In 1991, professional skateboarder Natas Kaupas founded 101 Skateboards, a brand that would become known for its bold graphics and innovative skateboard designs. The brand's name was inspired by the freeway that runs through Los Angeles, which is also known as the "101".
Natas Kaupas had previously ridden for the skateboard brand Santa Cruz Skateboards, but he wanted to create a brand that was more focused on the art and design aspects of skateboarding. He assembled a team of talented skateboarders who shared his vision, including Gino Iannucci, Eric Koston, and Gabriel Rodriguez.
One of the defining features of 101 Skateboards was its use of bold graphics and distinctive designs. The brand worked with artists and designers to create graphics that were unlike anything else in the skateboarding world at the time. The company's graphics featured everything from abstract designs to political commentary, and they were often controversial and provocative.
In addition to its innovative graphics, 101 Skateboards was also known for its innovative skateboard designs. The brand was one of the first to experiment with asymmetrical shapes and different types of concaves, which helped to improve skateboard performance.
Over the years, 101 Skateboards became one of the most influential skateboard brands of the 1990s. The company's team of talented skateboarders, along with its bold graphics and innovative designs, helped to shape the direction of skateboarding during that era.
In 1996, Natas Kaupas decided to leave 101 Skateboards to pursue other interests. The brand continued to operate for a few more years under different ownership, but it eventually went out of business in the early 2000s.
Despite its relatively short lifespan, 101 Skateboards left an indelible mark on the skateboarding world. The brand's bold graphics and innovative designs helped to push the boundaries of what was possible in skateboarding, and its influence can still be seen in the designs of many skateboard brands today.