Skateboarding legend Keith Hufnagel passes away at 46

September 25, 2020 | Skateboarding
Keith Hufnagel: the founder of HUF was one of the most loved and respected skateboarders of his generation | Photo: HUF

American skateboarding icon Keith Hufnagel passed away after losing a two and a half year battle against brain cancer. He was 46.

Keith Hufnagel was born on January 21, 1974, in New York City. He grew up in Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village.

He started skating in the Big Apple's busy streets, influenced and inspired by the outcasts' local counterculture.

In 1992, he moved to San Francisco, where he started making a name for himself. Hufnagel was agile, fast, and talented.

Soon after, Keith was already a professional skateboarder traveling the world and living his dream.

Huf - the nickname that later became a well-known label in the skateboarding world - rode for Real Skateboards for more than 25 years.

In 2002, his entrepreneurial vein led him to open a small brick-and-mortar store in San Francisco's Tenderloin District.

HUF had a carefully curated collection of the best boards, streetwear, and sneakers.

The skate shop's success resulted in the launch of his own brand.

Keith Hufnagel: the New York city skateboarder moved to San Francisco in 1992 | Photo: HUF

HUF: A Skateboard Brand of the World

HUF is now a respected apparel, footwear, and skateboarding goods manufacturer with a line of products that reflect the modern skateboard lifestyle.

Keith Hufnagel made sure his company incorporates not only the sport's DNA but also the artistic side that makes it a unique and urban outdoor activity.

HUF is a symbol of skateboarding as a street culture open to music, photography, performing arts, and design that transcends social and race structures.

Hufnagel always saw plurality, self-expression, and individual belief as some of the core values within skateboarding.

Whether he was riding his board or running his business, Keith was always passionate about skateboard culture.

Keith Hufnagel was the heart and soul of HUF Worldwide.

As an industry leader, he was more than a shop owner and brand manager - Huf was also into footwear, apparel, and graphic design.

In December 2017, he sold 90 percent of the company to TSI Holdings for $63 million. But he remained true to his values and working in the brand he helped develop.

Keith was also into surfing, snowboarding, photography, and art. His favorite skateboarding spot was Brooklyn Banks, in New York.

Hufnagel is survived by his wife and children.

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