NYC Skateboarding History: SHUT NYC

Shut NYC

158 ORCHARD ST New York City

Formally known as SHUT Skates in the 80’s and responsible for the upbringing of Zoo York before they handed it off to Marc Ecko.  Shut Skates were the most memorable decks from when I  was a kid.  The print color/stain combos pretty sick and I particularly love the graffiti art that they still used to this day.

Shut Skates NYC

Buy From Local Shops: When you go to buy a skateboard, remember where you are and to support your local brands. 

The guys who started companies like SHUT (Rodney Smith/Bruno Musso) and 5 Boro (Steve Rodriguez) are the same guys who have culitvated and supported the local scene.

They host and sponser events and hand out free stuff to city kids, but mostly they are diplomats of the NYC and the hardcore east coast scene.

SHUT is one of the oldest East Coast skateboarding brands still operating (for the second time).   Rodney Smith, a local OG skate hero and legend, was among some of the first to realize that in order for the East Coast to get any recognition, the skaters would have to do it themselves, because the fact was that nobody was paying attention at the time. 

They were doing it before anybody else, grinding handrails, skating ledges and plazas and holding guerilla style skate competitions, rigging electric from light posts to run PAs.

The skateboarding industry was strictly a west coast operation.  The image that appealed to the big industry boys was the blond hair, surfer look.  Rodney and his crew took to the deteriorating urban landscape and explored their world with a “new school” vision.  They didn’t have skate parks, pools, or ramps like they did in places like California and Florida.  Instead they innovated ways to turn private, public and forgotten spaces, into their playgrounds, the hard streets into their sanctuaries and their frustrations and motivation evolved a simple toy into freedom and expression, an achievement that modernized street skating.

That was the thing, nobody was skating as hard core as the East Coast regime, yet the industry wasn’t making the kind of decks that they really wanted and they didn’t exactly approve of the image either;  Enter SHUT Skates Take I. 

Spearheaded by a gang of unknowns like Jefferson Pang, Sean Sheffey, Coco Santiago, Chris Pastras, Barker Barret, and Felix Arguelles, the Shut Skates Team terrorized the burgeoning Street Skate scene. It wasn’t long before California got Shut’s message. They got it loud and clear. Eventually, the Shut team members were drawn to California by the skateboard establishment. End Act I. Begin Intermission.


I’m personally a huge fan.  Have a small collection of originals including an original and a super fly, personally autographed, shark.  Thanks!!!  I saw Rodney at Deathbowl to Downtown, met him briefly.  Though at the time he was injured and not standing, he’s a stand up guy.  Jermy Henderson was always a legend in my family.  Felix Arguelles is one of my favorites, as is Luis Tolentino, currently the record holder for the highest ollie. 


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One comment on “NYC Skateboarding History: SHUT NYC
  1. J. Scott Barnes says:

    That Shut Shark brings back memories. Back in the day I had one and it delammed just before the tail. I got in touch with you guys and was told to mail it back. I did and you guys said one was on the way back. I never got one.