BRIGANTINE — Dale Woods loved skateboarding and sneakers in his youth.
The remnant of Woods’ devotion to skateboarding can still be enjoyed by everyone at the city’s skate park. Woods led the creation of it in 1996.
Woods’ interest in sneakers is still there, but his passion about them is more private and can only really be experienced in a “Happy Place,” his walk-in closet with a wall covered in racks of sneakers inside his Brigantine home.
The sneaker closet even beats out his game room, where his pool table is.
“I’m a skateboarder at heart. Back in the day, I used to skateboard a lot, and that’s how I started collecting sneakers. Because I was so into skateboarding that all I wanted was skateboard sneakers,” said Woods, who deals poker at the Wild Wild West Casino inside Bally’s Atlantic City.
When Woods was younger, a friend was a manager at a store. The friend gave Woods a 50 percent discount on sneakers.
“It made it very easy for me to go in there and buy four to five pairs at a time,” said Woods, who has lived at his current residence since 2000. “He would call me when they came in, and I would rush to the mall.”
Woods said he loves having brand new sneakers. He likes how they feel on his feet. It is also fun for him to have sneakers in different colors, but in recent years, he has been increasingly buying more neutral colors, more grays, tans, whites and blacks.
When Woods was younger, he color coordinated his clothes starting with the sneakers and then followed with his T-shirt and his hat, or “lid.”
The sneaker closet was created in 2011 when he started living with the woman who is now his wife, Becky Woods.
Dale Woods’ sneaker closet, which used to be a bedroom, houses about 100 pairs of sneakers, 200 T-shirts, about 25 hats and a series of hoodies.
His favorite skate shoes brands have been Lakai, DC Shoes and Osiris, but now, he likes Supra the most.
“During my wedding, we all had Supra footwear on,” Woods said about he and all the men and boys in his wedding party.