2 Brands, 1 Pro: The Anomaly That Is Chad Muska’s Latest Announcement

 

On May 16, every skate media outlet (including us) reported that Chad Muska had left SUPRA for STRAYE.

Given the small bit information that we all received, this was a notable occasion and we had no reason to think this wasn’t like literally every other time a skateboarder has announced their involvement with a different brand than we’re used to seeing them rep. As it turns out, that press release was “leaked” and Muska is only [helping] out with STRAYE… and remaining on SUPRA.

That said, it does provide an interesting glance into what has the potential to become a “normal” turn of events over time within the industry – 1 pro, 2 brands of the same category.

There’ve been plenty of instances where skate shoe brands have associated or helped each other out for mutual benefit – DC started with the help of Don Brown and éS, Jamie Thomas housed both Fallen and NB# at Black Box briefly, etc. – and there are certainly a few accounts of pros skating shoes not from their legit sponsor, but there’s never been someone riding for two shoe brands (with everyone involved knowing about it, at least).

Could this become a thing? Given our collective propensity toward division and side-taking on pretty much anything we can construe to be an “issue”, this doesn’t seem that far-fetched and, if we’re being honest, isn’t really the worst thing that could happen. Nature dictates the industry has to change and cycle eventually. A lot of stuff we never thought would become normal within skateboarding is entirely standard today- people uploading hammers to tha ‘gram instead of saving it, YouTube pros, etc.

To clarify, the press release didn’t explicitly state Muska was leaving one for the other, although it’s difficult to reason why anyone would sign their name onto and be so excited about a brand penetrating globally without playing a major role in it. Muska has never been one to go about things the way they’ve always been done, so it’s anyone’s guess.

Whatever the case, it sure got STRAYE some extra attention, and we’re just as interested in you as to how this will play out.

Comments

  1. Adrian

    May 25, 2017 10:47am

    Why do you think that more and more skaters are starting to support smaller board and clothing brands yet still straying(pun intended) away from indy footwear brands and still going for major corporations like nike, adidas, etc. Would be nice to see an article about that!

    Reply
    • Mayor Grimble

      May 26, 2017 4:43am

      There are a few conspiracy theories out there. Some have said that corporate saturation of the softgoods market has ‘allowed’ (or ‘deliberately incentivized’ depending on who you ask) many pros to explore the creation of their own companies. More skater-owned board/wheel brands aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but some would argue that if a brand is being funded with the money given to someone through their lucrative shoe deal, that is sort of a back-door method of taking away market share from established brands.

    • Bud Bundy

      May 26, 2017 11:17am

      A lot of skaters are broke and the big box athletic brands put so much product in skate shops that all end up going on sale. Jock brands also cut deals with stores like Footlocker, so a lot more non skaters wear them. They also poach any rider with ‘marketability’ and the vast majority of skaters are trend hoppers who just wear whatever they see their favorite pros wear. I see a lot of people who don’t fw that corporate bs tho. It doesn’t help that people mythologize the quality of Nike/Adidas and shit on the quality of equally good shoes from brands like Sole Tec and Vans. Then there’s the recognizability of the swoosh and stripes, core brands, except Vans, which isn’t a core brand anymore, aren’t as popular outside of skateboarding as they used to be and people judge other people based on that. If you’ve ever read how core brands are talked about in fashion blogs, it’s like a hit job. It’s all good tho, I’ll keep supporting skater owned, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because the worst shoes I’ve ever skated were the Nike SB Dunk before the sole change, Classic SB, Prod 2.5, Adidas Stan Smith ADV and the Ice Cream Boardflip by Reebok.

    • Gregory Bokee

      April 19, 2018 3:02am

      Because there are WAY more barriers to entry to start a shoe company vs boards or other clothing. It takes a lot of time, effort, & money to make an actual good shoe that you could sell at a competitive price point, just ask Kanye who tried to start his own shoe brand & then went to adidas when he couldn’t make it happen on his own. Also these skaters get more resources from these big companies like free flights, press, photos, etc & a small company can’t provide as much.

