wheels on anything – just 2X4s and wheels,” he chuckled.  He has always been self employed whether in furniture manufacturing or swimming pool maintenance in addition to driving truck.

Edmiston along with his wife Valerie, daughter Ladonna Asseng and his grandson have opened their second skate shop in Ripon with the first location in Riverbank.

Edmiston said he and his friends made their 2x4 framed race cars near his Modesto home back when the Highway 99 freeway was being built.  The Ninth Street ramp gave them nearly a mile to coast their cars down the hill – for almost a year.

The urge to open his first skateboard store came some two years ago when his grandson broke his board in a competition with the closest shop being at the mall.  After his wife and daughter left to find a replacement, he immediately decided he would open the Riverbank store.
“You don’t get any closer to a skate park than this,” he said of his newly opened location.  The shop owner said when he saw the corner location become available he didn’t waste a minute in renting it for his second location.

He said his grandson is thrilled to be so near to the Ripon skate park that has been rated as ninth in California for its competitive layout.  The younger Asseng won fifth place in the recent Central Valley Am Jam competition at the Ripon Park that drew some 500 people on July 11.
Ladonna Asseng added that professional teams come to Ripon from all over Northern California to compete and to train at the facility.  She said that the Ripon kids come into their store just to talk shop and discuss other things where they get to know them on a first name basis.
“They dream about what they want to buy,” she said.

The park was the dream of former mayor Curt Pernice who successfully pushed for construction of the park during his time on the city council.
The shop at Wilma Avenue and Hughes Lane is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.