Welcome To The Snowboard Industry adidas

I can remember the day Nike announced they were re-entering the snowboard industry. Sure they had failed at their first go around and left with their tail between their legs or maybe it was the lack of profit margins, but a second entrance meant that they had rethought their strategy and could potentially bring something to the table after all, skateboarding had seemed to accept them. So they went and hired a great group of snowboarders to run their snowboard division, they signed on some athletes, and then they released their boots and outerwear. Regardless of what you think about Nike you probably realized this signaled a change in the game and it was only a matter of time before others in the footwear market stepped in.

So 686 partnered with New Balance and … well still not sure what else is going on over there they’re less in your face and just sort of doing their thing. But we all knew the big thing was when would adidas join the snowboard game to rival their competition with Nike. They have done goggles and we had that sneak peak back in 2009 when they worked with Salomon with 50 pairs of boots.

The Salomon/adidas limited editions

The Salomon/adidas limited editions

So we sat back and watched Nike do its thing with dumping money into sponsoring events, riders, and expanding their lines. Then out of their success we saw that adidas was signing Jake Blauvelt as their flagship pro and so it began. They built the hype slow much like Nike which I can only speculate was to build up acceptance. Then they announced the signing of Kazu Kokubo, Eric Jackson, Helen Schettini, Forest Bailey, and Keegan Valaika. So it would seem they were on the fast track to the Nike path or maybe it’s the established mold to get into snowboarding, some might call this buying in or strategic marketing. But in all seriousness look at the pros Nike signed off the bat then compare those riders styles to what adidas has going on, they practically mirror each other.

Now while most of you were glued to your television sets watching energy drink wars or as some know it the X-Games you probably noticed a few of their riders competing in the half pipe and street contests. You might have even noticed that their feet were adorned with what looked like adidas boots or at least you thought that’s what they were. But if you follow them on Instagram you were greeted with something else.

Social media is great!

Social media is great!

The blown up view.

The blown up view.

Strange the photo that TWBiz posted from their Instagram with their boots doesn’t show a quick lace system. Granted there were supposed to be three models so this could only be one of them.

Samba

Samba

Now you know what that black boot looks like? Could that be last years Burton Driver X? Compare these two photos below.

Look at the accents and the red heel pocket.

Look at the accents and the red heel pocket.

Does adidas have Vibram?

Does adidas have Vibram?

How about that horribly painted red one? What boot is that? Looks like the Hail Restricted with the flap opened up.

Open the flap and what do you have?

Open the flap and what do you have?

So here we are going into North Americas largest trade show one week after the most televised snowboard event next to the Olympics and the team doesn’t have gear yet. That means that their riders are still rocking their old gear from last year that their old sponsors hooked them up with. If you have followed the adidas story from the start back in November of 2011 it was announced that they would start work on a higher end boot in February 2012, here we are at the tail end of January in 2013 and the team doesn’t even have a prototype? What does that say about product development, promotional materials, or where snowboarding sits with them?

Snowboarding is in a precarious spot right now and it needs all the brands it can to influx money into it. More money = more awesome products, paid athletes, and hopefully rider retention, but we also need to be leery of who we let in. I have emailed adidas for an SIA appointment to check out their products and even if they don’t respond we will swing by to check them out. But for a year of introductions this doesn’t bode well for them and raises more questions than answers, the biggest in my eyes are will we even see their boots next week in Denver?

I leave you with this quote from an interview on ESPN Snowboarding. “We never want to be a “me too” brand,” [Jess] Weinstein said. “We want to contribute something that riders can be really stoked on. We’re realistic about this. At the end of 2015, if we have enough product out there between footwear and outerwear that we can legitimately be considered a key contributor in the snowboard market, we’d all be high fiving.” So is snowboarding ready for adidas?

Causes controversy!

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18 Comments

  1. David Z says:

    Classy. Those are without a doubt last year’s Burton boots.

  2. walove says:

    very bad paint job, why you would post that??? on the other hand prototyping boots aint easy. im sure the few pairs they have are going on display at sia ispo.

  3. Kling says:

    the 3 stripes is cool and the swoosh is not.

    universal timeless truth doesn’t care what sport it is.

  4. Chris says:

    Pretty lame to go with the paint job. However, if they are doing it because the boot isn’t ready to be the best it can possibly be then good on them for not making their athletes wear something that could mess with their performance.

