What’s the Secret to the Brand Longevity of Skull Skates?

Branding Vancouver looks at some of the more interesting logos and icons that appear in Vancouver’s food and beverage scene, and cultural landscape. Some of the explanations will be long and others short, but the goal of deeper understanding will be constant. If you want the backstory of a particularly compelling local brand revealed, let us know via @scoutmagazine and we’ll try to figure it out.

The Brand: Skull Skates | The Designer: PD

This week we spoke with Peter Ducommun, better known as “PD” – owner of the eponymous PD’s Hot Shop (on W. 10th Avenue at Alma) and founder of Skull Skates, to get the lowdown on the legendary, born-in-Vancouver company, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Here’s what he had to say about the brand and its longevity…

“Functional design and quality in the manufacturing process are what make an item purposeful and important. Branding is a means by which that purpose and importance may be identified by the user.

For 40 years, Skull Skates has designed skateboards, snowboards, skimboards, bicycles, clothing and accessories always with the primary idea that the particular machine or garment could be made more useful. Not only considering, “how do we make this a better skateboard?”, but also, “would this t-shirt be functional to skate in?” Always with branding as an afterthought.

Skull Skates was located for most of the 80s in Los Angeles, CA., always maintaining a presence in Vancouver from 1980 forward and selling thousands of skateboards during that era thanks to the ‘intimidating’ graphics and black clad Skull Skates pros Steve Olson, David Hackett, Duane Peters, Todd Swank, Jonny Ray, Phil E., Mondo and more.

As an intentionally small company Skull has had the amazing opportunity to work with a large number of pro riders, artists, designers, musicians and fellow collaborators. Almost always made in Canada (85%), everything Skull Skates releases is a limited item.”

To help celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary, hit the October 6th party at the Red Gate Revue Stage, the details of which can be found here.

  • skull_skates_oldschool_decks
  • skull_skates_plastic_deck_accessories
  • skull_skates_classic_woven_patch
  • skull_skates_pds_hotshop_vintage_signs
  • skull_skates_wheels
  • snfu_back_patch

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