Element Skateboards has ranked among the top-quality skateboarding producers for a long time, and the old hand of the skateboarding industry marks a big 25th anniversary in 2017. Johnny Schillereff launched the Element brand in 1992 on the East Coast at a time when West Coast style and companies dominated the skate industry. Over 25 years Schillereff has earned a reputation as a creative entrepreneur focused on setting the brand apart from the pack.
For all its lengthy mainstream history, the brand maintains its appeal because, as one reviewer said, “Element does not forget to provide you with decks that push tears of joy out of your feet.” Element is an environmentally conscious company with a range of skateboard decks, skateboard wheels, apparel and footwear. Connection to nature is key to the company’s philosophy.
Element moved in 2014 to Costa Mesa, Calif., where the company had created a new headquarters known as The Branch. The creative space serves as a platform for brand’s vision, and includes a farmer’s market, skate park, and an open, collaborative work environment that encourages creativity.
Element Skateboards Introduced “Featherlight” Technology
Element’s graphic style is generally simple, with crisp, clean imagery in a variety of artistic and tribal designs and complementary colors. The brand has introduced a “featherlight” technology that produces some of the lightest boards available today. Element boards include 7-ply Triftwood skateboard decks, which cost less than their lighter, higher tech Fiberlight and Featherlight boards. The Helium line of skateboard decks feature interior air chambers that make them stiff and light.
Element Skateboards traces its roots to a small collaborative East Coast company called Underworld Element. Most often referred to as Underworld, the company was inspired by the hip-hop movement. The brand, then based in Atlanta, was known for a raw vibe that grew out of its mixture of urban art, music and design styles.
The business began to collapse soon after its launch, and initial founders departed. One of the original crew, Schillereff was just in his youth with only a few things keeping him grounded; nature, art and the skateboard under his feet. An avid skateboarder since the age of four, he decided to reshape his life with his dedication to skateboarding. Schillereff kept the struggling company alive. He changed the name to Element, created the now-iconic Tree Logo and rebuilt the project from scratch.
Element’s skate team has sponsored legends like Nyjah Huston and Bam Margera.