Vans x Antihero Collection Celebrates 20 Years of Skateboarding History

By - Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Vans and Antihero have partnered to commemorate Antihero’s 20th anniversary and 20 years of skateboarding history with a Spring collection of Pro Skate footwear and apparel. The collection debuts with a sixth generation of professional skater, Tony Trujillo’s TNT SG sneaker. The Antihero TNT edition features Antihero Skateboard print, an Antihero flag and the original Antihero lock-up graphic on the tongue. In addition to the TNT, the Era 46 Pro, the Sk8-Mid Pro and the Slip-On 59 Pro have been tweaked for this collection.

This collection means that Antihero has been alive, around and bold as fuck for 20 years. When it was founded in 1995 by hardcore, professional skater John Cardiel, skateboarding was on its come-up.

Cardiel is a big deal. His own skater history is rich enough to fill this whole collection with historical reverence, though his story is one of several big-time skate legends that contribute to Antihero’s brand and team success.

Interestingly, John Cardiel began skating in the early 80s. Skateboarding wasn’t a thing. Skateparks were barely built and surfing was the “wave.” This was California. John started skating in SoCal on a whim after being introduced to a board for the first time at a corner store when he was in the second grade. He says he was immediately hooked.

Skating started to become more common in the second half of the 80s and blew up in the 90s. After Cardiel had been skating for a while, he was approached about sponsorship by legendary, Venice beach-based skate brand Dogtown (whose Z-Boys and notoriety are depicted in several major films, perhaps most notably Lords of Dogtown). This is skate history.

“When the surf was down, everybody was like, ‘Oh. What do you do? There are no waves.’ I was skating. I was hyped. I hated the surfers.”

When Dogtown started to “fall apart” and John says “paychecks stopped showing up,” he partnered up with San Franciscan pro-skater Julien Stranger who had already conceived the brand Anti-Hero following a proposition from SF skater Jim Thiebaud (also, a co-founder of Real Skateboards, established in 1991). The rest is also [skate] history.

This collection is a truncated commemoration of all of that and the rest of the skateboarding mischief that popular culture has left behind.

Check out Vans x Antihero collection here.

Follow Vans Skate and on Instagram. Read more about contemporary Antihero and check deck releases on their website.


Refs Juice Magazine Interview

Jay Adams

John Cardiel Vice Interview


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