With so much focus on Nike SB, many people seem to have forgotten about Lakai Footwear skateboarding shoes. Strong emphasis on "skateboarding shoes" because Lakai is an original and true skateboard shoe company, that is their focus, there is no BMX or other shoe product line from them. My point is that Lakai began exclusively as a skateboard shoe company. The body of Lakai eats, sleeps, and breathes skateboarding. Lakai is a rolling soul, wherever it lay its skateboard and shoes is its home.
Recently underneath a news feed post on this site regarding Sean Malto and Alex Olson rumored to be picked up by Nike SB, some of which now has become fact, I saw a comment that read: "Who wouldn't want to be on Nike's team??" I thought a lot of people, and hopefully a lot of pro skaters and aspiring pro skaters would not. I want to believe that skaters such as Marc Johnson, Mike Carroll, Rick Howard, Rob Welsh, Guy Mariano, and Brandon Biebel would choose to not skate for Nike SB. A switch from Lakai to Nike SB by said pro skaters would be a stab in the heart for the body of skateboarding and the body's members. I think that Lakai's contribution to skateboarding has been somewhat forgotten. Some might wonder or ask what contribution.
I will focus on one element, that of Lakai's skateboard video Fully Flared. Have people forgotten this video's amazing skateboarding parts by Lakai's team riders, not to mention how well composed the artistic craft of the video was pieced together? The video was and still is a landmark for skateboarding filmography and excellent stimuli for both new skaters and established skaters. Even now, it is near incomprehensible in my mind that the video is from 2007. Fully Flared is just as good if not better than any skateboarding video that has been released within the last four years. Saying "just as good" even feels wrong to me. It is not that the video is the best skateboarding video but it is the best at many things I have seen in a contemporary skate video. Such as, the way non-United states team riders were displayed, presented, and introduced, the return of Guy Mariano, and the introduction of some talent that may have not been exposed before to the body of skateboarding.
For me, Fully Flared was my first exposure to Brandon Biebel. For some of my younger friends it was all about Mike Mo, for me it was all about Marc Johnson, who I first saw way back when I began skating and saw him in Emerica Shoe Company's skate video Yellow. The talent of the pro skaters mentioned and their contribution to the body of skateboarding has been continually hard at work long before Nike decided to support skateboarding because it was now profitable for them to do so. If any of the guys mentioned here went to skate for Nike SB, I would think that day that I awoke in Bizarro World.