Frenchman’s Defection To German Shoe Company From Californian One Spotlights A Deepening Fissure In The Industry Dudes

“…Along the way, amazing things have simply continued to happen–like a Francophile Forrest Gump, seemingly stumbling obliviously from one victory to the next…”

Did you leave on good terms?
We talked a lot about it. For them it was hard. I understand their point of view. It’s the skate brands that make all this happen. They have the real sense for it. They are the ones that go find riders and build them up. Without Rick Howard, Mike Carroll, or Guy, I would still be out in the French countryside. They push people like me up and then the big companies can come in and help themselves. I see their side of it. That’s why it was so hard to make that decision.

Trying to figure out which plot point in “Forrest Gump” would correspond with Lucas Puig’s fraught parting with Lakai to don triple-striped track suits. (Spoiler alert) Maybe when him and Lieutenant Dan ride out the hurricane and Lt. Dan loudly curses God? Or the point where Forrest decides to stop running cross-country with his new pack of followers? Sleeping with his elementary school heartthrob and then she abruptly bounces?

Like Gump’s rise to become a shrimping magnate, Lucas Puig’s shift to Adidas was in the works long before Es went into suspended animation, but this month’s splashy teamrider interviews in the new TWS, Adidas-backed web part and the magazine’s concurrent gushing over a lavish Nike shoe-release party in Spain comes off sorta tone deaf, coming a shortly after the towel was thrown in by the dudes who touched off the current generation’s Game of Skate obsession.

I guess if the years go on and footwear heavies like Lakai, Sole Tech, etc are forced into a farm-league role by virtue of their slimmer wallets, interview responses like Chris Cole’s recent DC talk or the one above (or maybe the “why’d you move” question itself) will vanish and look kinda quaint in the rear-view mirror, but currently Puig’s comment makes me feel for the Crail camp. They bring up the hot young’ns, occasionally turn them into stars good for a pro model or two before they wave goodbye and head for money-greener pastures. And if you don’t cheer them on the way out you risk looking a hater in the “do u” era.

From a P&L perspective it seems like a kick in the pants too–like you can have Cory Kennedy sell your wood and urethane, but when it comes to moving high-margin kicks and clothes, a dude like that may ascend outta your price bracket. So does your enterprise turn into a staging ground for the more well-heeled shoemakers, or does a Lakai satisfy themselves with a role as tastemakers and scouts scooping talent on the upswing? Do these companies need to figure out tie-ups to ensure some type of compensation/protection for bringing dudes up? Long-running contracts? Does skateboarding need break-up fees?

There’s a rumor going around that Sean Malto is being wooed away to DC to the tune of $5 million over a period of five years, a princely sum that raises the interesting question as to where DC ranks along the shoe co spending spectrum, what with their recent team overhaul-splurge. You could also ponder the potential for the multinational Nikes and Adidases to raise up new faces–in their now-decade of SBness has Nike gotten behind many lesser-known ams? I’m thinking Shane O’Neill, Grant Taylor? Lewis Marnell? With Adidas one would be Lem Villemin, who it’s nice to see get on with Cliche at last.

As far as that part goes it’s usual killer Lucas Puig stuff–he has got a real good handle right now on manual tricks, especially the one at three-up-three-down and the crazy squeaker. The BA/SF run was a nice point-scorer and the backside nosegrind revert up that brick ledge is heavy duty.

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15 Responses to “Frenchman’s Defection To German Shoe Company From Californian One Spotlights A Deepening Fissure In The Industry Dudes”

  1. J-wU Says:

    Pappalardo, Olsen, Kosten and more recently Puig, all moved on for cash. Harsh for Lakai good for the riders. What you gonnna do?

  2. Captain Hindsight Says:

    Lakai will be just fine.

  3. adrian Says:

    hopefully they will be alright. The younger gen has had their brains mashed with parental acceptance, mainstream acceptance, and now corporate acceptance. Remember when skateboarding was accepted only by skateboarders? I am starting to forget.

  4. intheknow Says:

    at BA/SF, we don’t make the things you skate, we make the things you skate better.

    nicely played, intentional or not.

  5. Pac Mangemi Says:

    The problem is that more than ever pro skateboarding is a dead end job. It was 20 year ago too, but now there are people with college degrees that can’t find a job as a cashier, and also super ams with T-800 endoskeletons that raise the bar every year, the D. Way/ Eric Koston 25 year career may be soon remembered as a one time anomaly. So grabbing the cash while you can seems like a wise personal choice for the future. Ya know, not everyone can “Scott Pazelt” it.

  6. art hellman Says:

    Paper, iron, won’t buy Eden
    working for paper and for iron
    work for the right to keep my tie on
    working for paper and for iron
    work for the unicorn and lion

    I pray the kids aren’t starving
    no chicken for the Sunday carving
    I’ll stay for one more farthing

    I take home my notes and coins every week
    I’m told I’m worth much more
    but the Church says turn the other cheek
    the other cheek
    paper, iron, won’t buy Eden.

    I know the family needs me
    can’t moan, the factory feeds me
    won’t bite the hand that bleeds me

    I take home my notes and coins every week
    I’ll inherit the earth I’m told
    but the Church says to remain this meek
    remain this meek
    I’m still a proud man.

    Won’t show anybody else my wage
    a blend in the crowd man

    is this anybody’s golden age
    is this anybody’s golden age
    is this anybody’s golden age
    or am I dreaming of a golden cage

    La la lo it’s paper
    la la lo it’s iron
    la la lo just paper
    la la lo just iron

  7. bo Says:

    On the farm league angle, think of Powell (or SkateOne?) of the past couple of years, bringing dudes up who get snatched after a video part. So it goes.

    That said, what happens to Street League in 2013 when the CBA expires?

