In The Great Dice Game That Is The Skate Shoe Business, Gravis IVSK8 Wagered, Rolled And Lost

Winter arrived early this week for the action-goods provider Burton, as P&L discontent forced tough decisions at the top that abruptly left Nordic sweater Arto Saari, stylistic watchword Dylan Rieder and others shoe deal-less and set adrift on the ice floe that is free agency in the current economy, increasingly resembling a scene from one of the early, J Strickland-helmed Baker videos where a poor dude is rolling on the ground and groaning in super slow-mo. Is what it is and all involved are wished well, though things appear somewhat brighter for pro and am endorsers of Analog brand pants, who according to this press release will enjoy certain hand-holding procedures throughout this difficult period:

Regarding the Analog surf and skate teams, we will be working with each team rider individually on an exit plan to transition them out of the brand.

The gap in sponsorship largesse is expected to be felt most heavily by Southern California thrift-store proprietors, several leasing agents and various weed spots, while the hardgoods industry collectively contorts and careens as it attempts to financially nose manual through a global recession period. As consumers we lose out by way of a thinner selection of goods available for our paycheques and one less competitor to keep honest rival shoe sellers. Yet the untimely demise of Gravis’ “IVSK8″ lineup could signal that a deeper and more troubling loss already be lurks elsewhere, buried among footnotes in the great balance sheet of our psyches.

Foisting another footwear choice on an oversaturated population, backed by a big snowboard concern and incorporating a rather on-the-nose identifier amounted to long odds facing the Gravis venture from the jump, but was the company’s true crime being too daring? The much-derided Dylan pro model and later loafer drew wide attention but by all accounts made relatively few sales when stacked against the various iterations of the half-dozen vulcanized templates that have domineered shop walls for what seems now like the better part of the last decade, possibly the longest span of time a shoe trend has held sway over a previously fickle subset of trend-hoppers.

In a time of war abroad and economic upheaval at home, have our shoe choices skewed too far toward the safe, familiar and disposable, virtually ensuring that even the likes of PJ Ladd cannot persuade us to spend freely on a technology-forward, expensive signature model? Did Gravis roam too far off the stylistic reservation without a properly tested avalanche transceiver? Or must we make conscious, tribal decisions to periodically embrace outlandish design silhouettes so as to maintain our group ‘edge’?

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16 Responses to “In The Great Dice Game That Is The Skate Shoe Business, Gravis IVSK8 Wagered, Rolled And Lost”

  1. art hellman Says:

    the Dylans were the only Gravis shoe that veered from the styles of the time…the rest were pretty forgettable; hence, people forgot to buy enough of them to make a difference and will now forget them entirely. the best thing about Gravis is that they put out that free Dylan video…which was just at the cusp of the onslaught of “quality” free/web clips. that was their greatest contribution to skateboarding (and high waters), not the shoes.

    On the technology note, I sorta see shoes similar to your basic 7-ply maple deck. It’s hard to improve upon. Sure, you can add bamboo, fiberglass, criss-cross patterns, stash pockets, neon mesh, running treads, or whatnot, but you definitely don’t need it.

  2. Alex Says:

    The Dylans were a sick shoe. Great boardfeel and no laces to tear. Their other shoes weren’t too great in my opinion. It’ll be interesting to see where the riders go though.

  3. REID Says:

    Never owned a pair, they looked “too faggy.”

  4. Matt Says:

    Jake Johnson!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I’ll miss those web clips. For all the hate he gets (purely fashion based BTW), Dylan is amazing to watch. Can sort of see him landing on Adidas, he’d be a good addition there-everyone on that team has great style and kills it.

  6. Derek B and Rakim Says:

    Can’t imagine he’ll end up anywhere but Vans, no other company is cool enough. Can you really see him on Nike?

  7. timmttoothless Says:

    using this photo of a shoeless, possibly hungover mr. rieder had me laughing

  8. Elias Says:

    I wanted the Alien Workshop Quarters shoes. Geuss ill never get them. I wanna see where Jake lands. Hopefully not Nike

  9. dummbert Says:

    interesting how every shoe sponsorship discussion tends towards nike, cons and vans being the only possibilitys thrown in.
    ok, maybe adidas too, sometimes.

  10. THIS IS THE NEWS! | the predatory bird Says:

    [...] control helicopters; he is not alone. Further analysis of the Gravis termination can be found here. It’s unlikely that liberal bias in the media was on Chris Cole’s mind when he signed [...]

  11. Ugg Boots Sale Says:

    He is the happiest man alive.There is a broken small old gray stone bridge over the riverHe always talks big.This one cannot compare with that one.What you said was quite true.Don’t pull the chairs about,boys!He will do anything but work.The question will be settled tonight.Bless you!Words can’t express what I felt then.

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