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Hookups Skateboards History: 14 Things You Didn't Know About Hookups

Hookups Skateboards History: 14 Things You Didn't Know About Hookups

14 Things You Didn't Know About Hookups Skateboards
In this we talk about how Hookups was started under the Birdhouse umbrella, why they never had a team, the videos, the fake spots, Hookups shoes & much much more.

01) JEREMY KLEIN:

Jeremy Klein was born on July 12, 1971, in Torrance, California. He started skateboarding for Powell Peralta and went on to become a pro for World Industries in 1989. Jeremy's skateboarding was considered ahead of its time, and he was the first to perform a backside smith grind on a handrail. He had a standout part in the "Rubbish Heap" video. 

Jeremy Klien

Jeremy has a reputation for being opinionated, and some people have even called him an asshole due to his straightforwardness. However, Jeremy is simply a little eccentric and speaks his mind. He has also expressed that he is strongly against corporations in skateboarding.
02) BIRDHOUSE PROJECTS:

After receiving an offer from Tony Hawk to ride for the original Birdhouse team, Jeremy approached Steve Rocco from World Industries and informed him that he was quitting. Rocco responded by telling him that he was off the team, but Jeremy insisted that he had quit. Following Jeremy's departure, Big Brother published an article harshly criticizing him. Meanwhile, Rocco was also attempting to recruit Willy to ride for World, but Willy ultimately joined Birdhouse.

Birdhouse Jeremy Klein Anime Girl Skateboard Deck (Old School) : Amazon.ca:  Sports & Outdoors

The Original Birdhouse team consisted of several prominent skateboarders, including Tony Hawk, Jeremy Klein, Willy Santos, and Steve Berra who moved from Nebraska to Tony’s house and started skating vert. The team's first video, 'Feasters', was named by Jeremy after Willy's habit of eating everyone's food. The video was a great success and even gave birth to a new term 'Feaster' for someone who wanted something from you. Tony Hawk wore multiple hats for the video including being the filmer and editor. 'Feasters' also marked the first appearance of "Street-Hawk" in the skateboarding world.


Original Team Birdhouse Projects Ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVM0GuulEVw


03) PYROMANIA:

Heath Kirchart and Jeremy Klien rose to fame for their impressive pyrotechnic displays showcased in their videos. They both had a mutual love for fireworks and spent a lot of time together. Heath was the first person ever to perform a Backside Nose-Blunt on a handrail. Their sponsor Birdhouse was providing them with generous budgets for their videos, and they played a significant role in the creation of "The End" video. They named it so because they believed it could mark the end of the skateboarding era. Jeremy and Heath performed all their stunts themselves, except for the van explosion scene. At the premiere of "The End" in Japan, JK and Heath famously set themselves on fire, blocking the audience from seeing their parts and leading to the closure of the entire movie premiere midway through.

The End Poster

04) FAKE SPOTS:

In an iconic skateboarding clip, JK was seen skating the blockbuster signs and ramps. JK revealed that during the shooting of the clip, they created a 13-foot cover for the bus stop session, bolted it to the top of their van, and drove it over to the bus bench they were using. They left it on when they left, and surprisingly it stayed there for 6 years on the bus bench. JK and the team liked the idea of people who didn't understand skating being able to appreciate the size and difficulty of the stunts they were performing.

Klein Blockbuster

05) HOOK UPS (THE START):

The brand Hookups starts in summer of 1993, at first being a small collection of shirts and pants. 6 months after starting, hookups released some boards.

SEX AND SKATEBOARD ART WITH SEAN CLIVER - Jenkem Magazine

During the time, JK expressed his fondness for the anime style and believed that there should be more of it. This led him to start his own company, Hookups. Klein revealed that he did not invest any of his own money into the business. Rather, it was a licensing agreement with Blitz Distribution, the distributor for Birdhouse. Despite founding Hookups, Klein continues to be associated with Birdhouse and receives benefits from both companies.

