Portland hates CCS?


The Willamette Week has a piece on the acquisition and relocation of mail order giant CCS by local Portland business Daddies Board Shop. The title of the article and accompanying video, “Portland’s Skate Community Isn’t Stoked for CCS” is a little misleading, as if there is a broad outcry when there likely isn’t even a broad awareness. In fact, of the three businesses interviewed besides Daddies, one had nothing negative to say, and the other two were skateshop owners that were pretty reserved, more or less of the opinion that it will have no real effect on the the Portland skate scene, or even their businesses. This is a position I agree with, as I mentioned back in December. Bringing the physical location of CCS to Portland is likely to have zero impact on local businesses. The really big news here is that Daddies owner Darren Horowitz looks like a Seth Rogan impersonator! (More editorial and the video after the jump.)

Daddies Board shop has historically made most of it’s income through mail order, even before the current owner bought it. They infamously went through a long period of severely limited hours, barely bothering to open their doors to the public. The current location is in a fairly isolated industrial park near the airport. It’s already a destination business for it’s client base and not something that thrives on pedestrian traffic. One possible upside, if Daddies continues to prosper in proportion to their recent acquisition, they might be in a position and mindset to give back more to the local skateboarding community. Daddies also has a long history of almost being antagonistic to the local skateboard community if it didn’t benefit them directly. If you attended some of the early exploratory meetings with the Portland Park District while in the planning stages of our vaunted skatepark system, you might recall the owners refusing to back any project that didn’t have proximity to their old locations. Also, while other shops tend to “play nice” with each other, Daddies has historically taken a more cutthroat business approach. It should be noted that Daddies has been under knew ownership for some years now, and the incidents I refer to all took place under the old ownership. Even though Daddies has been a high profile shop that a section of the Portland skateboarding population has loved to hate, the Willamette Week video piece feels like it was hastily put together based on an assumption that wasn’t really researched. The Willamette Week article is likely the first news of this acquisition many Portland skaters will receive, except of course, for S&A readers! Maybe the more caustic opinions have been edited out of the video, only the Willamette Week knows.

Opening titles say that CCS started in 1985, I thought that was an error on the late side so I foraged into my basement to see if I could find any ads from 1984 or earlier in my stack of old skate mags. It wasn’t an exhaustive search, but I couldn’t find anything dating California Cheap Skates earlier than 1985.


  1. “In 2008 Footlocker bought the company for $102.3 million, shortened the name to CCS, and opened 22 branded retail stores.”

    I’m 100% sure it was just called CCS back when I started skating in 2000. And I have seen digital copies of CCS magazines from the early 90’s where it was only referred to as CCS. I didn’t even know it was called California Cheap Skates until about two years ago.

    • talentlessquitter on February 10, 2015 - Reply

      Haha, other way around here. I had to read Kilwag’s full piece to realize what this is about.

      The somewhat ‘mixed feelings’ about the business shenanigans of Daddies have been brought to my attention before by editor’s truly however please don’t blame me for keeping a neutral stand here. As a guy living on the other side of the globe, just ordering longboard stuff, I have no problems with Daddies. But I understand there’s more to it.

      Also, I have no idea how big CCS is/was up to this point.

  2. I agree with the title being misleading. It does seem a bit early to decide whether or not it’s going to be a big deal. Most people are surprised when I tell them that Daddies bought CCS. Most people don’t know, and if the don’t already trek out to daddies they don’t care. I feel from a business perspective, having two of the largest online sk8 retailers match up may help out people in far off lands who don’t have a shop. On a local level though, I’m just unsure, will they try to expand upon this investment? Maybe pick up another location in town and make a CCS shop? I feel like if they stick with the mail stuff it’ll be alright.

  3. Anyone who knows whats what with Portland will continue to support Shrunken Head, Cal Skate and Cals Pharmacy.

    Just stop cluttering my mailbox with that shitty little catalog.

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