January 4, 2024/ / ARTICLES/ Comments: 16

Not unlike your spiritual Great Aunt or a roadside tarot reader, we at Jenkem think we can predict the future. We’re not talking about predicting whether you’re going to have a prosperous, ferocious love life in 2024 either, which you totally, definitely, 100% will.

We’re talking about predicting skateboarding’s future.

While we’ve had practice in previous years, we are still dialling in our accuracy. There is no women-run skate brand that rivals Supreme, but it feels like it’s still coming. K skinnies haven’t returned in a glorious baggy-crushing wave yet, but Ishod’s pants have been noticeably slimming as of late. However, gross tricks are en vogue, we get attacked by right-wing skate Instagrams all the time and it feels like skaters are broker than ever.

Safe to say we’ve got some things right, and it’s these small victories that have pumped our ego enough to keep us wildly predicting, so without further ado, here’s Thomas Barker, our resident prognosticator’s, attempt at figuring out what 2024 will hold.

Social Skate Movements

Let’s start on a positive note. The best thing happening in skateboarding right now is the diverse and growing social skate movement. A generation of skateboarders decided that rather than start the millionth skate accessories brand they would start their own nonprofits that use skateboarding as a tool for change.

Skateboarders have started after-school programs, built skateparks in places from Bhutan to Pakistan, are fighting rape culture, misogyny and poverty, and are putting their local communities on their backs.

We (I also run a non-profit called CSEF which gives college scholarships to skateboarders) are taking the most positive thing in our life (skateboarding) and flipping it to help not only our industry but the world around us. Not unlike 90s board brands, 2000s shoe brands, and 2010s streetwear brands, the non-profits of the 2020s will drive skateboarding for the rest of the decade.

Chaos Reigns Supreme

Any addict knows that over time it gets harder and harder to get your fix, and that goes for product addicts too. The collab trend is over a decade old now and collaborations that would’ve knocked our socks off even a couple of years ago just don’t do it anymore. Brands will need to push the envelope in ways they never imagined to get a rise out of a jaded customer base that is increasingly hard to please. Nike x Adidas? That’ll work! A Thrasher x Transworld collection would do numbers.

Pick your poison, but if your collab doesn’t feel like the Jedi collabing with the Empire it probably won’t cut it in 2024. Let chaos reign!

The Long Farewell Tour

Tony Hawk’s recent “last part” was the first in a string of ageing pros working on that one final, tear-wrenching video part. These pros, deep down, know they need to get out of the limelight but simply cannot let go of calling themselves a pro skater.

Like rock stars of past generations, the farewell tour will last decades, and they will keep putting out parts, offering reflections in magazines or documentaries, and ultimately taking money that should be going to 20-year-olds while erasing whatever cultural cache their younger selves built up.

No other profession ages as cringey as pro skaters, and this will continue until someone comes up with a way to let them disappear gracefully.

Olympics Flop

We all see this one coming right? The most boring among us (or most likely their parents, managers, and agents) have spent the last few years crafting the ultimate Olympic qualifying strategy in order to ink that coveted Walmart sponsorship. Of the 4 gold medalists, at least 3 will be 15-year-olds who have never left a skatepark and are as dull as can be.

Basically, the Olympics are going to flop. Blink (or yawn) and you will miss them. Mega corporations will be left scrambling to find another trojan horse into the coveted youth market. In the best case scenario, Yuto Horigome wins again and Japan liberalizes street skating laws or the women’s street winner protests on the podium causing an international incident, but that feels like wishful thinking.

The greatest trick corporations ever pulled on skateboarding was telling kids that contests matter.

WKND Update

We all love a good skateboarding skit, but it’s time for some skate video skit superstars to reach beyond skateboarding. Jason Lee was able to launch a successful acting career with far less output than Tom K or Jordan Taylor, and lately, it feels like Grant Yansura and the crew are only gaining confidence.

It’s just a matter of time before Lorne Michaels sees the light and hires Grant and the WKND crew to be part of the next Saturday Night Live cast. Can you imagine what these guys could produce if they left behind the confines of selling a product or tying an idea back to skateboarding?

It makes too much sense, and while this prediction could hold up on title value alone (WKND Update, like come on, it’s a segment on SNL), we believe Grant has what it takes.

The Great Skateboarding Cull

Skateboarding feels more saturated than ever right now. There are more pros, more skater-owned brands, more corporate-owned shoe brands, more non-endemic brands, more influencers, more core videos, more YouTubers, more fashion brands in the mix, more, more, more!

It’s harder than ever to stand out or make enough money to survive, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a pro skater or a corporate shoe brand. At some point, it will hit a breaking point. I’m not saying there is not enough money in skateboarding, I’m saying there are too many brands, pros, influencers and corporations sucking on its teat at the current moment. Until we figure out the age-old question of “How do we get the money from skateboarding to stay in the hands of skateboarders?” it isn’t going to be an easy ride.

There will be some surprises with how this plays out, and it won’t be the companies or pros you expect, but sadly it feels like a great clear-out is coming.

Related Posts


  1. where is sandwich guy

    January 4, 2024 2:16 pm

    happy new year sandwich guy

  2. Jose Canseco

    January 4, 2024 3:45 pm

    The only Grant I know is Grant Taylor and he doesn’t waste his time with this nonsense. Also, SNL should be cancelled, that has run its course as well. Nice try on the article but this was a swing and a miss.

  3. L

    January 4, 2024 9:59 pm

    gotta be some of the most lukewarm takes i’ve ever read

  4. Hunter

    January 4, 2024 10:34 pm

    Steroid ready Mr. Canseco.

Leave a comment