Santa Claran Mark Parayno, 30, has been skateboarding for more than half of his life. As a teen, he frequently visited Fishbanks Skate Shop and Believe Board Shop in Sunnyvale, absorbing employee knowledge and building his own boards from the decks down. However, in recent years both stores have closed due to the high cost of doing business in Silicon Valley, leaving the Parayno and the skateboarding community with few options outside of online outlets, where skaters lose the personal touch; big box retailers, whose price point is great but products are not well-made; and mainstream mall stores, whose employees may not be well-versed in skateboarding equipment.
Parayno made it his mission to change that. Upon his return to the Bay Area after spending six years running a church with his wife, Danyell, and her family in the Central Valley, Parayno began searching for a retail location where he could open his own skate shop. But, after speaking multiple landlords, he was quickly deterred and realized he would run into the same problems other small business owners were having — not enough revenue to offset the high cost of rent and labor.
He knew there had to be a better way and was given the idea of turning a taco truck into a skate shop by a friend who owns a shop in Livermore. Parayno knew he found the answer he was looking for — build a mobile skate shop, which would not only cut down on overhead, but allow him to reach skaters in a new way.
With that, Faithful Skate Shop was born. As “a source that supplies skaters with what they need to stay faithful to what they love” and taking its name from the concept of being a steadfast location for skaters and Parayno’s Christian beliefs, Faithful Skate Shop, which opened late last year, runs out of a classic Volkswagen Bus that is retrofitted to hold everything a skater could need.
“We’re a one-stop skate shop,” said Parayno, noting that as the father of two young children he wanted to make sure the shop was approachable for both kids and adults. “You can get your wheels, your bearings, new decks and all of the accessories. We sell t-shirts and even insoles that are meant for skateboarding.”
By using the food truck model of sharing the shop’s weekly schedule through social media, Parayno brings the store to his customers, often setting up at the Fair Oaks and Lakewood skate parks in Sunnyvale, as well as the Lake Cunningham and Roosevelt skate parks in San Jose. Additionally, he gives back to the community, sponsoring skating events and four shop riders — Asher Holman and Unlock, locally, and Matthew Larson and Luis Gonzalez in Arizona and Utah, respectively.
“I just love skateboarding,” Parayno said. “I try to invest in some of the younger generation. They’re going to be the next wave and if I see some talent, if I see something special about them, I want to facilitate that.”