Fashion has long been obsessed with skateboarding, with the preoccupation increasing over the past few years. Every season, authentic gear is dragged from skate shops into fashion spaces. Biting streetwear style isn’t anything new. There have been posers in Thrasher hoodies for decades and it won’t stop anytime soon. But, skaters being signed with major modeling agencies and the collaborations between legit high fashion brands and streetwear labels is part of a spanking new type of remixing.
Still, when it comes to true skate style, people have to look to the athletes who are actually shredding and not models who picked up boards just for the runway. Thanks to Instagram, you can keep up with skaters in real time, instead of having to wait for a monthly mag. Here’s the best part: skaters don’t use Instagram the way that calculated influencers do. There are no #OOTD posts. Instead, their accounts are curious hybrids of average social media user detritus and extreme skate YOLOness. They show tricks, which keeps skating fresh, but, they also blanket their accounts with pictures of their crew and the people they are dating and their families. Very few of the shots are professionally composed, save on accounts of skaters who are also visual artists and like, fooling around with photography. Instead, followers get raw style.
The following rippers are not only some of the best people to ride a deck; they also have a steez worth biting.
Ben Nordberg is a controversial addition to the list. On one hand, he’s an obvious choice because he is a pro-skater and a signed model with IMG. On the other, his modeling work has made a lot of other rippers question whether Nordberg can even be considered a skater anymore. A UK native, Nordberg earned a spot on the elite Flip team (Bob Burnquist is a pro member of the team, which is important because he’s a God.). He is sponsored by brands like Spitfire, Vans, and Mob Grip, while he models for H&M, American Eagle, and DKNY. Although his appearance is totally propelling his modeling career, it would be a mistake to overlook the impact of his skate style. Known for his relaxed rides, Nordberg is completely laid back when he does his tricks — his mien displaying the same indifference one expects on models striding the runway.
His is the only Instagram on this list that’s composed in the expected manner for a style influencer. In one image, he is chilling with Cara Delevingne. In another, he is thanking Gucci for a pullover. Sandwiched between are video clips of tricks. However, whereas other skaters pics with their teammates feel like something your cousin would post, Nordberg has black and white stills that look like 90s Calvin Klein ads. It’s slick.