NATE SHERWOOD VS AIRSPEED FOOTWEAR: NAIL IN THE COFFIN

Despite what the public is shown, professional skateboarding isn’t all oversized paychecks, Hollywood parties and reality TV shows. For every professional skateboarder who is winning contests, signing energy drink sponsors and getting TV time, there are 10 others who can barely afford to pay rent and have to work shitty day jobs despite their “professional” status. Pressure flips and politics aside, Nate Sherwood is one of those professionals.

Once he got offered a chance to make some money off a signature shoe with Airspeed footwear, he took it, finally hoping for the promise of a solid paycheck. Turns out, Airspeed is the last shoe company you want to do business with. A combination of crooked business practices and Nate’s gullibility left him with no paycheck, no royalties, and no job.

What’s the deal with Airspeed and your shoe?
52,000 pairs of my shoe are floating around Wallmarts, and I’m not getting any payment, any royalties at all. No matter how many sell or how little sell. I just want it to be known, that Airspeed is another shady entity that shouldn’t be in skateboarding, doesn’t have any respect for skateboarding and doesn’t respect people at all.

Why doesn’t anyone know about this?
No one wants to touch it. I feel like it’s a scarlet letter, no one wants to fuck with it. No skate websites, no links, no one will run anything on it. My friend at Transworld was going to do a whole article on it, but he couldn’t make it happen. I understood, I know someone else said no, because they didn’t want to risk losing their advertising dollars. I respect that.

What were you supposed to get paid?
They agreed to pay me $2000 a month, for the first run on the shoes, because they “weren’t really sure” how the first 52,000 shoes are gonna work. As long as the shoes in Wallmart, they agreed to pay me $2000 a month. But that $2000 includes riding for them, promoting them and I also was hired to edit videos for their website.

So $2000 a month to ride, support, promote, edit daily videos for Airspeed including all signature shoe royalties?
Yup

So why did they take away your pay?
Two months after my shoes out, the Airspeed CEO Jason calls me in for a meeting. He tells me that he’s gonna cut my paycheck to $500 a month, the companies losing money, going bankrupt. I bought it, I told him I’ll go find other work. I had to go work at UPS, flip tacos, and do all types of weird shit, you name it, I did it just to pay the bills. So from $2000 a month to $500 a month, with all the same responsibilities, editing video everyday, promoting airspeed, skating…

But then it started to get fishy. First of all, Airspeed moved from a tiny office into a giant warehouse, and then paid to build a huge mini ramp in the warehouse that cost around $7000. That doesn’t seem like something a company that is going out of business would do. Then the CEO goes out and buys an S-Class Mercedes Benz. The dude after telling all of us he can’t afford to pay us a living wage, barely enough for us to eat, goes out and buys a $100,000 fucking car.

So you are at least making $500 a month?
Nope. Right after he cut my check from $2000 to $500, I did an interview on Shredordie.com, a free lunch interview. They asked me why I am working in some taco store cutting raw meat when I have a shoe in Wallmart. I told them honestly, I only made $500 dollars a month off my shoe, and and told kids to be careful with contracts.

The Airspeed CEO Jason catches wind of the interview, and he’s furious. Before I could even talk to him, I was fired. So I was like, they better give me a severance, or take my shoes off the shelves of Wallmart or something. But then they start sending me emails saying they can’t give me any pay at all, because they had to cut down the prices of my shoes from $26.00 a pair to $8.00 a pair.

I’m in Iowa at the time, and I go to the local Wallmart and guess what, I find Nate Sherwoods for $26.00 dollars a pair, not $8.00. I bought them, saved the receipt and emailed it to him. He got even more furious and started lying about what he said. I have not made a penny off those shoes since March, and they are still out there and still being sold. My name is on them, my face is promoting them, they are named after me…..

Do you feel stupid about being honest in the interview looking back?
Absolutely. At the time I didn’t see it. In that interview, I said the truth and shot myself in the foot. I was never taught to lie as a kid. I should have just bs’d like other people in the industry would, just to protect themselves, so they wouldn’t lose their minuscule paycheck.

What types of things was Jason, the CEO saying after the Shred or Die interview?
You’re a piece of shit, you’re a mediocre skater. All this kinda immature shit. This coming from a part owner of a company. He was pissed that I exposed the truth. He knows now that legitimate riders will not ride for them. Everyone knows that, don’t piss off your riders. Airspeed doesn’t get it because they don’t skate so, they didn’t realize that every skateboarder knows each other, it’s a small world, a small pond.

