HUF founder Keith Hufnagel dies at 46, Internet mourns the loss of an ‘inspiration in the world of skating’

Faye Kyzer

The founder of the renowned skate brand HUF Worldwide, Keith Hufnagel passed away at the age of 46 earlier this week, according to TMZ. The influential skateboarder was reportedly battling brain cancer for over two and a half years.

The news regarding his passing was announced by USA Skateboarding Association on their official Twitter handle on September 24. The tweet stated, “We are devastated to hear that Keith Hufnagel has passed away. His impact on skateboarding, both on his board and off it as a designer, brand owner/founder and friend will live forever. Rest in peace, Keith  #keithhufnagel #huf”



Hufnagel was born in 1974 in Los Angeles. He founded HUF Worldwide almost a decade after he began skating professionally. He established his business in 2002. However, Hufnagel had by then carved a niche for himself as a pro-skater and had left a massive impact on the East Coast skating scene since the ’90s. 

Talking about his love for the sport and giving an insight into his life after his passing, the brand reportedly told TMZ in a statement, “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.” They noted further, “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.”

His love for skating was second to none. In an interview with Complex from 2012, Hufnagel had recounted how his brand HUF was “born on the streets”. Talking about the name of the brand, he had said, ” Back when I was real young just growing up and skating in NYC in the 80s, I was always tagging ‘HUF ONE’ around the city– back then skating and tagging kind of went hand-in-hand, spot-to spot.”

It went on to become his nickname among friends and Hufnagel decided to name his brand after the same in 2002 when he founded it. Expressing pride in his brand that is known globally, he said that the ” whole evolution of the brand was really organic in a sense”. He further added, “I’m stoked to see the brand where it is at today, considering how it all came about.”

According to HUF Worldwide official website, besides skating Hufnage also perceived surfing, snowboarding, photography and art as hobbies. His favorite skating spot was apparently at the Brooklyn Banks. Meanwhile, his website offers a range of products including clothing, accessories and boasts collaborations with the biggest brands such as Realtree, Akila, United Arrows & Sons among others. 

Hufnagel’s passion has left skating enthusiasts and others deeply saddened as they took to Twitter to mourn the loss of the iconic skater and skating influencer. One tweeted, “RIP Keith Hufnagel #hufworldwide i appreciate how he moved from NYC to the Bay in the 90s and connected the coastal street skating vibes east to west”. Another added, “And now Keith Hufnagel!! WTF 2020? Your relentless onslaught is grinding down every last bit of hope. HUF you are & will always be a style legend & inspiration! The essence of your smooth/attack/4down laidback steez shines bright in t/ HUF line & earned that respect due icon”. One wrote, “Devastated at the loss of Keith Hufnagel. Such an inspiration in the world of skating. Rest easy”





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