Video + Interview
WORDS: Leland Ware
As a brand, HUF has an incredible story. What started in 2002 as Keith Hufnagel’s sneaker boutique in San Francisco sold a 90% stake in the company for $63 million USD to TSI Holding Co. this past December. Along the way, it waged its own little cultural revolution. From starting a shoe brand from scratch to the weed socks craze, HUF did it its own way—middle fingers in the air and all.
With retail stores currently located in Los Angeles, New York, and Japan, and substantial financial backing, the brand is bigger than it’s ever been. And with its rapid global growth, now is a fitting point for the brand to get back to its roots. That’s exactly what HUF did with 001—its first non-tour release to feature the entire team that skateboarding fondly refers to as the Dirtbag Crew.
HUF 001 is eleven minutes of refreshing skating that reminds us that no matter how much HUF grows, it’s staying true to what made it great in the first place. If you’ve made it this far without clicking play above, you’re processing this feature backwards. Once you’ve watched the video (twice if necessary), keep scrolling down for a Q & A with Austyn Gillette and Jake Anderson about working on this project and other things that they've been up to.
courtesy of Ryan Allan
How long did you work on HUF 001 and what was the process? It didn’t look traditional in the sense of big team trips. Were you working solo or in groups?
I believe we worked on this project for about six months? The trips were split in half between the team so we could be more productive. Not a traditional approach, but yielded quite a bit of footage in a short amount of time.
Aside from the tour videos, this is the first edit featuring the entire team—which has grown quite a bit. How does the HUF squad now compare to when you first got on in 2013?
It's just evolved as everything has in skateboarding. I’m very excited about the team and its potential. They’re also a fun crowd to be around on trips.
Are we going to be seeing an updated Gillette shoe anytime soon?
How’s FORMER progressing, and how involved are you with what's going on over there?
Things are moving. We’re slowly but surely figuring out where we sit in the market, and how we can separate ourselves from the nonsense going on. I’m very excited to see how the skate world takes everything that we will be putting out over the next few years. I’m also hyped to be a part of natural growth with a company that is self-funded and true.
What about music, have you been recording lately? If so can we expect to hear new stuff soon?
Quite a bit, actually. I have a new album that I'm trying to release in the next few months.
Is WKND working on anything new at the moment?
WKND is always working on something, and I'm usually the last to find out. That makes it exciting, and I think the team works well under Grant's pressure. But, maybe not… haha.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2018?
You will have to wait and see.
courtesy of Ryan Allan
How long did you work on HUF 001 and what was the process?
I guess you can say I’ve been working on it for about six months. I have a couple of tricks in there that I filmed prior to that six months. I knew I was filming something for HUF, but didn’t exactly know what it was going to be for until about four months ago when we did the Pacific Northwest trip.
When did you find out you were having last part? Did you go out and get anything extra once you found out you had curtains?
I was never told that I actually had last part. I was told that I had the most shit in the video, but not last part. When I found out that I was capable of having a full part, I started to take things more seriously and think of shit that I wanted to do. In the end of filming, I wanted to film more lines. That didn’t go as planned. But whatever, I tried.
You also dropped a part in Skate Mental’s Aunt Tammy Vol 1. that dropped a few months back, and you had a two-minute clip for FORMER. Which is your favorite?
Between the three parts it’s hard to decipher which one I liked the best. I liked them all individually in their own ways. The Skate Mental part, I shared it with Dan Plunkett—who is one of my best friends. The FORMER part was all filmed in Europe, Australia, and New York. So that’s pretty cool, too. And my HUF part was something I worked hard for. So they’re special in their own ways.
Skate Mental also turned you pro this year. How does it feel to have a signature board?
It’s a pretty surreal thing to have a board with my name on it. It’s also great to have my brother on my first board too!
There’s a bunch of creative stuff in the 001 part—pop shuv nose stall in the pool, kickflip tailgrab over the parking meter, etc. What’s your favorite trick that you did, and which was most difficult for you?
Shit, I guess I’d say the pop shuv nose stall thing was my favorite because it was different from filming a trick in the streets. It was a nice getaway from the old rail and ledge skating. Also, I really enjoy skating transition. For my hardest trick in the video, I’d have to say the back Smith flat-and-down. That was scary as shit, and hard to get myself to actually fully commit to.
With three video parts and a new pro board, I’d say your year is off to a good start. Where does it go from here?
Yeah, it’s been an enjoyable year so far. I guess keep doing the same shit.