A Brief History of Nike SB and Its Athletes
In March of 2002, Nike jumped into the world of skateboarding with Nike SB. The initial line began with the classic Nike Dunk model that had been previously known as an ’80s basketball style. In true Nike fashion, the SB Dunk was reworked and vastly improved specifically for the sport of skateboarding with a more padding and a more durable selection of materials. While the pushback from the skate community was apparent, when people realized their favorite skaters were getting to design shoes (and seeing a paycheck for once), it was apparent Nike SB was going to be a mainstay.
The early team included names like Daniel Shimizu, Danny Supa, Paul Rodriguez, Gino Iannucci, Reese Forbes, Richard Mulder, Brian Anderson and more. After Nike SB began, the anticipation for the first video was almost palpable in any skate shop. The roster was solid, and the thought of Nike budgets behind some of the best skaters in the world had even the utmost of haters eager to see what was to come. After much anticipation, Nike SB released On Tap in 2004, which featured the likes of P-Rod, Brian Anderson, Chet Childress, Reese Forbes, Gino Iannucci, Todd Jordan, Richard Mulder, Daniel Shimizu, Danny Supa and more. It was clear, with the help of P-Rod’s 2004 X-Games Gold Medal, Nike SB wasn’t just a fad, but a force that would shape the future of skateboarding.
In the years that followed, Nike SB released over a dozen videos, including classics like Nothing But The Truth in 2007, Debacle in 2009, and The SB Chronicles Vol. 01 in 2011 and The SB Chronicles Vol. 02 in 2013. Of course, those videos couldn’t have become classic without the ever-improving roster of skaters that joined forces with SB. Names like Eric Koston, Stefan Janoski, Omar Salazar, and the legendary Lance Mountain, became a part of the team and helped make it bigger than just skateboarding, Nike SB had become mainstream.
While most of the team skated in classic Nike silhouettes reworked for skate duty, a handful were given their very own signature shoe. The switchstance king, Stefan Janoski, became a household name thanks to one of the most successful skate shoe designs (done mostly by Stefan himself) ever created, the Zoom Janoski that dropped in 2009. Omar Salazar’s signature model also released in 2009 with a focus on board feel and a mid-top style that felt like the roots of skateboarding. Then buzz began around the web about one of the best skateboarders of all time. Not long after it was announced Eric Koston had signed to SB. Koston unveiled his first shoe with Nike SB in 2011 and called it “a high-performance skate shoe that comes in a plain wrapper.” The year 2013 saw San Francisco skate legend and long-time SB team skater, Brian Anderson get his first true signature model with the Project BA.
The modern day roster includes a handful of the OGs; Brian Anderson, Lance Mountain (yes, THAT Lance Mountain) P-Rod, etc. along with future legends like Sean Malto, Daryl Angel, Theotis Beasley, Shane O’Neill and more. Recently Nike Skateboarding has even gone back to the roots of skateboarding and helped re-open one of the best skate spots in the world, the West LA Courthouse, so that future generations of skaters can experience one of the spots seen in countless skate videos over the years. In the 13+ years that Nike SB has been involved in skateboarding, the landscape of the sport has changed drastically. But one thing hasn’t changed, Nike SB and the team’s determination to push forward the sport of skateboarding.
All images courtesy of Nike SB