  5. Alex says:

    Jake Blauvelt’s pro model boot has a picture online:
    http://melbournesnowboard.com.au/adidas-snowboard-boot-2014

  6. lukelove says:

    this fuckin’ rules.

  7. ODV says:

    hmm where do I begin. First angry you are correct why in the hell would you post painted boots. (especially Burton boots cause they are garbage anyways.) Aren’t you a multi-million dollar company, and you can’t muster up one of your factories to even make some make-shift boots for photos. Straight look only boots that don’t ride. Second you have pros rocking gear from last year from old sponsors. Ha pretty sure all the other pros are already rocking next years stuff; while your team isn’t even wearing your product bad start Adidas. The world of snowboarding is going to be looking at you (Adidas) through a microscope for the next couple of seasons, and if your boots aren’t up to par or one bad thing is said from within your company towards our lifestyle you shall be castaway just like the other 1000s of companies that have been. On the other hand I am excited to see Adidas this week hopefully; who doesn’t like the classic shoe from them I know I got a couple of pairs. If they can make a boot that isn’t 400 dollars for cardboard spines or 400 dollars period, and as timeless as there classic shoe then i believe they can be accepted as part of our community. Just remember Adidas we control our industry so listen to us and people like angry. or else loose millions of dollars which we know means a lot more to you than Nike. That is all nice work angry

  8. dr. s says:

    Imagine if DC, Vans or 32 started making basketball shoes or soccer cleats. It would be a fucking joke, right? Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. My advice to Addidas and Nike… get the fuck out and stay out. You go ahead and think whatever else you like.

  9. Super Asshole Man says:

    Pretty sure DC is taking a step towards “normal sports” with these cross trainers…
    http://xgames.espn.go.com/rally-moto-x/article/8095604/product-dc-shoes-unilite-trainer

  10. idiot says:

    They let their riders use whatever boots they wanted until they were comfortable in the test models Addidas had. The company respected the fact that boots are a snowboarders best friend and aren’t things you can just jump into.

  11. And spray painting logos is acceptable Kevin?

  12. Lindsay Lohan Reeks Of Fish says:

    No big deal. I just snagged some sneakers from Wal-Mart and spray-painted a swoosh on them. Foolin’ EVERYBODY!

  13. [...] Snowboarder’s recent post on how they had athletes at XGames wear their old boots and had Adidas stripes painted on, I wanted to see how far along their boots were. I think the boots look dope, and the guy talked to [...]

  14. super-rad says:

    @dr. s – Vans did start making running shoes and shit back in the day. Almost ruined the compnany. Sneaker Freaker had a good profile on the history of Vans awhile back that touches on it.

    http://www.sneakerfreaker.com/feature/history-of-vans/1/

  15. gerry. says:

    Vans LXVI are trainers, and they seem to be doing pretty well.

    Nike & Adidas can do well in snowboarding because they know feet, and have tech from their “mainstream” sports footwear they can adapt into snowboard boots to make them even better, look at Nike using Flywire & Lunarlon in their Kaiju & Endor boots.

  16. rap says:

    pretty obvious that those boots were painted with the intention of letting people know what the boots actually are. no brand as big as adidas is THAT stupid.

    but i def agree about the brand not being prepared with gear for riders to be testing.

  17. CarlSanClem says:

    @Idiot is dead on. What Adidas did by allowing their riders to continue wearing something that they were 100% comfortable in while they were still developing and dialing in their product is awesome! Hats off in my opinion.

    As for the painted stripes…….. Kazu was bored and decided to start drawing on his boots and then painting them and ended up slapping 3 stripes on them, then Forest saw them and followed suit. As you can tell, not a lot of time was put into their art direction, er… art execution. They weren’t trying to fool anyone, in a nutshell, it is two dudes who are stoked on their new sponsor. There, hopefully the Adidas Burton boot stripe conspiracy can be put to rest.

  18. Sonnychiba says:

    Seen the new adidas on april 2013 in a adidas outlet in NY n let me tell you folks something the silver ones are horrible looking it looks like it was made with aluminum foil n that astronut look has to be re-done… So if you guys thought hey were takin their time to do it right think again…. They might have to steal a couple of burton designers for this brand to work in snowboarding….

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