06) SEAN CLIVER:

Sean Cliver is a well-known skateboard artist who started doing artwork for Birdhouse before moving on to create Hook Ups Graphics. Over the years, Sean has created a lot of Hook Ups artwork, mostly in his own unique interpretation of "americanized anime". Although he only did two anime style graphics, his work is still considered iconic. At the time, Hook Ups was being art directed by Klien.

Sean Cliver and Hook-Ups | Those Manga Cartoons

07) ARTWORK:

Originally Cliver did most of the artwork, one piece of hookups artwork takes him around 3 days x 8 hours a day. FUN FACT: JK doesn’t actually like anime that much really anymore

Pin by Benoit Gaubiacaimeça on 80s/90s surf & skate design | Skateboard  deck art, Skateboard art, Skateboard design

08) JEREMY KLIEN x TOM GREEN:

Jeremy Klien has made multiple appearances on the Tom Green Show. JK and Tom were teammates on Birdhouse for a while, they had remained friends

Jeremy Klein And Tom Green

09) ASIAN GODDESS:

In 1994 Hook Ups releases their first video ‘ Asian Goddess’.There is no real team so it features a whole bunch of friends; including Dan Rogers, Geoff Rowley, Jeremy Klein, Jim Greco, Rune Glifberg, Tom Penny, Tony Hawk, Willy Santos

Hook-Ups - Asian Goddess (1994) | I stumbled upon this old v… | Flickr

10) HOOKUPS SHOES:

Hookups had a chance to make shoes, but their Footwear team consisted of just two riders - JK and Heath. When asked why they didn't have more riders on their team, JK said that they had Heath Kirchart and that was all they needed. In a Ride Channel interview, JK mentioned that they sold a lot of shoes in the mid-90s. However, in the end, Blitz couldn't afford to continue producing the shoes. It cost them around a million dollars for a single run of shoes. Recently, HookUps shoes made a comeback with Etnies as their partner.

Hookups Shoes

11) DESTROYING AMERICA:

The year 2001 saw the release of Hook Ups' video 'Destroying America'. The video features some of the biggest names in skateboarding, including Heath Kirchart, Jeremy Klein, Tony Hawk, Willy Santos, Gonz, Bam, and some of the CKY crew. The video boasts an incredible compilation of jump ramp footage that is sure to blow your mind.

Destroying America

12) JK INDUSTRIES: 

Klein, a former skateboarder sponsored by Rocco and World Industries, started his own board brand called JK Industries. It's unclear whether his brand's name is a nod or a dig at his former sponsors. JK Industries is solely owned by Klein and mostly specializes in re-issues of his own graphics. Each board is silk-screened by hand and is considered a premium product. You can even order signed boards directly from them.

JK INDUSTRIES - CHUN LI DECK 8.25" X 32.25" - Street Skateshop

13) NO TEAM:

Hookups skateboards has never had an official team. Even Jeremy Klein rode for birdhouse instead of Hookups. According to Klein, Hookups had its heyday in the late 90s and made the most money ever during that time. He mentioned in an interview with Black sheep skate shop that the Alice In Wonderland Graphic was the best-selling Hook Ups board of all time.

HOOK UPS - ALICE 8" X 31.75" DECK - Street Skateshop

14) MODERN HOOKUPS:

In 2008, Jeremy Klein retired from Birdhouse, but it was not his choice as the company was changing ownership and he was forced out. Additionally, Klein was not skating much at the time. Today, Hook Ups is a small garage-style company that is difficult to locate for many shops. However, they have continuously produced skateboards since their inception. Currently, Klein has full control of Hook Ups.

Hook-Ups | Group of Five Skate Decks (c. 2007) | Artsy

3 comments

  • Jens

    I have the sickest collection . I have the originals all 7 decks in mint condition

  • Will

    Will never forget my first set of wheels were Hook ups.

  • Greg april

    Looking for evil nun board, loved shreds in sylvan lake

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