Discussing The Pros & Cons Of Primitive’s Subscription Service

Leave it to Paul Rodriguez to take internet shopping to the next level.

Much-revered member of the new guard, Primitive Skateboards dropped a commercial/PSA/blatant rip-off of one of the only ads you won’t skip on Youtube to announce their new service, the Primitive Reserve Subscription. For $75 per month, a fresh board, a sheet of griptape, a t-shirt, a set of wheels and some wax (all in your preferred size) will conveniently be sent to your doorstep.

Given that it’s 2017 and you can order laundry detergent with an Amazon Dash button and expect your shipment soon after, it comes as a surprise that no one else has thought of this sooner. There have been subscription boxes ranging from smaller random boxes to a deck-of-the-month type deal, but nothing quite so specific like this. The website mentions that the first box will include an exclusive P-Rod gold veneer deck for those who preorder a subscription. If you’re one to fan out over Primitive and you love a good mystery box, then the Primitive Reserve subscription may be the next purchase aimed at you.

There are some other extra perks worth mentioning in the Primitive Reserve subscription; you can get unreleased boards sent to your doorstep, although we aren’t sure of the frequency. Skating can definitely hit your wallet if you go through product fast, and you could certainly do worse than $75 a month for some premium wood and urethane, plus some gear to top it off. In fact, SLAP PAL Casey Jones calculated the cost and came up with this estimation:

Primitive Deck – $50
Primitive Wheels – $30
Primitive T Shirt – $25
Primitive Wax – $8
Primitive Griptape – $10
Total: $123
Yearly to buy that stuff: $1,476

Subscription for Year: $900

Savings: $576

Sell 9 of the 12 sets of wheels for $25 at the skatepark (who needs new wheels every month): $225

Savings: $805

With that in consideration, it makes all the sense in the world, whether Primitive is your favorite board brand or not, to sign up to this prescription, right? Yes, if you’re looking out for the best interest of your wallet, this is a bargain.

But what if you’re a skate shop and this unconventional way of selling boards is taking away from your business, which will only later impact your community/shop? We’re in no way implying that this subscription service is looking to put skate shops out of business; in fact, from another angle, Primitive could be putting themselves in hot water with skate shops everywhere if they don’t incentivize their business with retailers worldwide.

Obviously, it’s too early to tell how things will sway but, as with the subscription service, the conversation has already begun. Keep it going in the comments below with your thoughts…


  1. Jeff gallagher

    July 1, 2017 6:38pm

    I started sk8ing at 11yrs old, im 36 now and my son is 9 starting the dream that ive always been passionate about. This subscription will be the ultimate motivation for young, up and coming skateboarders to keep the dream alive. There is nothing more exciting than knowing you will have supplys monthly coming straight to your door at an incredible price. Nothing like that sponsorship feeling. Thumbs up to the Primitive squad. Keep up all the hard work, and my son thanks you.

  2. Josh

    July 1, 2017 7:08pm

    I run a small skateshop and all this is to me is that Primitive doesn’t care about us and that’s cool, if they don’t care about us than we won’t care about them. Im excited to see what Primitive has to say to shops at agenda and more curious to see what other shops have to say to primitve.

    • Mario

      October 1, 2017 4:08pm

      Yeah it’s pretty messed up that they’re not considering (or just dont give AF) about local skateshops. I personally think this is just P-Rod’s entrepreneurial personality, trying to do something innovative to excite skaters. But yes def not good for the shops. Regardless of why they’re doing it, I think its a potentially good idea IF they would have more customized packages. I don’t really need that many wheels nor do I need a monthly supply of wax. Bearings would have been a better way to go for someone like me. I probably won’t be subscribing and am going to go to my local shop today for a new deck (maybe some bearings).

  3. Mark

    July 1, 2017 8:41pm

    When I first saw this, I instantly thought of the kids in towns without skate shops who might have a hard time affording fresh decks and wanting a crisp skate t-shirt. At the same time, I hope kids who live in proximity to a skate shop would continue to support the local shops.

