RESURRECTION OF A REVOLUTION
H-Street was founded circa 1986, by professional skateboarder Tony Mag and bro Mike Ternasky. The two teamed up with pro skateboarder Dave Andrecht to form the first skateboard company that was run by skateboarders.
T-Mags basic idea was that skateboard companies should be run by skateboarders and not guys in suits that didn't ride, and that skateboarding should be a source of free and individual expression. The fact most towns in America have an actual H-Street somewhere, made it into an every town idea. H-Street is inclusive, not exclusive.
Inspired by Powell’s success in making skateboard videos, but limited to the budget of a real skateboarder, T-Mag and Mike theorized that a skate video could be made with a cheap VHS camera and edited at their pad on a VCR. Since this was the basic home video equipment available early in the 80′s the two ventured into uncharted waters. Knowing that it was more important to have skateboarders that demonstrated innovation and style for the sport than have a big budget, they invested in skaters that would become some of the world's best, Danny Way, Matt Hensley, Mike Carrol, The Godoy brothers, Sal Barbier and Eric Koston just to name a few.
The team started with John Schultes from Del Mar and John Sonner from Vista. Soon Ron Allen was added, who was originally a friend of Mike's from Nor Cal. One summer later, the video Shackle Me Not was born and would change the way that skateboard videos were made from that point on. A year later, Louisiana swamp rat Sal Barbier was added to the team, along with Alphonzo Rawls and several other top skaters of that time, and Hokus Pokus was made. Together Hokus Pokus and Shackle Me Not would take the skateboard world by storm; the videos became some of the most watched skate videos of all time. H-Street would eventually produce five major videos, with such notable skaters as Eric Koston, Mike Carrol, Jason Rogers, Colby Carter, Chad Vogt, and many other top pros of that era.
H-Street also produced a host of innovative and original skateboard products, most notably T-Mag’s “Hell Concave”, a board with an extreme amount of concave, which extended throughout the tail and nose of the board.
The early 90′s brought an abrupt end to the legacy that would be called H-Street. With the sudden and tragic death of Mike in a car accident, T-Mag went on to do other creative enterprises in the industry.
H-Street had become a memory, but skateboarders of all ages kept watching those ground breaking and legendary videos! After years of people asking T-Mag about the brand, in 2008 he decided to resurrect it. Slowly the company has come back to life and now in 2015 with his business partner and wife Monica Mag, as a team they are taking H-Street back to the streets, where Only The Faithful reside.
We are H-Street. Born by passion, raised with grit, skateboarding is in our soul, it's the blood and sweat we leave behind at every bowl, street or park.
FORGING THE MARK
In 1988, Italian skater, artist and T-Mag’s friend, Francesco came back from Italy with a promise of bringing a new logo for H-Street that was going to change everything, as he told to T-Mag over the phone days before the trip. Francesco took a number of trips back and forth between his home in Rome and the H-Street HQ in San Diego. Once at T-Mag’s house, he spoke for a good long time before showing the logo, building it up to be so monumental that once he finally placed a hand drawn image of the famous Mark Logo, T-Mag kind of yawned; it just didn’t look like that much and certainly not what Francesco had built it up to be.
But T-Mag really liked the idea of a logo that represents skateboarding as a universal and expanding cultural phenomena. When Tony Mag first started to skate in 1976, he and his friends rode everything; ramps, bowls, pools, slalom, downhill, freestyle and even some early forms of street skating. To him, skateboarding is universal, ride everything.
The other thing the two friends often spoke about was how skateboarding is a worldwide and universal sign of peace and friendship; back then, if you saw someone that skated, regardless of where they are from, who they are or what language they spoke, you had an instant connection.
In the end, everything Francesco had said about the logo would come true; the H-Street Mark Logo is one of the most recognizable icons in the skate industry and we’ve been asked a lot about how it came about it what it means. It stands for;
- Skate Everything.
- Skateboarding Lives Forever.
- Skateboarders Bringing Peace and Friendship to the World through Skateboarding.
The Mark Logo ancient origin is based on the H-street Patron Saint Andrew, who was martyred on a “Crux Decussate”, also known as a “Saltire Cross” and generally known as St. Andrews Cross.
There is also a mythical legend about the original creation of the Mark Logo, having something to do with Godzilla’s. But that’s another story altogether.
PURPOSE AND THE ORIGINAL IDEA
As told by Tony Mag
We didn’t know it at the time, but H-Street was born with a specific purpose in mind; to embody the soul of skateboarding and to represent the original idea. Over the years, skateboarding has meant a lot of different things to different people. Through it all, the original idea has never changed; you ride a skateboard because it’s fun, pure, authentic and practical. It’s a way to have a purpose in life that is only yours, to be shared with friends and the world if you so choose. Or not. It’s a way to connect with something that is real, sometimes in harsh ways.
Concrete to bone impact isn’t exactly fun, but it’s very real. It reminds us that life is fleeting and the idea of a real experience on your terms is essential to life. It’s a way to control everything in your surroundings, if but for a frozen moment in time, at the same as you’re controlling nothing, just going along for the ride. It becomes your art that you create to your imagination.
To me, that is the original idea of skateboarding and it has been expressed in so many unique and wonderful ways by riders, by companies, by artists and so many more. In 1986, I had the opportunity to add my design to this “come one, come all” environment with H-Street. At that time, the skate industry did not take kindly to the skater owned company or upstarts, so things certainly didn’t feel all wonderful as I describe above. And it probably isn’t now either. But me and my friends were too young and too stupid to know any better, so we went for it. The original idea was there to support us, behind the scenes, unbeknown to us.
I left the 80’s behind to go on and do other things, thinking that we had a cool company and a good time but that it was not of much importance or significance. For years after that, I’ve been reminded by people I meet, that write to me that explain the impact H-Street had on them and that it needed to be re-born. While it’s been a long time coming, I’ve come to understand that they are right; H-Street played an important role in skateboarding and it should continue to represent the original idea.
So that’s what we’re doing. H-Street is about high quality products that are not common or cheap. H-Street is me, my wife and my friends. My dogs help out a bit too. You might not find H-Street in every skateshop on the planet and that’s okay, we’re not here to take over the world. We’re here so that you can connect with the original idea. H-Street. Only The Faithful.