2021 truly has become the year of ‘alternative investments’.
By this stage, most of us are used to the idea of consumer goods like sneakers, watches and luxury fashion items all being considered not only highly collectible but also surprisingly good investment opportunities. Somewhat harder to wrap one’s head around has been the rise of NFTs: an even more abstract sort of investment that’s taken this year by storm.
Another emerging asset class that’s perhaps a little easier to understand is the rise of collectible skateboards. Skating might be a grungy, accessible sport but the prices that some skate decks command are truly astounding, with the average skater unlikely to be able to afford such hefty price tags. A quick search online marketplaces will easily unearth collectible skate decks selling for hundreds if not thousands of dollars, well above their original retail prices.
Indeed, one of the biggest takeaways from leading marketplace StockX’s last 2021 market snapshot was that skate deck trades were up 400% in Q1 2021 vs. Q1 2020.
Of course, skate decks from cult brands like Supreme and Palace are hot property, but there’s two new types of decks that are increasingly attracting investor’s attention: skate decks produced by luxury brands such as Chanel or Louis Vuitton; and discontinued, ‘deadstock’ (i.e. unused) skate decks from the 80s and 90s from historically significant manufacturers like G&S and Powell Peralta.
The latter brand, one of the most influential in the growth of skating as a sport and culture, attracts perhaps the most speculation on the market. While the brand has reissued many of its popular retro designs, originals from the 80s and 90s – even pre-skated ones – are easily worth upwards of five figures. These boards have always been reasonably valuable but prices have absolutely skyrocketed in recent years.
But why are collectible skateboards becoming so valuable in 2021? Why are luxury fashion houses making skateboards? Perhaps it’s because skateboarding has never been more culturally relevant. The Tokyo Olympics became the first Games to feature skating events. Streetwear continues to have an outsized influence on modern fashion and luxury, and streetwear is deeply influenced by skating. Skating culture and high culture are cheek and jowl right now, and the money is following that.
Part of it is also just the passage of time. There’s a finite amount of deadstock vintage skateboards around – most skaters back in the 80s and 90s weren’t buying boards to squirrel away, they were buying them to use (and abuse) them. As skating becomes more popular and boards become rarer, the market gets squeezed at both ends, and prices get driven further up.
DMARGE spoke to Jessie Einhorn, Senior Economist at StockX, who suggests that rising skate deck prices is simply proof positive of the general, growing interesting in alternative investments, describing it as a “major trend”.
“A growing number of consumers are purchasing physical goods with future returns in mind – including sneakers as well as collectibles and even skateboards. While not all skate decks appreciate in value, some of the most in-demand skate decks have proven to be profitable long-term investments, with resale values that climb steadily upwards over time.”
“Next-gen investors are inspiring a new way of thinking about goods and tradable assets. They’re seeking culturally relevant investments that align with their personal values and passions.”
Speaking of luxury – check out Italian luxury brand Golden Goose’s floating skatepark project below.
What we’re saying is that it’s probably a good idea to dig through your attic and see if you’ve got any old skateboards lying around. They could be worth a packet.