  4. Steve

    July 2, 2017 3:39am

    I have a hard time seeing the long term viability of many skate shops. On one hand, they provide a hub for the local skate scene. On the other hand, they do operate as a middle man in a world that’s replacing middle men with direct-to-consumer retailing in virtually every industry. The next 5 years will be interesting. We might all end up buying through Amazon eventually.

  5. imran.

    July 2, 2017 7:10am

    i dont think this will effect shops.. a lotta people go into a shop or buy things one at a time, this will serve some fan boys but i think no one will wanna commit to a year of primitive boards. also living over seas makes me realize this will only cater to the USA so anyone outside this one country will have to purchase boards normally.

  6. Aaron Christiansen

    July 2, 2017 7:44am

    The skateshops should be doing this with different mixes of brands. That covers THAT problem and gives people more variety. Kind of mystery packaged deals.

  7. Mayor Grimble

    July 3, 2017 3:29pm

    I wonder how much the opinions would shift if DLX were to offer a similar service…

    • jshnrz

      July 6, 2017 2:31am

      this would definitely be a game changer 😀 DLX and NHS… yeeww!

    • Karl

      January 10, 2018 12:58am

      DLX purposefully doesn’t sell direct to consumer so that skate shops don’t get cut out, so you’ll probably never find out.

  8. Chronic Trigger

    July 3, 2017 4:45pm

    Nike and it’s riders hate skate shops. 😂😂😂It kind of reminds me of those lame stylist/clothing subscriptions I see on FB. Idk, I personally like going to a shop and seeing the boards and shapes in person. It would be a better deal if they didn’t throw in the shirt and wax. I don’t use wax like that, really don’t like logo tees and it takes me more than one month to where down wheels. I only ride Bones anyway.

  9. Jim

    July 3, 2017 5:04pm

    Support local-skateshops, and if ya don’t live near one contact one. Most of them are happy to ship product.

  10. will

    July 4, 2017 8:23am

    fresh wheels every month is overkill…. if i can trade in everything and get 3 boards instead i would maybe consider this subscription….

  11. Skate BizDev Analyst

    July 17, 2017 1:53am

    Cost analysis is off. Nobody buys the Primitive wheels, grip, wax and t-shirts. They’re just throwing that crap in with the board to get it out of their warehouse. Skaters that are semi serious just buy shop decks now. $30 + $6 grip = $36 , half what the primitive subscription costs. The next level up of kids who go through more than 2 boards a month just get shop flow so they spend zero dollars on decks.

  12. Rob

    July 21, 2017 9:08pm

    its a set of wheels a month because they are substandard urethane and wear out that fast… roll bones… shop local not online… dont be lazy … if you were lazy you wouldn’t skate. overhead makes it so shops cant offer deals like this, the fact that this industry is stuck in the 80s pricewise is killing all the skateshops and turning them into shoe and clothing stores. the margin on hardgoods is broken. ive bought decks at around 50$ since i was 10, i’m 36 now, nothing else has held price like that… we need to accept that wood and specialized things like trucks should be twice as expensive as they are. Then a guy could open a skateshop and keep it open. Until amazon makes retail pointless and we have universal income to make up for all the robots that took our jobs and we can all be on vacation and get wall-e / idicroacy fat and stupid.

  13. Whatever

    July 26, 2017 9:50pm

    There is something to be said for embracing changing business models, and thereby seeing no wrong in online buying. Especially if you can question the role of the so called hardcore skateshop in your city. What are the REAL benefits, and not just the benefits that are popular to emphasize to keep shops alive? Does the owner really support a scene, a new park or does he/she give you a nice discount, or other perks, because you are a frequent customer? Does he/she something extra for you if you want a certain product they don’t carry by thinking about you when they place a new order at the wholesaler’s. Or is it merely an easy way to gain income and to surround her/himself as owner in an environment they love? Times are changing and skateshops can’t always rely on old excuses. Primitive might not be so primitive in finding new ways to do business. I do think they need to be honest about that. I bet if i ask Paul Rodriquez about the value of skateshops he will rant about how important they are. If Primitive would frankly dare to state that they do not really care about them, and that their REAL interest is to create continuation of the brand by offering subscriptions, regardless of the shops to fill their own account, they could look into the mirror with a clearer conscious.


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