Wall ride, grind Box and hubba ledge might not mean much to most of us, but they will mean something to a BMXer, because BMXing, like most other sports, has its own language.
And it is a passion for this particular sport that led two brothers, Marc and Rich Moore, both in the 30s, to develop the Source, a successful Hastings-based business.
Enjoying the freedom of BMXing, setting off with the friends to find a new park, track or street spot, both Rich and Marc have been heavily involved in the sport for as long as they can remember.
The brothers began race regionally, attending national competitions and then travelling around the world with their parents to take part in world championships. Then in 2003, with just £5,000 in savings, Marc, then 18, and Rich, then 21, opened the first Source shop in neighbouring Bexhill, where the brothers grew up.
Marc, 30, said: “It just sort of came together. Usually BMX gets thrown in with bike shops, so you’ll go to a bike shop with a few BMXs in the corner. There really wasn’t a specialised BMX shop that could stock all the parts and do it properly, and that’s what we set out to do.”
By 2005 the fledgling business had outgrown the shop and, needing a bigger site for all its stock, the Source moved around the corner to St Leonards Road.
That same year its first website was launched and a mail-order service established.
A year later, the pair created a catalogue, which was a massive success.
Some 90 per cent of the Source’s retail business now comes from their mail-order business.
In October 2006, the Source, which ‘just kept growing and growing,’ was on the move again and set up shop in Queens Road, Hastings.
Marc and Rich were again scouting for digs for their expanding business in 2008 and the Source’s new home became an old church in Braybrooke Terrace. Starting off with just the two of them, the brothers now employ seven others.
Rich, 33, said: “We wanted to keep a shop in the town centre. This place came and up we just saw it. Having our own indoor ramps was always the biggest goal of all, and finding a building that was big enough. and most importantly with high ceilings, was really hard. This just came up so we jumped at the opportunity to rent it.”
“Hastings has a really strong history of skating and BMX and everyone in the industry knows that, but outsiders looking in perhaps wouldn’t. We have always marketed ourselves as a Hastings company with our own skatepark, sponsoring Hastings riders, and it just added to our whole branding image and this building has really helped us grow our mail-order business.”
But having outgrown the church, last year the pair set their sights on a new venture, the former White Rock baths.
Looking for somewhere bigger, in the summer of 2013 Marc and Rich submitted plans to the Hastings Borough Council (HBC) to develop the former White Rock baths into a premier BMX and skateboard park.
In June this year, the council agreed to develop the site into a usable space which the Source will kit out and rent off the council at the market rate in a 10-year lease.
HBC is pledging up to £172,000 by way of a grant to the Foreshore Trust, which owns the building, plus a loan of £300,000, which wil be funded by rental income. The Foreshore Trust is investing £150,000, and East Sussex County Council has agreed a grant of £320,000 along with a loan of £28,000 from the East Sussex Invest business support scheme. And the Source is providing £226,000, through their own money, grant funding and sponsorship, to equip the building.
The brothers’ enthusiasm for the new venture is infectious and feeling ‘really excited,’ Marc says he can’t wait to get in there and start building some ramps. The pair have every reason to be excited. The impressive plans for the world-class skateboard park feature a large competition arena which will be used daily as well as hosting top international events, and has space for 500 spectators. The plans also include a beginners skatepark plaza, a retail store, a cafe, a reception, and outdoor ramps.
The skatepark is due to open in late 2015, and the workforce looks set to grow to include a total of some 40 employees.
Employing an expert skatepark designer to design the competition park, they want it to be known ‘as one of the best skateboard parks in the world’.
Rich added: “Hastings has got such a strong reputation of BMX and skateboarding. It’s created big events in the past,amazing skateparks and some of the best riders and skaters that the country or even the world has ever produced.”
Opening in 2015, the park is set to welcome a range of abilities. from beginners to those that know that a wall ride, grind Box and hubba ledge are all obstacles you can find in a skatepark.
For more information visit www.sourcebmx.com