Deciphering FTC in Skating: What Does FTC Stand For In Skating

Aleksandr Smokvin

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What Does Ftc Stand For In Skating

In the vibrant world of skateboarding, acronyms and abbreviations often take on a life of their own. One such abbreviation that has intrigued both novice and seasoned skaters is “FTC.” 

It’s prominently associated with FTC Skateboarding, a legendary skate shop based in San Francisco, but what exactly does FTC stand for in the context of skating? In this blog post, we’ll unravel the mystery behind FTC in skateboarding. 

We’ll address five frequently asked questions to shed light on its evolution and significance within the skateboarding culture.

What Does FTC Stand For In Skating?

In the world of skateboarding, FTC stands for “For The City.” FTC Skateboarding, founded in 1994 by Kent Uyehara in San Francisco, has played a pivotal role in the city’s skate culture for nearly three decades. 

Originally, “FTC” represented “Free Trade Center,” originating from Kent’s father’s business, FTC Ski & Sports, established in the late 1960s. 

However, as skateboarding transitioned from its surf-inspired roots to urban street skating in the 1980s, the acronym evolved to “For The City.”

San Francisco was a crucial hub for the development of street skating in the 1980s, earning it the moniker of the skateboarding Mecca in the 1990s. FTC Skateboarding moved to the Haight in 1994, further cementing its place in the city’s skate shop history.

The shop has been instrumental in supporting and promoting the skateboarding community, staying true to its name, “For The City.”

Decoding FTC in Skating: From Free Trade Center to For The City

In skateboarding, FTC has undergone a significant transformation in its meaning. Originally standing for “Free Trade Center,” FTC in the skateboarding world has evolved to represent “For The City.” 

This transition reflects the changing landscape of skateboarding and its deep-rooted connection to the urban environments where it thrives. FTC Skateboarding, founded in 1994 by Kent Uyehara in San Francisco, has been a vital part of the city’s skate scene for nearly three decades. 

Initially linked to Kent’s father’s business, FTC Ski & Sports, which began in the late 1960s, the acronym “FTC” took on a new significance as skateboarding shifted from its surf-inspired origins to embrace a more urban and street-oriented style.


San Francisco emerged as a focal point for the development of street skating in the 1980s, earning it the title of the skateboarding Mecca during the 1990s. In 1994, Kent relocated FTC Skateboarding to the Haight, a neighborhood with a rich history of skate shops. 

Evolution of FTC in Skateboarding

Evolution of FTC in Skateboarding

The evolution of FTC in skateboarding is a reflection of the sport’s changing dynamics and its deep connection to the urban environment. FTC originally stood for “Free Trade Center” but has since transformed into “For The City.”

Free Trade Center

The journey of FTC began in the late 1960s when Kent Uyehara’s father, Lloyd Uyehara, established FTC Ski & Sports. 

The acronym “FTC” initially represented “Free Trade Center.” During this period, skateboarding was still finding its identity, largely influenced by surf culture.

The Rise of Street Skating

In the 1980s, skateboarding started to shift from its surf-inspired roots to embrace a more street-oriented style. San Francisco played a pivotal role in this evolution, with street skating gaining prominence. 

FTC, under Kent Uyehara’s leadership, began selling skateboards to his high school friends during this era.

Transition to “For The City”

As skateboarding continued to evolve, especially in San Francisco, FTC’s meaning transformed to “For The City.” 

This change reflected the shop’s commitment to the local skateboarding community and its dedication to serving the city’s skateboarders.

Mecca of Skateboarding

San Francisco gained recognition as the “Mecca of skateboarding” in the 1990s, and FTC Skateboarding became an integral part of this scene. 

The shop’s relocation to the Haight neighborhood in 1994 further solidified its status within the city’s skate shop history.

Today, FTC Skateboarding stands as a symbol of loyalty to the city and its skateboarding culture, embodying the spirit of “For The City” and remaining deeply intertwined with the evolution of skateboarding itself.

Kent’s Contribution to Skateboarding

Kent Uyehara has made significant contributions to the world of skateboarding through his involvement with FTC Skateboarding and his role in shaping the San Francisco skateboarding scene. Some key contributions include:

Founding FTC Skateboarding

Kent Uyehara founded FTC Skateboarding in 1994, which has become a cornerstone of San Francisco’s skateboarding community. 

His establishment of this shop provided a hub for local skateboarders and contributed to the growth of the sport in the city.

Supporting Street Skateboarding

Kent Uyehara played a role in promoting street skateboarding in San Francisco during the 1980s and 1990s. He recognized the shift in skateboarding culture from its surf-inspired origins to a more urban and street-oriented style. 

FTC Skateboarding became a place where street skateboarders could find the gear and support they needed.

Nurturing Local Talent

FTC Skateboarding has been known for nurturing local skateboarding talent. Kent’s shop has sponsored and supported numerous local skateboarders, helping them gain recognition and opportunities within the industry. 

