The new skateboard decks by Happy Hour Skateboards feature three original drawings by Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920-1991). With the collaboration Happy Hour Skateboards wants to honor Tom’s legacy, as well as support diversity within skateboarding.
Helsinki-based Happy Hour Skateboards is the first ever skateboarding company to collaborate with Tom of Finland Foundation. The Happy Hour Skateboards X Tom of Finland collection includes three skateboard decks featuring original Tom of Finland drawings, as well as a limited edition clothing collection including t-shirts, hoodies and tote bags.
The collaboration began when Happy Hour Skateboards founder and owner Jarkko Poropudas met Durk Dehner, President of Tom of Finland Foundation, at Mr. Leather contest in Helsinki in August 2016.
“After a beer, we both agreed that this collaboration needed to happen,” says Poropudas.
“When you travel the world and meet skateboarders you soon realize the two Finns people know are skateboarder Arto Saari and Tom of Finland. This collaboration is our tribute to a legendary artist. In addition to the bigger picture of gay rights, we want to do our part in supporting diversity within skateboarding.”
The Happy Hour Skateboards X Tom of Finland collection features three original Tom of Finland drawings, ”Day & Night” (1980) and ”Fuck The World” (1976).
The two-part ”Day & Night” depicts a typical TOM’s Man in his day and evening attire – a suit and a tie, as well as full-on black leather. It reflects the “misfit” lives of many skateboarders who work in an office during the day and skate and party at night.
The collaboration comes at a time in which skateboarding is undergoing a change. Among skaters, diversity is a more pertinent topic than ever.
For a long time, skateboarding was seen as a macho sport with little tolerance for different sexual orientations. Soon after the Happy Hour Skateboards X Tom of Finland collaboration was initiated, the first American pro skater came out. Skateboarding legend Brian Anderson revealed in a Vice documentary that for years, he was too afraid to talk about his sexuality.
“I wish all skateboarders around the world would be accepted as they are,” Poropudas adds.
Part of the proceeds from this collection benefit the non-profit activities of Tom of Finland Foundation. The products are available now at Tom of Finland Store.