College thesis Nike SB

Hi Sk8terz !

My name is Rafy and I am currently writing a thesis for my last year on school benches!

I am french and I skate since I am kid, I decided to do my thesis on this topic, more precisely on the arrival of Nike in the skateboard market. In my work I try to analyze how Nike has adopted the codes of skateboarding culture to be legitimate in the midst of "core skate" brands like Vans or Santa Cruz.

Currently, I am trying to trace the history of the brand looking for ads (old and new) and pictures of the clothing line since the creation of SB (trace the evolution of the clothing line proposed by SB could be perfect!). So if you have archives (video / magazine ads, posters) or old Nike SB pieces (t-shirt, shoes ...) I'd love to see them in order to see what they look like!

Also, if the subject inspires you and you want to share your experience with Nike SB (first contact with the brand, first item bought, what SB represents for you) I'll be happy to read you ;)

Thanks in advance !
Have a nice day :)



  • The oldest ads I found is this one (really cool btw) :
  • nike didnt adopt any "codes" they simply went after ppl who were hot at the moment and offered money that ppl couldnt refuse (nyjah is currently making about 3 million a year from them) to legitmize themselves and once they entered the market they got all the yo boys/peeps who listen to rap etc to help make them look like a legit skate company but they will never be a real skate company it is all just marketing crap the sooner it dies the better!
  • It all began with slipon vans, everything else is a money grab....especially Nike SB
  • An interesting thing to look into would be Nike's desire to actually make functional products, or are they simply cashing in? When Nike entered the hockey market so many years ago, they actually worked on making products better for the game. Lighter, stronger materials. They didn't just slap the logo on existing equipment and cashed a check. But are they putting that same effort into skateboarding or are they just slapping a SB logo on existing products and pretending to be a skate company? If you look back at Airwalk, for better or for worse, they actually made shoes where they put thought into them. Ollie pads, lace savers, and into the 90s low tops with cushion in the right places as tech tricks required more flexibility. I think that would be an interesting aspect to look into.
  • cashing in and all they did is slap a logo on existing products it is basically like if mcdonalds did it
  • edited June 2019
    At one time Tony Hawke had his face on a Slurpee cup. McRad got stiffed
  • edited June 2019
    Yeah, they did just rebrand old basketball shoes as 'Nike SB'.

    BUT - pros were skating Nike basketball shoes in the 80's. It wasn't until Airwalk came in and ripped off the Jordan 1 did the game really change. Before that, you skated Vans, Converse, or Nike basketball shoes.

    The Jordan 1 and Dunk are still 2 of the greatest shoes ever made, for skating or otherwise. And they are still pumping them out for skaters.
  • VSW ripped Converse All Stars, and just added an Ollie pad, and/or made them out of suede. Sorry, all the pretty patterns too and a slightly thicker sole. However I skate VSW’s, but All Stars sucked. CONS erx were great however...again, basketball shoes. But it doesn’t take blind Freddy to see the parallels between skating and basketball with all the jumping and weird loads on your feet and ankles!
  • edited June 2019
    3 for sure wearing the Jordan 1. Can't see Hawk's.

  • edited June 2019
    Had to check out what Hawk was wearing after your post lol. Shredded Vans...

  • Back in the day when decks and shoes were used and worn beyond there life span....modern pros have no idea
  • Shoes pppfft, Lee Ralph had his own ideas
  • Riding without shoes freaks me out.
  • yea pretty gnarly
  • And she's way better than me even in her underwear, which is kinda demoralizing.

    To sorta un-hijack this thread, I remember people skating in Nikes and other basketball shoes in the early 90's. It wasn't until some Thrasher magazines and catalogs made their way into our hands that we picked up on some of the counter culture and what skaters were "supposed" to wear. After that it was all Etnies, DC, etc. I was out of it before Nike launched SB, but I liked my Nike Airs a lot in my early days.
  • in the late 80's I rode leather high top basketball shoes to skate: Cons and Reebok. Also rode Chuck Taylor's for a while. Couldn't afford air jordans. I bought some Nike SB suede Koston's at the outlet store 3 years ago not realizing they were skate shoes. They were just comfy as hell shoes. Last year when I started riding again I realized I already owned "skate shoes" and tested riding the Koston's. They are *fantastic.* They don't make them anymore, which sucks. I have canvas Vans too that I bought this year, but the Nike's are, I hate to say, far better. I did buy a pair of the Janoski zooms online a couple months ago and they sucked. Way too thin on the sole and just felt cheap. I sent them back the same day.
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