You never know when the next industry shaker will show up or how they might flip the sporting world on its head when they do. But Tyshawn Jones is doing just that. He’s rolling in out of nowhere to create a name for himself and begin building an empire. With two Thrasher Skateboarder of the Year awards in his pockets, a modeling contract, sneaker deals, and more, TJ embodies what it is to be a history maker and a great icon for Black History Month.
Tyshawn Jones: The Beginning
Born in Harlem and being raised in the Bronx, Tyshawn had the same start to life that a lot of young men in his generation have. However, Tyshawn has admitted that there weren’t a lot of Black skateboarding heroes for him to emulate as a young man. Also, skateboarding wasn’t the coolest thing for him to be doing at the time he got started.
“[Skateboarding] obviously wasn’t the accepted sport,” he said in an interview with Hot 97, “but it wasn’t too bad because I wasn’t the dorky kind of nerdy skateboarder. I still had that, I guess, presence because I’m from New York, so I related to them.”
Tyshawn’s consistency has been a huge source of pride and power for him throughout his career. It’s given him a charisma and drive that’s helped him make waves as a skateboarder and entrepreneur. When he turned 10 years old, he played the 2007 video game Skate with his brother and uncle. That was his first real introduction to skateboarding, and he decided to learn more about it. This led to him buying his first skateboard for about 40 dollars. Now he owns his own skate company that sells decks for $82 and up. This momentous jump from a kid who learned about skateboarding from a videogame to an entrepreneur who’s won awards for his skateboarding started his own companies, and is shaking up the industry through the building of his brand shows how Tyshawn Jones is making history now.
How Tyshawn Jones is Making History Now
Tyshawn went pro as a skateboarder at age 17, breaking onto the scene with huge tricks that turned heads. From hopping over Department of Sanitation trash cans more times than anyone could count to impressive improvisations and tricks in the middle of busy moving traffic, Tyshawn has shown the flexibility and imagination of his skateboarding time and time again. His 33rd street ollie, which has become legendary in the skateboarding community, has been documented and reviewed as a feat of human ability, with teams of skateboarders passing up the challenge until Tyshawn picked up the gauntlet. It even got three paragraphs in The New York Times.
Tyshawn made the biggest waves in the industry clearing the gap in the NYC subway. This iconic image gave him legendary status. The picture was so epic and awe-inspiring that Thrasher used it as their December 2022 cover shot. Although the jump itself has been done before, many argue that it’s never been done with so much style. In the picture, Tyshawn levitates through an estimated 9 feet of air with a calm that makes the jump itself look effortless.
Thrasher Skater of the Year
Tyshawn’s part in Supreme’s video Blessed was called “one of the most talked about parts of the year”. It all started with a switch flip into the fountain at Washington Square Park. This appearance earned him the 2018 Skater of the Year award from Thrasher.
Tyshawn was named skater of the year again in 2022. This was at the tail end of a year of unprecedented skating that crashed through barriers and soared above train tracks. During that night, he said, “Skateboarding’s got me everything good in my life, and it’s made me some very good friends. I love skateboarding.” This statement shows another aspect of why Tyshawn is so good at building a brand. This is because he’s positioned himself to be viewed as a man of the people and for the people. This is ideally in line with his brand ethos.
Supreme is known for being the most fashion-forward and current brand out there. They’ve always got their eyes out for fresh talent that they can count on to go a long way, and Tyshawn Jones is no different. Supreme signed him as a model when he was 12 years old. He’s been featured in multiple campaigns and videos, including Cherry when he was just 14 and Blessed, which helped him snag his first Skater of the Year award.
Adidas Sneaker Deal
Tyshawn’s a skater who understands what other skaters need and go through because he’s been there and done that. Thus a sneaker deal with Adidas is a perfect match. There are several versions of his kicks with alternate colorways and crisp and clean lines that are polished but still relaxed. Tyshawn is also still working with Adidas and he hopes to branch out to introduce more Streetwear and sneakers in the line.
Building a Brand
Tyshawn earned his first endorsement deal at 13, but he’s been moving up and on ever since. To grow and develop his brand, he left his initial endorsement deal to create his own board company, King Skateboards. His selection of decks reflects a variety of interests and the styles that are out there in the skating world. He has decks that have been branded to fit his personal style and they fit perfectly with his brand.
In a quest to provide skaters with the same kind of equipment he wants for his board, Tyshawn created Hardies Hardware. Hardies Hardware provides a wide variety of skateboard hardware as well as apparel. This nameplate is set up to provide more options for him to further build his brand around skate culture.
From top to bottom, everything matters. Brick Underneath is the natural expansion of Tyshawn’s brand as it reaches into new parts of the apparel industry. He says “Brick Underneath is designed to ensure every layer of your clothes passes the vibe check”. Tyshawn does this by supplying undergarments that are perfectly tailored to the skateboarding lifestyle.
Acting and Producing
Tyshawn is always growing and expanding. He loves new forays in the arts that are on-brand but also bring new opportunities. Part of this is exploring new acting and producing opportunities. He’s already been heavily involved in video production. A few of the video projects that he has been a part of include Blessed, Away Days, Monster, Humanity Stoked, All the Street are Silent: The Convergence of Hip Hop and Skateboarding, Adidas Originals: Superstar- Change is a Team Sport, and North Hollywood. He has also done work, as a voice actor in video games, lending his voice to Tony Hawks’ Pro Skater 1+2 as himself. He has also positioned himself perfectly to add producing to his list of credits very soon.
A Brand, a Legend, an Empire
Tyshawn Jones could easily lead a workshop on “How to build a successful brand.” But, instead, starting at the ripe old age of 13, he’s been building on his skateboarding talents and skills with daring moves and epic leaps into other industries. He has been featured on the fronts of magazines and earned the coveted title of Skater of the Year twice in 4 years. He has begun building his brand smartly by taking the opportunities that skateboarding has afforded him and expanding them into entrepreneurial areas like modeling and shoe deals. This catapulted him into building an empire by branching into creating skateboarding equipment. Tyshawn Jones is a great example of the Black excellence we are showcasing for Black history month. His personal brand is a great example of how you can make history now and add flair with a kick-flip to the top.