Element Skateboards, based in Irvine, California, manufactures skateboard decks, apparel and footwear. The company (then called Underworld Element Skateboards) was founded in 1992 by Johnny Schillereff in the form of a small collaborative company inspired by the hip-hop movement – from its Atlanta HQ, it used a mixture of urban styles to reflect a raw and controversial vibe, facilitating art, music and design for creative individuals.
However, soon after its inception, the company was plagued with difficulties, and as its original crew began to move on, the business began to collapse. Dropping the Underworld part of the name, Schillereff rebuilt the company with such success that it was bought by the Australian surfing brand Billabong in 2000. There are now shops selling Element products in cities around the world, including New York, Honolulu and Orlando in the USA, and Nottingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Plymouth in the UK.
The Element team features many of the world’s leading skaters including Schillereff, 2010 Street League Champion Nyjah Huston, Jackass star Bam Margera and 2007 TransWorld Best Street Skater winner Mark Appleyard. There is also a European division featuring Madars Apse, Nassim Guammaz and Phil Zwijsen among others.
Element have released many videos over the years, beginning with Fine Artists Volume 1 in 1994. 2005’s full-length Elementality Volume 1 offered an introduction to the Element brand and philosophy with footage of the entire team including Margera and skating legend Mike Vallely. The latest Element video, Oslo 5, is a collaboration with DC Shoes and features European team member Karsten Kleppan.