Es_Footwear_Return_Jenkem

Now that éS has had time to “return” to skateboarding, let’s rewind for a minute.

Back to the early 2000s, when éS reigned supreme, I was a total fanboy. éS was top of the food chain: their shoes were durable, technical and looked good. They had names like Koston and Burnquist and McCrank and Saari on them (and not too long before had Creager and Muska. The point is these dudes were heavy hitters). Menikmati was an entire video of ender-ender parts. The list of pros from any given year of their history reads like an all-star team. Not to mention they made top-tier technical skate shoes.

We don’t have to relive the details of the brand’s slow demise. Losing Paul Rodriguez and Koston hurt; as good as the rest of the team was, they lost their star power. The shoe game isn’t an easy business.

éS Team 2002 - Courtesy of éS Shoes

éS Team 2002 – Courtesy of éS Shoes

But there were glimmers of hope. Rumors started circulating and earlier this year we got to witness the rebirth of éS. Anticipation was high – who would they get on the team? What will they bring back, especially considering Nike, Adidas and New Balance had taken up so much space in the skate shoe industry?

And, we weren’t disappointed.

No. Wait, scratch that, I was disappointed.

If you haven’t been paying attention, éS has been releasing limited edition color packs: a red pack, a blue pack and a white pack, all including the same three models (which are, basically, already shoes made by other companies). They even gave one of them the same name as a previous model, the Accelerate.

No team. No video. No web clip. Nothing else. Three shoes, in four colors, marketed for Twitter’s “limited edition” attention span and sneakerheads’ fascination with scarcity.

I’ll give them credit where it’s due: it might not be a bad marketing plan. It’s forward thinking and probably sells more shoes, without a lot of other overhead costs. They can put their money into quality product rather than buying some jerk with a fancy kickflip a new Audi. The bummer is, they aren’t putting anything back into skateboarding. Yet.

PIERRE-ANDRE_SENIZERGUES_ES_redpack

I firmly am in the support-brands-by-skateboarders camp, but It’s hard to see how a brand without a team, selling limited-edition sneakers at limited-edition prices, is contributing to the skate ecosystem. I want to support a company that I’ve supported in the past, but I also want to know that company is supporting skateboarding in return.

Here’s an idea, éS: go grassroots.

Build a big flow team of hometown heroes. Hook up a kid who rides for every shop carrying the new éS. More kids will be hyped on the local dude than on so-and-so leaving DC or Lakai or whatever. I can attest: after Sierra Fellers won Tampa Am and put out that Circa part, every kid in Montana was backing his sponsors. I also remember being confused when éS went under, because so many kids in the DC area were buying Bobby Worrest’s shoes.

”Don’t risk watering down your incredible legacy and history with a series of quickstrikes”

Then maybe find one big name. Someone who is relevant beyond being this week’s YouTube flavor of the week, and slowly build. Find someone who is passionate and will champion the, for skateboarders, by skateboarders movement. And if you do want to continue with these limited edition drops, at least give us what we really want, The Accel.

éS’s comeback has been disappointing so far, but it doesn’t have to end that way. You made the mid / late 90s and early 2000s awesome. Educate the new generation, hell, release a short web clip showing what éS was, and what it is. Skateboarders want to see you succeed. Just don’t risk watering down your incredible legacy and history with a series of quickstrikes.

Your move, éS.

Comments

  1. steve

    May 27, 2014 12:07 pm

    I loved reading about all this before the re release… accel accel accel … es themselves talked about how great the accel was for them all over the years and how the accel is the shoe that put them on the map and it is what customers want again.
    Then they release 3 shoes, but no accel… hahahahhhhahahhahhahahahahahhahahaahhahahahahahahahahahahha

    Maybe this has been mentioned? but i swear closing the es doors for a bit was just a way to ditch the team and save some cash.
    All they really need to do is bring the accel over to emerica. the emerica accel. done deal. es sucks always has, always will. they started the expensive shoe trend… fucking air bags.

    Reply
  2. HOODSTA

    May 28, 2014 6:49 pm

    Pierre Andre is a soul sucking leech who cares nothing for skateboarding or eS. It’s all a huge farce to reel in all the sneakerheads. I’m not paying $120 to ship a shoe from Japan because my local Canadian shop doesn’t carry them or because the dist says fuck you to all the other smaller shops. Just let it die. Nobody buy their shoes. They won’t drop another Accel and if they do, you’ll hate it because the past 5 years you have been skating little vulcanized shoes.

    Reply
    • Don

      May 29, 2014 1:51 am

      Pierre has invested his whole life in to giving back to skateboarding and supporting the entire skate community. i’d love to hear where you’re getting your opinion from.

      Reply
  3. Mondo Man

    June 7, 2014 6:01 pm

    As a former skateshop worker/buyer who’s been involved in skating for around 2 decades, here’s my 2 cents worth. Those new shoes look pretty gross, especially the fake running shoe. The fake Vans are ok but you need something better to make up for that lack of originality. The square one/accel type one (I am guessing that’s the “Accelerate”) would be a lot cooler without the logo on the side.
    Nike can put a swoosh on the side cause it’s a shape. Vans has a stripe, that shit works and is recognizable but not as obnoxious as just putting a Vans logo on the side of the shoe (I’m fully aware that Vans makes a bunch of disgusting models with all sorts of terrible logo placement decisions but I’m talkin’ about the classic ones.) I don’t care that it’s only 2 letters. Writing the brand name on the side of the shoe is ugly.

    They could do it with proper reissues of the Sal 23, the Accel, Accel Plus for dudes who want that extra flair, and maybe a twist on the Koston shoe. These are all shoes that eS is known for in my 90s skater mind.

    I support the idea mentioned here of having eS go grassroots. I think that there is a lot of power in supporting local rippers that all the young kids look up to. When I worked at an independent shop some of the groms would tell us who their favorite skaters were, and sometimes it’d be local dudes who aren’t even good enough to be flow but are nice to them and help them learn tricks and encourage them to try harder and progress. Not saying that it’s a good idea to hook up dudes who suck, but a lot of young kids pay more attention to the rippers they can see in real life at their local parks than the ones on Lance Bolds commercials.

    Reply
  4. mike

    June 29, 2014 6:12 pm

    just seen a kid doing double flips off a bump at the local park in accels. theyre still around you just need to know where to look. and i think creager’s getting on.

    Reply

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