Frank Hirata has signed on with Dukes, which was purchased by Gen-X Equipment, Inc. last year when World Industries decided to discontinue the brand. Skate-shoe veteran Bill Ruff is heading the reestablished company, and says that he hopes to bring skate-shoe prices back in line by offering quality footwear at lower pricepoints. The new line of Dukes skate shoes will retail between 40 and 75 dollars. Ruff says the Hirata pro model will ship in May.
DC Shoe Co. has announced a new pro model to add to its successful line of shoes–the Mike Carroll shoe will debut in early Summer '98. DC has also added Josh Kalis to its pro team. The entire DC team will be traveling through France, England, Switzerland, and Germany in May and June.
Reef Brazil introduced four new pricepoint skate shoes in its Spring '98 line: Double Down, Tool II, Hat Trick, and Hard 8. The new Reef line will retail from $49.95 to $66.95. Reef Brazil International Sales Manager Paola Incisa recently hired Todd Fraiser as international sales representative.
The Recs pro team will be touring the U.S. this month, featuring such skaters as Justin Bokma, Cory Sheppard, Richard Angelides, Adam Manatee, and Josh Spencer.
Sole Technology has sent its gang on the road for a continuous world tour that began in March. Team Manager Sasha Steinhorst is chaperoning the entire trip, starting with the Etnies Euro Tour. This old-world jaunt featured Etnies contests in France, Germany, Denmark, and Switzerland, and was staffed by team-riders Richard Kirby, Brian Patch, Tim Brauch, Danny Wainwright, Mike Manzoori, Ali Bergen, and friends Tom Penny and Chris Senn. The next leg took Steinhorst, Penny, Manzoori, and Senn to Australia for two weeks to meet Mike Vallely, Eric Koston, Marc Johnson, Ronnie Creager, and Sole Technology Promotions Director Don Brown. On April 22, Steinhorst will then rendezvous with Bob Burnquist and Brian Patch in Thailand for an ESPN street-and-vert demo tour. When he finally gets home at the end of April, Steinhorst will once again load the van and take an unspecified number of pros from California to Vancouver, B.C. on the Concrete Tour, which will end at the Slam City Jam on May 1. Then it's on to the U.S. Summer Tour, and the European contest circuit. Whew.
Duffs has added a few new faces to its pro team: Alphonso Rawls, Tommy Budjanec, and Chris Lambert. In addition to skateboarding, Alf was hired to design shoes for Duffs. Look for his creations in late 1998 or early '99. Alf joins the Duffs Fanatical Five, the company's shoe-design team, which also includes Art Director Mike Nelson, Team Manager James Marshall, pro rider Kris Markovich, and Duffs President Laurance LaHaye. Former pro skater and Duffs sales representative Dave “The Raver” Andrecht has been promoted to director of marketing and promotions. The Duffs team is heading down to Florida in May after a short tour around California. The company has hired filmer Ricky Bedenbaugh, who is now finishing D17, a 30-minute Duffs team video that should be out in May.
Vans has hired Eric Forman as director of marketing for national accounts. In this newly created position Forman will be responsible for coordinating and implementing all corporate marketing plans at the retail level for national accounts.
Airwalk has announced some changes to its team and skate-shoe line. New to the pro team is Brad Staba, and rumors are that three more notable pro street stars are considering offers from Airwalk. Rune Glifberg <is currently finalizing his new signature shoe, which will ship for summer along with redesigned models for Tony Hawk and Geoff Rowley. Also on the drawing boards are non-signature shoes designed by Andy Macdonald and Brian Howard, which will be released for Spring 1999.
DVS has signed World Industries pro Enrique Lorenzo to its pro team. DVS has also added the following reps to its sales staff: Brad Suzuki (Hawaii); Greg Mesanko (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island); and John Guba (Indiana, lower Michigan, Ohio).