Over the past ten years, the skate industry has seemed confused about what is best for skateboarding. Sometimes the word “integrity” gets thrown around as if every skater has the exact same idea on what “the integrity of skateboarding” actually is. So what is it? In a nutshell, it’s hard to argue about concept when everyone’s idea of the concept is different.
One argument urges skaters and consumers to form united front, keeping skateboarding in the hands of businesses owned by people who have always supported skateboarding—a theme that has always reverberated in an industry that wasn’t always so mainstream.
The other side stresses growth, exposure, and global market expansion. It refers to skateboarding as a “sport” complete with cups, leagues, championships, and games. Subscribers to this idea work tirelessly to make sure skateboarding never strays far from the public eye or the mainstream spotlight.
We’ve been selling skateboard shoes since 1997. Over the past fifteen years we’ve seen the decline of skate-specific brands like èS and the rise of sporting goods brands like Nike, Converse, and now New Balance. Iconic brands like DC and SUPRA are making running shoes while streetwear brands like The Hundreds and Diamond Supply Co. have entered the skate-shoe arena. The skateboard market is not the small niche it once was. Is this good, bad, ugly? Contrary to popular belief it’s not up to Lil Wayne or Leo Romero to decide. It’s up to you – the skateboarding consumer, the lifeblood of skateboarding. Decide passionately and decide wisely.
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