Photo by Sydney Blackmore
Rob Yetman is a man of action.
“I’ve been skateboarding for 20 years. I was part of the war memorial fiasco here in the early 90s, when the local government hated on us for having a good time.”
Rob moved away to Vancouver at the age of 18, to pursue a career in skateboarding. He discovered instead a love for bikes.
“I ended up switching over to the bicycle world and bought a mountain bike. It was just the love of getting on something and rolling around effortlessly.”
Rob picked up mountain biking fast, got some sponsors and travelled around Western Canada and the States for a few years living the rockstar life. But he missed the grind of skating and turned to BMXing.
“On a BMX you have these little pegs that can slide across concrete, steel or down a handrail. Pretty much anything that you can slide on a skateboard, you can slide on a BMX. I found what I was missing and I gave it all up.”
Rob’s now opened his first BMX bike shop and indoor skating ramp, called Turndown BMX, at 5 Waterbridge Road. Rob custom made and assembled his own ramps for the shop.
“Skateboarding has always been a healthy, thriving sport here in St. John’s, and now BMXing is taking off huge. Between the skateboarders, the BMXers and the mountain bikers, I’m busy.”
By September 2009, Rob will be tripling his ramp space and Turndown will be able to accomodate more types of riding.
It’s open 7 days a week, noon until 10pm. BMXers and skateboarders can call ahead to book ramp time by calling 237-2385. Pictures of the ramp’s layout can be viewed at the Facebook group at www.tinyurl.com/turndownbmx BMX repairs, gear and bikes for purchase can all be made in-store, and it’s a place where Rob is very happy to be.
“I had been going through this in my head for 15 years, and no place feels more like home than behind the counter of this shop.”