Chasing the Vibe: How LSKD and Founder Jason Daniel Find Comfort in the Uncomfortable
What does it mean to be 1% better everyday? It can mean nudging beyond what you thought were your limits. It’s “chasing down the future you,” and “growth through the grind.”
Pushing boundaries as a BMX rider and aspiring professional motocross athlete, Jason Daniel, the “Loose Kid,” conceived, then built LKI which later became LSKD, the brand rapidly gaining worldwide popularity in the CrossFit space and beyond. It has been on a steady incline since its original inception in 2002, then its rebranding in 2007 and once again in 2018. Today, LSKD is one of the most worn, loved and athlete-endorsed brands currently thriving in the world of fitness.
Some background: The transition from Loose Kid Industries in 2002, to LKI in 2007 then to LSKD in 2018 came to be, due to Daniel questioning his ‘why.’
After racing motocross for 10 years, and running the company with its previous name, Daniel acknowledges he made some mistakes. LKI’s inventory was diverse, and ran the whole gamut from motocross gloves, to clothing to lifejackets. This vastness in the brand’s offerings was part of the problem. Once this was realized and accepted, the insight led to an eventual narrowing of focus, on high-quality activewear, with a particular streetwear aesthetic, which can be credited with LSKD’s success.
- “In 2018, I was prepared to go backwards,” recalls Daniel. “I went through a rough time, if I’m being honest. It was rough. But I loved being a part of something. I had to ask the question, ‘why am I doing this?’”
- “After a series of events,” Daniel continued, “we asked ourselves, ‘how do we make ourselves better?”
After revamping their business model, and realigning their focus, Daniel, along with his team, brainstormed their company values, those key components on which they wanted to build their brand and their community, within the walls of LSKD and beyond. They stayed true to those values, began (again) slowly, and eventually grew outward, into the brand we know today.
- “The core values are such a huge part of what we are… and we created them as a team, which is so much. Everything is about (the team), and all of us, working together. There is always so much collective feedback. We’re building it all together,” said Daniel.
LSKD today: In the CrossFit space, we are seeing more and more professional athletes partner with LSKD, training and competing in their clothing, carrying their gym bags, or as the focus of one of LSKD’s short films.
The athletes like Sara Sigmundsdottir, Khan Porter, Matt Dlugos and Anikha Greer among others, representing LSKD, fully align with the ideology of the brand, thus forming long-lasting mutually beneficial and supportive partnerships.
- “It’s all about having a relationship…they’re part of our team and it’s all about support, finding those ones that completely align with our mission and values,” said Daniel.
Rogan Dean, 2023 CrossFit Games Champion in the Lower Extremity Division, and another of LSKD’s sponsored athletes, shared his appreciation of the brand and the entire team.
- “What Jason and the team have created at LSKD is truly something special. It goes far beyond just a clothing brand. Their core values and community engagement is what really sets them apart from the rest.
- “I’ve been with team LSKD as an athlete for a year now and the support they give us as athletes is unreal. I’m grateful to be part of the team and extremely excited to see LSKD grow and expand even further,” said Dean.
Mission: “The…core values have become those that we wear emblazoned on our LSKD shirts, and are those that quintessentially express the brand’s true heart and mission,” Daniel said:
- Enjoy the journey.
- Create a community.
- Sweep the sheds.
- There’s a better way to do it – find it.
- Move fast and break shit.
- 1% better everyday.
As a company focused on bettering oneself, “setting the standard,” and “doing more with less,” LSKD works to inspire others in ways that extend beyond their clothing line.
- Project Earth: The brand acknowledges that with each clothing item, a great amount of resources is expended for it to arrive on one’s doorstep. In creating the Project Earth Program, LSKD strives to be as sustainable as possible, while transparent in their goals and timelines. Items are shipped in biodegradable packaging, and recycled materials including pre-consumer recycled nylon, are used in some of their best-selling items.
- “It all takes time,” shares Daniel, on these small decisions that can have lasting and impactful results. “We’re nowhere near where we want to be, but we have big goals… and it’s important to us.”
- Destigmatizing Mental Health: In July of this year, LSKD released a documentary called Don’t Wait, with Jordan Kahu, Heath Thorpe and CrossFit athletes Khan Porter and Matt Dlugos, exploring the theme of mental health and the stigma related to it that burdens many individuals, most notably males. The documentary shines light on the four individuals and their mental health battles, as a campaign to begin a conversation on this taboo subject and promote the idea that vulnerability is a strength, and that “it’s ok not to be ok.”
- Self improvement: While the common theme behind the brand’s core values is self-improvement and self-betterment, Daniel stands behind that, as he promotes the LSKD Library, which is filled with inspiring books, focusing on finding and building one’s best self. Staff and sponsored athletes’ Audible memberships are comped, thus encouraging everyone on the LSKD team to chase down the best version of themselves, in every regard. The books are categorized according to the six core LSKD values.
The big picture: As LSKD continues to grow, they are entering more markets throughout the world, in new and innovative ways. Their first US store just opened in San Diego, CA, and their BAF tour, which is a large, sleek double decker bus outfitted as a pop-up shop, just commenced, and is currently traveling throughout Australia.
The 2023 Breast Cancer Collection was recently released, (many items selling out within minutes), with 5% of every sale being donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The bottom line: With partnerships built with Games athletes across multiple divisions, and a style and ethos completely their own, LSKD holds a revered space within the CrossFit world. But LSKD’s reach is beyond just the sport of fitness, as they represent professional athletes in swimming, track and field, gymnastics, BMX Freestyle and skateboarding. Jason Daniel’s LSKD is a brand created to inspire their greater, worldwide community, and to story-tell, sharing different perspectives and common goals.
- LSKD: “Fail forward. Dare to think differently. Nothing is impossible.”