  2. Blob

    May 25, 2017 9:01pm

    My opinion -looking at myself, therefore hoping i am somewhat average- on why smaller skateboard brands seem to prosper while a lot of skaters seem to opt for corporate shoes is the influence sponsored skateboarders and media outlets have. Therefore media and skateboarders are a great marketing tool. When i first saw Nike’s Nothing But The Truth i had a strong desire to acquire some colorful dunks. The first Polar video’s gave me the urge to buy some Converse, and the current trend of skating in Adidas training pants makes me almost even get one. Another reason could be that corporate footwear brands bring something new to the table, something what most probably made some smaller skateboard brands grow fast in popularity too. Skateboarding always evolves. Something that is hot today can change pretty fast, since a lot in skateboarding is image based, like it or not. Smaller skateboard brands eventually grow bigger and possibly fall prey to the same circumstances a lot of established brands suffer from today. As far as deck brands it is all wood and image for me, and i hope that older brands can adapt or keep up. As long as i skate i buy wood from whomever has my sympathy and wherever i’m drawn to. Concerning footwear brands i do hope the tide will turn and that some newer and smaller brands see growth and continuation. I also hope that Lakai and Emerica keep afloat. Skaters back corporate shoe brands by saying they really support the community. What they don’t realise is that corporate brands only give support for marketing purposes, and in the end to achieve set targets; market domination. When targets are not met those brands will be out of the skateboard industry in a minute. When footwear brands started by skaters themselves (it’s about initiative, not who’s funding!) go down they are most likely to create something new. THAT is why i would support brands where skaters take initiative. Fallen has gone under, but Jamie Thomas now starts STRAYE. DVS whent under, but Tim Gavin launched Filament shoes. If Lakai would go under it will not mean that Mike Carrol or Rick Howard will leave skateboarding. If the time is right they might start a new footwear brand like Jamie and Tim. Hopefully they are doing good and get all together to kick Nike, Adidas and Converse out. And reasoning that back in the eighties people skated in Converse and Nike makes no sense either. We live now and can make choices in what is available now. Otherwise we also do not need to switch to new, cleaner energy sources. With the same reasoning we could go on mining coal and oil to provide our energy. Or start wars, keep on smoking, all things that once happened in the past.

    Reply
  3. Mallie

    May 29, 2017 10:08am

    Well, smaller brands give you more creative freedom and are likely to let you have some kind of creative input, are more prone to let ‘you be you’, are easier to identify with on a personal level for a skater etc.

    Since you kinda have to get paid to be able to ride for a smaller brand / board sponsor with shorter reach to mass consumer audience, there’s only one avenue from which you can get significant paycheck to allow you that, and it’s big brand shoe sponsors. I’m not really in the know, but I’d imagine that average paycheck from a big brand shoes sponsor for a pro skater is much higher than paychecks from established board sponsors (e.g. Girl, Real, Plan B, Baker etc.) unless you’re a really huge name or a shareholder in those brands.

    It’s kinda like having to take a job at a big corporation so you could earn enough to pay your bills and be able to enjoy your hobbies and other (creative) ventures.

    Reply
  4. You're all bozos

    May 31, 2017 4:01pm

    Muska is helping stray get off the ground. This isn’t as complicated or confusing as you’re making it out to be.

    Reply
  5. Tired

    June 1, 2017 8:43pm

    eS didn’t exist when DC began.

    Reply
    • Joel Weichbrodt

      June 2, 2017 2:35pm

      Apologies for the confusion; a better wording would be “Sole Tech”, as DB wasn’t clear either way as to whether or not éS was in conceptualization phase and was a legit company at the time.

  6. whatevs

    June 8, 2017 10:42am

    damn what a reach for some content, this some next level dumb shit

    Reply
  7. C

    June 13, 2017 11:56am

    Im gonna Jovontae’d this shit, money from adiwack/nike/granpa nb & add a 4th, consverse 😉

    Reply

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