Shoe Company News August 2000

In June, Vans opened the doors to its newest skatepark. Over 500 people were in attendance for the private grand opening and thousands showed up over the weekend for the 59,000-square-foot facility located in Milpitas, California. Some NorCal legends came to skate the inaugural session, including Keith Meek and Peter “Kiwi” Gifford, as well as Steve Caballero, Salman Agah, Jason Jessee, Alan Petersen, Willy Santos, Tony Alva, Justin Strubing, John Cardiel, and many more.

A special-ribbon cutting ceremony was held that included presentations to the mayor of Milpitas, as well as the skatepark design and construction crews. Caballero also made an emotional presentation to Dave Brady, manager of the original Winchester Skatepark; one of the new Vans Skatepark pools is a replica of Winchester’s washboard bowl. Also, Vans’ own Steve Van Doren unveiled a large banner on display in memory of Tim Brauch, whose family was in attendance for the occasion.

Highlights of the park include a pool with a five-foot-deep square shallow end that drops to a twelve-foot-deep round end, a pee-wee pool with a three-foot-deep rectangular shallow end that drops to a five-foot-deep Mickey Mouse-eared deep end, a replica of the Winchester washboard, a 40-foot-wide competition halfpipe, a 48-foot-wide mini ramp with a slight hip and bowl, a 5,000-plus square-foot pee-wee street course, and a 15,000-plus square-foot intermediate and professional street course, complete with banks, ramps, ledges, and rails.

Future Vans Skateparks are scheduled to open in cities across the U.S. and Canada: Houston, Texas; Westminster, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Orlando, Florida; and Toronto, Canada.

In a move to achieve greater operating efficiencies in Europe, Vans has announced an accelerated plan to purchase the remaining shares of Global Accessories, Ltd., Vans’ exclusive European distributor. The move is designed to allow Global to be fully integrated into Vans’ European operations.

Gallaz sponsored the Girls Street Skate Jam 2 in Melbourne, Australia in May. Australia’s only all-girl skateboard event of the year drew twenty competitors, and featured pro demos by Renton Millar, Gallaz teamrider Jaime Reyes, and others. For more information, check out or

DC‘s riders have had a busy couple of months. In addition to the many summer tours and events, Colin McKay opened a new RDS retail shop in Encinitas, California in May, and Danny Way is filming on the newly reconstructed Super Ramp in San Diego for DC’s upcoming video.

Sole Technology has had some recent personnel changes. Robin Fleming is the new music media relations representative, while Stephanie Tufts has refocused her talents from domestic public relations to international marketing coordinator. Piney Kahn has assumed domestic PR duties, and the marketing department has appointed Brian Garofalow as marketing assistant.

On the product front, éS has released Eric Koston‘s third pro model, the K3. The new shoe features clean styling with a single piece of leather wrapping from the outer heel across the ollie area and toe, with a PU midsole that utilizes the System O2 heel cushion. For a peek at it, check out

A lot has happened over at Duffs in the last couple of months. August Benzien is now in charge of creative direction, R.P. Bess is handling marketing and the team, Alphonzo Rawls took over as lead designer, and Bruno Duchesne is heading up the sales department. Look for the new video, Surveillance, around the end of September.

Airwalk International has appointed Bruce Pettet as presideent and chief executive officer. Pettet is the former president and chief executive officer of Brooks Sports, Inc., a leading technical footwear and apparel manufacturer. Since the purchase of Airwalk by Sunrise Capital Partners in July of last year, the brand has refocused its efforts on its heritage in ‘core board sports.

Airwalk pro Andy Macdonald was only the second skateboarder ever to throw out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game. Coinciding with the second stop of the Vans Triple Crown Of Skateboarding series, Andy opened a Cleveland Indians game in May. Last year fellow Brigade pro Steve Caballero had the honor of being the first to do so. Andy also has a new Web site at

Sens Footwear has formed a new division in Auckland, New Zealand to serve the Australasia region. Steve Purcell has been appointed company director of Genx Global Distribution Australasia, and Aaron Buchanon is leading the sales team and product development. Lance Gentry has taken over as the Hawai’i sales rep, Joe and Brian Sheridan will handle the Southwest region, Jason Flynn will cover sales in Alberta, Canada, and the PAC Agency will take care of Ontario, Canada.