'Boons' Buchanan is skateboarding out of the coal mines
AN UNDERGROUND coal miner has decided to give up his job to pursue his dream by opening a skateboard shop in Mackay.
Well known Mackay skateboarder Robin "Boons" Buchanan, 27, who has been skating since he was 11, is finally following that lifelong dream after working the past decade in coal mines.
"I've been skating since I was a kid and I always loved it and it's been my dream to always do something involved in skating," Mr Buchanan said.
"Working in underground coal mines has, in a way, been a stepping stone for me and has given me the focus to actually try to do something I love.
"As you can imagine I earn good money in the coal mines, so I'm certainly not going into the skateboard business for the money ... for me it's more the love of the scene and having good times."
Mr Buchanan believes there are enough people who skate, or who are into skateboard culture in Mackay, to support the business and plenty of room to grow in the future.
"There are enough people both young and old that skate in Mackay and I think there is room to grow the culture here," he said.
"The culture is really good here and we have a good core group of skaters that have real talent and the camaraderie between them is inspiring."
Mr Buchanan said despite the strong skating culture in Mackay many of the skate parks were outdated and even dangerous.
"It can be difficult to skate in Mackay because a lot of the facilities are dated, with some getting quite rough and even dangerous, and I would obviously like to see a new facility built for skaters here," he said.
"Many young kids that are attracted to skating come from disadvantaged homes, with skate parks being a haven for many of them that are down and out.
"Most of the kids that do skate can't afford to play football or go away and play soccer, so they get a scooter or a skateboard and go down to the skate park.
"If we had a good facility to support the scene it would attract more kids to the sport, which would keep many of them out of trouble."
Mr Buchanan will be opening Away Skate Supply on November 26 at shop 1, 334 Shakespeare Street, Mackay.