The skateboarder’s elements are the street’s solid tar, the obstacle’s rigid concrete and the skatepark’s compressed wood. Everybody not landing
his skate trick correctly comes down to earth on a tough way. Till the end of the eighties vert and street skaters mostly protected themselves by tinkering together some
provisory pads and by using funny helmets that weren’t intended for skateboarding. This self-made protection certainly didn’t do so well. Titus Dittmann, passionate
skater and owner of Germany’s most influential skateboard distribution, saw the need and founded in 1988 the protection gear brand TSG. The company’s objective was
to develop quality pads that protect from injuries without restricting any movement while skating. During the next years TSG invested a lot of time and budget into the development,
design and testing of protective gear that fulfills the different requirements of the skate sport. The investment was worthwhile, the skateboard scene showed respect and enthusiasm.
This was enough motivation to continue and finally spend time on designing protection for the most precious part of the body: TSG wanted to develop a helmet to keep the head safe.
Considering the skateboarder’s very individual style perception this definitely was quite a bold venture. Despite the big challenge, TSG sat together with some well-known vert
skaters and finally did succeed in building a stable helmet, whose look was instantly accepted by the scene.
BIG, WIDE WORLD
The request for the skate helmet grew and TSG gained more and more publicity outside the German borders. The quality and design also convinced many American skaters that attended
European contests, what finally encouraged TSG to look for a way to distribute their safety products in the USA.
In 1996 the company agreed with the Californian firm NHS to distribute TSG products under license in the states. This
big step got skateboard heroes like Rune Glifberg, Buster Halterman, Mike Valley and Tony Hawk into the team.
In December 9th, 1999 Tony Hawk tested the quality of a TSG helmet very fussy, when he landed upright on his head during a loop attempt for the shooting for a Disney commercial.
The film crew already expected him to be in coma, but Tony was all right. He thanked his sponsor by signing this helmet and sending it to TSG in Germany. The company’s high
quality standards thus got confirmed. TSG also was the first company that passed the high requirements of the American Consumer Product Safety Commission and got CPSC certified.
All products are vigorously tested under the harshest conditions by their team riders. The product performance is officially confirmed and certified by an authorized lab. Each TSG
protective product meets European Community directives for personal protective clothing and is in full compliance with directive 89 / 686 /CEE.
Soon after Tony Hawk and Mike Vallely got their own pro signature models featuring their own graphic designs and TSG
started cooperating with skateboard brands and produced company logo helmets with unique graphics of Santa Cruz, Alien Workshop, Zero, Foundation, Element, Flip and Toy Machine to name a few.
The helmet and safety pads line grows and an innovative collection of skateboard backpacks were added to the program.
Bmx riders liked the style of TSG and soon started wearing the skateboard protection too.
In winter 1999 TSG enters the snowboard market by producing helmets specifically for skaters on the snow. Built with skate
roots, those snowboard helmets created a totally new look in the lame winter sport safety business. Couple years later pro snowboarders like Gian Simmen and Iouri Podladtchikov join
the team and the snow collection includes back protectors, lower body protection and snowboard backpacks.
In 2004 the Swiss Ruedi Herger joins TSG as product and brand manager. His management led to a strengthened branding and
an increased extension of the product portfolio. Before pushing TSG, Ruedi Herger was responsible for team management and R&D of the snowboard brand Santa Cruz for more than ten years.
He significantly took active part in expanding the brand globally and conducting Gian Simmen to his Olympic gold medal in 1998.
Ruedi saw the potential for the growing freeride/dirt bike market, launched a mountain bike pad collection and started
sponsoring mtb dirt riders. All pads are developed in close cooperation with the team riders and tested till they fulfill their demands. Some of the best mtb dirt riders today wear
In October 2005 Ruedi Herger and partner buy out the brand from the original owner and relocate the company’s headquarter and design lab to
Zurich, Switzerland. The new company is called TSG International AG and is distributed globally. The TSG pro team consists of international skate, bmx, mtb, snowboard, ski and wake team riders.