This support has contributed to the success of many San Francisco skateboarders.

Preserving Skate Shop Culture

In an era where many local skate shops faced challenges from large retail chains, Kent Uyehara’s dedication to FTC Skateboarding helped preserve the essence of skate shop culture. 

FTC remained a community-driven, independent skate shop that offered a unique and personalized experience for skateboarders.

Cultural Impact

Through FTC Skateboarding, Kent Uyehara has left a lasting cultural impact on San Francisco and the skateboarding world. 

The shop’s role in the “Mecca of skateboarding” era in San Francisco and its commitment to the city’s skate scene have made it an iconic institution in the skateboarding community.

Kent Uyehara’s contributions to skateboarding extend beyond running a successful skate shop. His support for local talent, promotion of street skateboarding, and dedication to preserving skate shop culture have had a positive and lasting influence on the sport and its community.

FTC’s Impact on Skating Culture

FTC Skateboarding has had a profound and lasting impact on skateboarding culture, particularly within the San Francisco scene and beyond. Here are some of the ways in which FTC has influenced skating culture:

Promotion of Street Skateboarding

FTC played a pivotal role in promoting street skateboarding during the 1980s and 1990s. As the sport evolved from its surf-inspired roots to a more urban and street-oriented style, FTC provided a platform for street skaters to find the latest gear, share their passion, and push the boundaries of what was possible in street skating.

Support for Local Talent

FTC Skateboarding has been known for its support of local skateboarding talent. The shop has sponsored and nurtured numerous local skaters, helping them gain recognition and opportunities in the industry. 

This support has contributed to the growth of the San Francisco skate scene and the success of many skateboarders.

Preservation of Skate Shop Culture

In an era when many local skate shops struggled to compete with large retail chains, FTC remained committed to the core values of skate shop culture. 

It offered a unique and personalized experience for skateboarders, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie that is integral to skateboarding culture.

Cultural Hub

FTC Skateboarding became a cultural hub for skateboarders in San Francisco and beyond. It was not just a place to buy skate gear but also a gathering spot where skaters could connect, share stories, and exchange ideas. 

This sense of community and belonging has been instrumental in shaping skateboarding culture.

Contributions to Skateboarding Media

FTC has also made contributions to skateboarding media, including videos and publications. 

These media outlets have not only showcased the skills of local skateboarders but also helped disseminate the unique San Francisco skateboarding culture to a wider audience.

Iconic Status

FTC Skateboarding has achieved iconic status within the skateboarding community. It is often regarded as a symbol of the vibrant and influential San Francisco skate scene during the 1990s, and it continues to be a respected and cherished institution in the sport.

FTC Skateboarding’s impact on skateboarding culture goes beyond being a retail store; it has been a driving force in the promotion of street skateboarding, the support of local talent, the preservation of skate shop culture, and the creation of a tight-knit skateboarding community. Its legacy continues to shape and inspire skateboarders worldwide.


What is FTC skate meaning?

“FTC Skate” typically refers to FTC Skateboarding, which is a well-known skate shop and brand based in San Francisco. FTC originally stood for “Free Trade Center” when it was founded by Kent Uyehara in 1994. 

However, over time, the meaning of FTC evolved to represent “For The City,” reflecting the shop’s dedication to the local skateboarding community and the city of San Francisco.

Where can I find FTC skateboarding products?

You can find FTC skateboarding products at their physical store in San Francisco or through their official website. Additionally, some skate shops and online retailers may carry FTC merchandise.

What is FTC’s contribution to the skateboarding community?

FTC has played a significant role in the skateboarding community by sponsoring talented skateboarders, organizing events, and supporting the local skate scene. They’ve also contributed to skateboarding culture through their videos and collaborations.

Are there any famous skateboarders associated with FTC?

Yes, FTC has sponsored and collaborated with several renowned skateboarders over the years, including Karl Watson and Keith Hufnagel, who have left a lasting impact on skateboarding culture.

Does FTC have a global presence?

While FTC is rooted in San Francisco, it has gained international recognition and has fans and supporters worldwide. Their influence extends beyond their physical location, making them a global brand in skateboarding culture.

Wrapping Up

FTC in skateboarding has transformed from “Free Trade Center” to “For The City,” symbolizing not just a skate shop but a commitment to the local skate scene and the broader culture of skateboarding. 

This blog post has explored its evolution, its contributions to street skateboarding, its support for local talent, and its enduring cultural impact. 

Hopefully, it has provided a comprehensive understanding of what FTC truly stands for in the world of skating. Have a nice day.

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Aleksandr Smokvin

Working with competitive skaters at the national and international level can provide great experience. This experience plays an important role in developing skaters' on- and off-ice techniques and workouts; Compose programs according to international standards and requirements in single skating; Organizing and conducting ice-skating training camps. Committed to staying up to date with current developments and systematically strengthening my own knowledge and competence. LinkedIn

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