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INTERVIEWS

How Stefan Janoski Had to Fight to Get His Nike SB Shoe Made

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Stefan Janoski’s Nike SB is arguably the most popular signature pro shoe ever made. The franchise is 10 years old, and still just as popular as the day it was released. What’s ironic about all of this is that Janoski had to fight with Nike to get the shoe made to his specifications. He breaks it all down in a new interview with High Snobiety.

What was it like going into the initial design stage?

Well, the initial meeting was Nike calling and being like, “You’re going to get a shoe.” And at the initial interview, they just handed one to me, like, “Here’s your shoe.” But it wasn’t this. [Points to the Janoski RM] It was something else. It looked like Nike tried to copy something that already existed, which is a crazy thing right there. Nike doesn’t need to copy something that already exists, you know what I’m saying?

They tried to make it very skate, but the thing was, skate shoes at the time weren’t very good or cool. They were very puffy, had tonnes of padding in the tongue and a bulky toe.

So when did you transition to lighter, thinner shoes?

Initially, I think I was just wearing stuff I saw other people wearing. I was like 13 or 14, going to San Francisco, and seeing what all the pro guys were wearing, and I would basically copy them. But as I grew up and started skating for myself, I started having preferences. At first, when you start getting free stuff, it’s like I would’ve worn anything. When you gave me free shoes, it was like… it could’ve had spikes on and I would’ve worn it.

So that was the first thing, like, “Yay, free stuff!” But then you get older and start having preferences and your own personal style. So by the time I got on Nike, I’d been pro already for a long time. I had my own personal style and flavor. I knew exactly what kind of shoe I wanted to make.

Did you have to push for it? Was Nike up for it?

No, they weren’t up for it. They didn’t like it. I think they finally just gave in. They were like, “Just give it to him.” [Laughs]

How dramatic did it get?

[Laughs] Just temper tantrums. But it doesn’t matter. It was kind of fun. It has its funny stories. But I was like, “You guys are Nike. You can do anything in the world. Just do it!”

Nike [SB] didn’t have any slim shoes in their entire line at the time. I would go to NikeTown and get non-SB shoes because they had less stuffing in the tongue and were actually better for skating. Usually when a company makes a shoe for skating, they just stuff a bunch of unnecessary bulk in it and are like, “Here you go.” Nike, adidas, Converse — they were making skate shoes before they ever knew they were making skate shoes.

For more, head over to High Snobiety to read the entire piece.

Image Via Nike SB

INTERVIEWS

‘Good Work’ Episode Features Lisa Whitaker and Meow Skateboards

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Skater Lisa Whitaker narrated how she started Meow Skateboards in this episode of “Good Work”.

She also related how she got introduced to skateboarding and how she founded Girls Skate Network in 2003.

Whitaker started her skateboard company in 2012. Now, Meow has more than a dozen talents including Vanessa Torres, Mariah Duran and Kristin Ebeling.

“Lisa has always been the catalyst for women skateboarding”, says Torres who was one of the first skaters to join Meow’s roster.

Produced by Red Bull, the Good Work series features skater-owned and operated businesses.

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INTERVIEWS

Monster Energy’s Aspire-Inspire Episode Features Mami Tezuka

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Get to know more about Mami Tezuka in this episode of Aspire-Inspire by Monster Energy.

Surrounded by skaters growing up, Mami showed interest in skateboarding at around the age of three.

She started participating in competitions abroad in 2017. In 2021, she won silver in the X Games Women’s Skateboarding part. She landed third place in X Games Chiba 2022.

Fellow Monster Energy rider and friend Lizzie Armanto describes Mami as easy-going, fun to be around, and inspiring. “When I’m around her, I want to push myself better,”

Tezuka admits that she enjoys filming video parts more enjoyable than participating in contests.

“Competition is kind of stressful for me”, Mami said. But added that she does enjoy seeing everyone at contests.

“Filming part is more fun for me…it doesn’t to be hard, tricky trick, but you can see the style and progress of the skating”, explained Mami.

I want to inspire girl skaters and young people. Do what you love and then don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Mami tezuka

Aspire-Inspire is a mini-documentary series by Monster Energy. Previous episodes featured Aurelien Giraud, Kelvin Hoefler, Rune Glifberg, Ayumu Hirano, Nyjah Huston, and Matt Berger.

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INTERVIEWS

The Nine Club Features Elliot Sloan

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Elliot Sloan narrated how he injured his neck while doing a 900 and his other worst slams on the ramp in this episode of The Nine Club podcast.

He also talked about getting into vert and then mega ramp, building his own vert and mini mega ramp in his own backyard, and hosting the X Games in his backyard among other things in the two-hour podcast.

Sloan is a four-time X Games Big Air gold medalist. In the recent X Games held in his backyard, he landed second place in the debut of the Mega Ramp category and first in the Skateboard Vert Best Trick.

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