Sources tell us that Sean Malto will soon be announced as the new team rider for adidas Skateboarding. The Kansas City native will leave his current footwear sponsor etnies for a big position on the adidas squad. Much like P-Rod he will have his own line of shoes within the adidas program. At the time it’s still unknown if this will lead to an expansion of adidas skateboarding dealers or special ‘Malto’ accounts.
adidas has had a long off-and-on relationship with skateboarding but in 2006 they started their current ‘Originals’ program. They make some pretty good shoes, gathered a team of respected riders but miss the mainstream appeal that other brands have. Almost every big footwear brand out there has riders that compete in competitions like Street League, adidas is left out. Dennis Busenitz skates a few competitions but he’s a ‘skater’s skater’, and doesn’t really speak to a more outside crowd. The adidas team is pretty solid with guys like Mark Gonzales, Busenitz, Silas Baxter Neal and Europeans Lucas Puig and Benny Fairfax but misses a rider that can speak to a bigger audience. Sean Malto is that rider. The 21-year-old has a great, clean image and skates a lot of competitions, which means a lot of coverage for the brand. The fact that he’s on Girl, who are currently working on a new, highly anticipated video with their sister company Chocolate, doesn’t hurt either.
Meanwhile, etnies, who also recently lost Davis Torgeson and Mikey Taylor to DC, is rumored to strengthen themselves with Lakai’s Cairo Foster and Andrew Brophy from DVS. Speaking of DVS, something is happening over there as well. Now that Lakai has left Podium Distribution we’ve seen some more moves at Podium’s only remaining footwear brand (yes, they do Diamond footwear as well but that’s not really theirs). Alongside Brophy, Zered Basset, Nick Garcia, Jimmy Cao, Robbie Russo and long time riders Kerry Getz and Daniel Castillo are no longer part of the DVS team.
A lot of things have happened in skateboarding footwear and it’s clear to see that Street League and DC’s sudden focus on skateboarding have made a big impact. Oh yeah, speaking about DC, they’re still after Shane O’Neill. They just didn’t feel like buying out his contract, and Nike didn’t want to let him go. As soon as his contract expires he will start repping ‘the flag’.