Why didn’t you sign a contract? Can’t you take them to court?
In the beginning I tried and they said, oh its too much paperwork, it’s a pain. We don’t have to do it.

What will you do to get the money you deserve
I’ll do nefarious campaigns. I will bag on them every chance I get in every form of media I can. I’ll silkscreen shirts boycotting them, I’ll do whatever dude.

I posted a video of me burning a pair of Airspeeds on Facebook, next thing I know, all these other kids starting burning their Airspeeds too, it was pretty funny. One kid made a video, that was creepy, like scary in a basement and he burned them and started giggling. Another guy lit them on fire and juggled them with kitchen mits on and then threw them into a river. It was funny. Those were just some of the videos. I got a ton of pictures too. I know that must have pissed Airspeed off. That would have never happened if they paid me.

If the CEO of Airspeed or anyone that works there was reading this, what would you want to say to them?
I hope they burn in hell.

Original Illustration: Lauren Kolesinskas
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Comments

  1. steffen:

    According to German law if you have an agreement with someone that is an oral contract and you can take someone to court. I would have talked to a lawyer after they had cut my paycheck and after they stopped paying me I would have definitely sued. Burning shoes and fucking with them is a good honest thing to do, but the smart thing would have been to just get a lawyer… From my own experience it is oftentimes enough to have the lawyer contact a company to change their mind…. Fuck that company!

    • You are right here as well if you have an verbal agreement and they didnt keep their end of the deal you can sue them to make good on it and for all your losses as a result of the breach of agreement difficulties. Should get a lawyer now because there is a statute of limitations on just about everything.

    • Yep, oral contract. They would just have to determine what portion of the 2k went toward promotion and what went toward editing, a job that they could legitimately cut. Easy pickin’s for even a green lawyer in court. You could almost pursue that individually without issue, but it would be best to find someone who works on an “if we win” basis.

      And to Z, doesn’t matter who lost jobs, or if the shoes sell or not, or if Walmart demands reimbursement. He may not be entitled to all the pay but is for at least a portion, that is a loss on the business side.

  2. z:

    nate left out this info:

    - all of the AS employees & riders lost their pay or a portion of it that year (not just nate)
    - his shoes did not sell through and still are not selling
    - Walmart makes Airspeed give them money marking down shoes

    not to mention it is kind of insane that someone who does pressure flips for a living even had a signature shoe in the first place…. but whatever

    • l:

      marking down shoes? the “sherwood” is still being sold full price in walmarts across the country. just picked a pair up in cedar rapids, iowa less than 3 weeks ago for $25 plus tax.

    • sj_lally:

      It couldn’t have been more obvious, maybe the one letter alias but for fucks sake. Airspeed has always been whack as fuck, it became semi-cool when Nate started promoting them and then Svitak. ‘z’ you’re blowing it, your company is dead. Accept it. Oh and fuck all of you at Airspeed, k thankz!!

    • rather be barefoot:

      how much of a pay cut did the guy that bought the mercedes and built the ramp take?
      don’t let your mouth write a check that your ass can’t cash.

      and what kind of idiot talks crap like your last line?
      airspeed hired him, if he’s not worth a pro shoe, because he does bitchin pressure flips that you can’t do, they are the idiots that made that decision.

      airgreed blows dirty wind that smells like cabbage farts and nate rules.

    • stupid ass bitch:

      Nice try you fuckin loser.

    • Truthseeker:

      Wow, you were probably promoted by your handlers / masters / employers at Airspeed for saying that. Courtney aka “Z”, Employee Of The Month!

    • Nate Sherwood:

      Not just that, but what sort of idiot do you have to be for entering into this kind of agreement without a written contract in place? If someone agrees to pay you $2000 (which for shoes.. lol) a month for 5 years, for example, you have both parties have all the proper paperwork on it signed and approved by lawyers, so if one party wants to change anything about it in the future they won’t be able to. This was really this dudes fault for having no contract in place. “Too much paperwork, a pain” fuck that. Nate Sherwood’s a retard and this interview just proved it even more.

  3. z:

    ps… time to get a real job

  4. Lude Lauert:

    I mean how naive and stupid does one have to be NOT to sign a contract. I would not work a single day without a contract, just think at the insuarance part. No contract means – in the eyes of the law – you work their illegal.

    It is a shame they ripped Nate off but he had his fair shair!

  5. nate sherwood:

    Yo courtney what up Z. Hey guys Courtney here works at airspeed. kick ass coco.

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