Sole Technology’s STI Research Lab has undergone major construction and has been documenting some serious research over the past few months. Since moving from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst to the Sole Technology headquarters in Lake Forest, California, the STI has installed several obstacles and machines that will assist in its research and development.
One major obstacle is a set of stairs on a hydraulic lift that can extend the set from eight to twelve stairs with the push of a button. Jeff King of King Rails assisted the STI engineers in the construction of the stairs. Also included in the obstacle are nine interchangeable handrails, which vary in length and shape.
Timothy Nickloff, Sole Technology’s public relations manager explains, “We have named each of the rails, so that now when we say ‘Eric Ellington feeble-grinded the El Toro,’ even the scientists know what we mean. Nickloff explains that Ellington has been to STI headquarters recently, working on his new EE 2 shoe, set to release in the spring of 2005. “Eric’s been getting really into the research-he’s designing his shoe around a lot of the testing.” Several other Sole Tech teamriders have been doing “research” (skating) in the facility lately, including etnies’ Ryan Sheckler and éS’ Cale Nuske.
The STI occupies 15,000 square feet of warehouse space in what Nickloff refers to as Sole Tech’s “R&D building.”
etnies Skatepark Opening
The highly anticipated etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest opened on Saturday, December 13 to a sizable crowd of pros, industry people, and ecstatic skaters. At 40,000 square feet of concrete, it’s one of the largest skateparks in the U.S.
The all-day event included bands, food, and of course, lots of skating. Sole Technologies teams éS, etnies, and Emerica all demoed for the crowds, and TransWorld SKATEboarding held a best-trick contest in the afternoon with a 1,000-dollar prize. Ryan Shecler, Chris Senn, Jim Gagne, and a slew of ams threw themselves down the handrails and hubbas for over an hour. Kareem Campbell even skated. But in the end, the oversize novelty check was given to upcomer Tony Tave.
Sole Technology President and CEO Pierre Andre Senizergues contributed 125,000 dollars of his own money to ensure the park would charge no admission for its first year. “People will go broke if they have to pay all the time,” Andre stated in a recent press release. “Our park is way too good!”
At the end of the day, Nickloff said, “Everything went so well. I’m just glad to have this off my plate, so I can concentrate on my other work!”
IPath On The Move
After five years of maintaining offices in New Jersey, San Francisco, Southern Oregon, and Santa Monica, IPath footwear has streamlined its efforts into two expanded locations.
The company has taken 15,000 square feet of office space on Francisco Street in Torrance, California as a home office and also launched an expanded design and marketing headquarters in San Francisco.
The Torrance office is under the direction of IPath Vice President Jeff Osthus and will serve as a home base for sales, customer service, accounting, and design and marketing support.
“Torrance just continues to expand our vision of growing IPath in Southern California,” says Osthus. “We have worked on building the bulk of our infrastructure there.”
The San Francisco office will serve as a design and marketing headquarters under the direction of Cofounder Matt Field and Marketing Director Travis Matsdorf. “With the design and marketing vibe of IPath and the majority of its pro skate team residing in San Francisco, it was important that we maintained and in fact expanded the San Francisco office,” says Matsdorf.
Odds And Ends
Unfortunately, a few days after SKATE Biz’s European issue was released, adidas and Salomon pulled the plug oon their France-based footwear company Link. “It came as a surprise to us,” says former Link Marketing Manager. Al Boglio. “Everything was looking great.”