April 1st, 2013 by John Kim
SN: It’s great to see SB get more shine, but ten years ago, Nike SB was sorta like the black sheep in skate. When you were with eS, what was your opinion on Nike finally establishing itself in skateboarding?
EK: Well they made a little run before that and it didn’t work out so well, but the next time around – I actually saw the shoe before SB was even around, mostly through Gino Iannucci. I skated for Girl and he was with Chocolate and they had the same distribution, so we were together and he said “yeah i’m getting on Nike”, and I was like “Woah, really? What’s that gonna be like?”. So he was out here shooting something and he had some Jordan 1s. He was skating in some Air Jordan 1s – the Black and Royal, and I was losing my mind! I was like “what are you doing – you’re skating in those?”. Even though I rode for eS, I wanted a pair of the Black/Royals so bad – just to chill in those and wear around.
Then he pulled out the sockliner and it the Zoom bag in it and the forefoot piece, so I was pretty surprised. But they did it right, and I remember the Blazers as well before they released. They did it right because Dunks and Blazers were skate shoes, but not officially “skate shoes”.
SN: Right – Dunks, Jordan 1s, and Blazers were skate shoes for guys who didn’t skate for a particular brand.
EK: Yeah – when I first started skating, there was a Bones Brigade documentary, and all those guys – Powell-Peralta, Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero – they ALL skated in Air Jordan 1s and even in those videos, because it was just the perfect skate shoe.
SN: Last time we talked about the shoe, you said the design process was like a Porsche, where one doesn’t really differ from the next, but with upgrades that make big impacts. Do you ever see the Koston line in the future go a bit off course with classic skate-shoe design, like how the Air Jordan shoes were so different from the rest?
EK: Maybe. We’re only two models deep but there’s definitely room for something creative down the road. I love the direction the shoe is going in now. I love the updates and Shawn [Carboy] is great at what he does and I trust what he does. But I like the shoes to be like – you wear them, and they’re so comfortable, you forget about them.
SN: Do you remember the E-Cue and the URL from back in 2003? Those were like…the anti-Koston.
EK: Yes definitely, but I don’t think I ever skated in them. They looked a little tough to skate in. They just didn’t look like a very skate-able shoe. Nike always wants to make a concept car, and they should. Back then, all the bells and whistles were on the outside and you wanted to show everything – out on the hood to see it all. But that’s not what we’re doing now.