Earlier this week, the skateboarding and streetwear world lost a pioneering father figure in the untimely passing of Keith Hufnagel. The legendary skate icon and HUF Worldwide founder passed away at the age of 46, succumbing to a two year battle with brain cancer.
Right up there alongside Shawn Stussy and James Jebbia, “HUF” helped push skateboarding past its rank as an underground subculture into a bonafide lifestyle choice. A New York City native at heart, HUF first made a name for himself as a fearless rider who crashed the East Coast skating scene with an almost reckless abandon. In 2002, he uprooted his life out West to sunny San Francisco, eventually opening HUF Worldwide’s doors to a new generation of up-and-coming riders.
As can only be expected, the global skateboarding community all took time to pay their respects via social media, leaving inspirational words describing what Keith Hufnagel meant to them as athletes and humans; none more touching than the message left behind by his own crew.
We are absolutely heartbroken to deliver the news today that HUF founder Keith Hufnagel has passed away. Keith battled brain cancer for the past 2.5 years. And though he beat the odds and fought back much longer than his diagnosis permitted, he ultimately and unfortunately lost the fight.
Keith was not only the ‘HUF’nagel in HUF. He was the heart and soul of this brand. He built and brought together a community of people like no one else could.
Keith paved the way for all of us – as a respected professional skateboarder, shop owner, brand founder, footwear and apparel designer, creative director, and industry leader. He showed us how to do it, and how do it right.
Keith loved skateboarding and the culture around it. He did things his way and did them for the right reasons. He inspired so many of us across the globe.
But above anything else, Keith loved and supported the people around him. He would do anything for his friends, family and children. He passionately wanted to see others succeed. And we all loved him for it.
Keith’s legacy will continue to live on at HUF. Today, tomorrow and forever.
Rest in peace, Keith. — HUF Worldwide
Keith is survived by his wife, Mariellen and their children. #RIPLegend
Image: Mike Blabac