  8. ljonz Says:

    Guess he just wanted to dress more French? (+ the $ of course) ..a bit of shame that Rickk and Mike wouldn’t trump headbutter soccer player.

  9. - Says:

    Two-headed dog
    Two headed dog
    I’ve been working in the Kremlin
    With a two-headed dog

    Peace brought back fought back
    Relaxed be nyet brought back
    Did you dry her out
    Wind her out like jerky?
    To me she’s healed to attack

    Two-headed dog
    Two headed dog
    I’ve been working in the Kremlin
    With a two-headed dog

    Children nailed to the cross
    Pain does not look our hell
    Certainly is not a spell
    Sweet waste from a well

    Two-headed dog
    Two headed dog
    I’ve been working in the Kremlin
    With a two-headed dog

    Winds quiet in the night
    Her body just blows messiah
    Sickening sweet sight left or right
    Is all right does not please my appetite

    Two-headed dog
    Two headed dog
    I’ve been working in the Kremlin
    With a two-headed dog

    Two-headed dog
    Two headed dog
    I’ve been working in the Kremlin
    With a two-headed dog

  10. Watson Says:

    Got you working with some ass, yeah
    You bad, yeah
    Make a nigga spend his cash, yeah
    His last, yeah
    Hoes clown when you pass, yeah
    They mad, yeah
    You gon’ ride in the Jag, yeah
    With dad, yeah
    You could smoke or buy a bag, yeah
    A grass, yeah
    Got money I confess, yeah
    And trash, yeah
    I’m a Big Tymer nigga, yeah
    Pulling trigger, yeah
    A player hater to flip with, yeah
    Gon’ head and fill it, yeah
    I be slanging wood, yeah
    Out the hood, yeah
    Let it be understood, yeah
    It’s all good, yeah
    Got a nigga screaming large, yeah
    On the hard, yeah
    A smooth ghetto broad, yeah
    I want the broad, yeah
    A nigga do a trick, yeah
    On the dick, yeah
    You claiming you want a bitch, yeah
    That ain’t shit, yeah
    The nigga with the money, yeah
    Don’t act funny, yeah
    Got birds and I’m running, yeah
    ‘Bout a hundred, yeah

    Chorus)
    Girl, you looks good, won’t you back that ass up
    You’se a fine motherfucker, won’t you back that ass up
    Call me big daddy when you back that ass up
    Hoe, who is you playing with, back that ass up
    Girl, you looks good, won’t you back that ass up
    You’se a fine motherfucker, won’t you back that ass up
    Call me big daddy when you back that ass up
    Girl, who is you playing with back that ass up
    Girl, you looks good, won’t you back that ass up
    You’se a fine motherfucker, won’t you back that ass up

    (Juvenile)
    You got to steal, big ass, yeah
    Make me laugh, yeah
    Make a nigga wanna grab that
    Wanna grab that
    I’m sweating on the draws, yeah
    On hard, yeah
    Wanna walk it like a dog, yeah
    Break you off, yeah
    How you gon’ get yours, yeah
    That’s for sure, yeah
    You fucking with my nerves, yeah
    To the curb, yeah
    I know you bitches know, yeah
    And it show, yeah
    But a nigga got some more, yeah
    I’m ’bout to flow, yeah
    Fresh off some shit, yeah
    In his bitch, yeah
    We be making hit, yeah
    After hit, yeah
    Them titties sitting nice, yeah
    I wanna bite, yeah
    I could fuck you right, yeah
    All night, yeah
    Wanna bring it to my house, yeah
    On the couch, yeah
    Knock the pussy out, yeah
    Get them out, yeah
    I wanna see these hoes, yeah
    Bend it low, yeah
    Let me run it in the hole, yeah
    Let me know, yeah

    (Chorus)
    Girl, you looks good, won’t you back that ass up
    You’se a fine motherfucker, won’t you back that ass up
    Call me big daddy when you back that ass up
    Hoe, who is you playing with back that ass up
    Girl, you looks good, won’t you back that ass up
    You’se a fine motherfucker, won’t you back that ass up
    Call me big daddy when you back that ass up
    Hoe, who is you playing with back that ass up

    (Manny Fresh)
    I know you can’t stand it
    Big Bandit done landed
    See the draws handed
    We can go get it y’all gang split it y’all
    Put the bitch on the wall and I hit it y’all
    I’m looking kind of lonely
    I’m feeling horny
    Put the dick in the middle like Monee
    Big, thick plumber chick
    And a Hummer chick
    Beat the dick like a motherfucking drummer chick
    Cinch that putty-cat look at that
    I love a fucking hoody-rat
    That’s a fact
    You’se a motherfucking get it girl
    Quit it girl
    I’m the nigga, the nigga, nigga
    The hit it girl

    (Chorus)
    Girl, you looks good, won’t you back that ass up
    You’se a fine motherfucker, won’t you back that ass up
    Call me big daddy when you back that ass up
    Hoe, who is you playing with back that ass upGirl, you looks good, won’t you
    back that ass up
    You’se a fine motherfucker, won’t you back that ass up
    Call me big daddy when you back that ass up
    Hoe, who is you playing with back that ass up

    (Lil Wayne)
    Na, na, na, na, na
    After you back it up, then stop
    Then wha-wha-what
    Dro-drop it like it’s hot
    Now after you back it up, then stop
    Now,wha-wha-wha-what
    Drop it like it’s hot
    Now drop It like it’s hot
    Drop it like it’s hot
    C-M-P make you drop it like it’s hot
    Drop it like it’s hot
    Dro-drop it like it’s hot
    Drop it like it’s hot
    Dro-drop it like it’s hot
    Ha

  11. AC DD Says:

    I thought this was a skateboard blog, not the ramblings of a try-hard failed MFA creative writing major?

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