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686 is built around the elements of skate and snow. When Michael Akira West, a progressive street skateboarder, stepped onto a snowboard back in 1985, the concept of actually skating on the snow was something entirely new. Throughout the following years after that first experience, Mike worked and rode at the local mountain in Big Bear; using punk, rap and jazz music as well as his collection of sneakers and vintage clothing as forms of inspiration. After finishing business school at the University of Southern California, Mike realized that if he was going to do something on his own, it should start when he had nothing to lose. Little did he know how successful his idea would be.

On November 13, 1992, the 686 clothing company was formed. The 686 name comes from a crucial date in the life of Mike's grandmother (June 6th, 1986) and adds up to his age when he started the company. Since the beginning, 686 has been all about providing the adult and youth riding community innovative and fashionable outerwear and technical clothing inspired directly from the same Los Angeles urban and artistic principles it was founded upon. The company's "more than you expected" philosophy of providing progressive and fashion forward adult and kids’ snowboarding clothing designs is widely known and highly regarded.

686 kid’s clothing line has brought everything innovative about the 686 brand to youth snowboarding apparel. The technology used in 686 youth apparel is the same technology used in 686 adult apparel, giving kids the opportunity to shred just like their older counterparts. Kids’ snowboarding apparel will never be the same.

Products like the trademarked SMARTY® line of removable 3-in-1 liners, the trademarked TIMES® line of limited edition co-branded products, the trademarked ACC® line of collaborative artist projects, the trademarked PLEXUS® line of minimalist shell technology, the patented Toolbelts™ line of functional belts, and technical fabric and waterproof innovations all make up the 686 name. Being independently rider-owned and operated, as well as an obsession to make products progressively unique, is what 686 is all about.