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Skate shop gets wet 

Bud Aquino has seen a lot in his 20 years surfing on the Central Coast. He was just down the beach from Avila giving surf lessons the day Deborah Franzman was killed by a shark. "There are a lot more of them out there than people realize," says Aquino.

Aquino and business partner Billy Wallace run Monument Board Shop in Arroyo Grande, and the two are making the move from the skate-friendly side of retail into the predatory world of surf retail. To commemorate this move and test the, uh, waters, the 4-year-old business is throwing a party on Saturday, June 25 to celebrate all things stoke, and their new location.

"We're roping off the parking lot, having a skate demo, giving away a ton of freebies," says Aquino with a deep "bro" inflexion. "Kids love freebies, whether it's stickers, hats, T-shirts, whatever. We're doing this for the kids."

Their new space is huge, 400-plus feet of wall space, enough to accommodate 115 shoes on one wall alone, and all the supplies one needs to surf.

They are also going to get a bit arty, putting out the call to surf/skate artists who want to be seen. "We want to hang eight to 10 works of art at a time and sell them for the artists," says Aquino. "Most shops just have posters and promo stuff. You can see that anywhere, but if we're turning around art, it keeps a fresh look for the shop."

Aquino notes that a lot of the kids are more into art and music these days, and says that's a good thing. "Kids seem to be striving to be more individual," he says. "Sometimes quiet kids get an outlet this way, a way to express themselves. It's cool."

Monument's new shop and party locale is at 1402 E. Grand Ave in Arroyo Grande next to Spencer's Market. Or call them at 473-1144.




"Build it and they will come." If you've ever wanted to do a group getaway, but keep postponing it because all those houses you've researched don't have a baseball field, well prolong no more. The Deerfield Retreat in Templeton has a full-size softball stadium with lights, bleachers, and scoreboard. And if our national pastime isn't your cup of tea, there's a volleyball green for keepin' it "California," or try the fishing hole, bridle paths, hot tub - basically all the amenities of a small community. The main house sleeps eight. For a virtual tour, check out, or call them at (800) 927-6163. ...

... In bloom along twisty Highway 41 between Morro Bay and Atascadero is Chaparral Gardens, which is now open for the season. The self-described "organic place" boasts a variety of veggies, including lettuce, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers. In their garden shop you'll find many unique gifts and their specialty - or "specialtea" - organic blends of, er, tea. They also produce some fine fresh-cut flowers. Give 'em a visit Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or call 461-1722. ...

... Is whitening your teeth for someone else a good idea? Yes. Central Coast Smiles of Pismo Beach is donating proceeds from teeth-whitening services to the Women's Shelter Program of SLO County. Through June 30, the $350 service is being offered at a discounted $175 with the service portion of the cost going directly to the shelter. You can find out more at, or call 489-7645.

... Avila residents with a penchant for small, shiny objects will rejoice in the opening of Amy Peters' new studio. The jewelry designer opened a showroom in Avila Village to give the public a peek at her one-of-a-kind designs. Amy also showcases work by other area artists. You can see her designs online at, or talk with the artist at 627-1962. ³


Contributor Bryan Dickerson compiles
New Times' Strokes & Plugs. E-mail him at

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