During the last month I was fortunate to skate a pair of Nike SBs newest model, the Zoom FP. The good guys at Nike SB Europe, Kaspar, Bjorn and Agra where able to get me a pair in my size a little bit earlier , thanks again! But to top it of I got invited to the European wear test/ launch event of the FP in Amsterdam to gain some more information about the model. The following pictures are intended to give you a small glimpse of what went down last friday.
After arriving at the hotel the first point on the scedule was a buffet lunch. The invited people consisted mostly of retailers, team riders and media. No need to mention that the served food was beyond delicious and was a great base for the things to come.
After lunch, footwear designer Shawn Carboy held a small presentation about the Zoom FP in one of the conference rooms. He provided a very interesting look into the history of Nike SBs technical footwear releases and explained the main goals the design team wanted to achieve with the FP. The bottom line “keep it simple” is pretty much visible at first sight if you have a look at the FP and compared to its ancestor, the Tre A.D. the goal was definitely achieved since the FP consists of less pieces than you have fingers on your hands.
One of the big inspirations for the FP was the Nike Presto. The idea of a single, sock-like bootie was succesfully transfered to a skate shoe which is the main reason for a fit that no other skate shoe on the market can provide right now.
In this picture you see one of the basically two pieces of upper material the whole shoe consists of. The red layer under the top layer is made from TPU and ensures that the FP is as durable as its ancestors, even without the Tre/Tre A.D. mesh in the front.
From left to right: Nike Zoom Tre , Nike Presto, Nike Zoom Tre A.D. Nike definitely manages to take it a step further with every release and successfully incooperates technologies of other sports.
After the presentation that was a little short in my opinion (but let’s face it, I could listen for 2-3 hours to a guy that talks about one single shoe without getting bored at all…) everybody entered a bus to the Skatepark of Amsterdam to get some first hand impression of how the FP performs.
The skatepark of Amsterdam is located in an industrial area a bit outside of Amsterdam.
The smallest part of the huge hangar like building is the actual skate park. The wooden construction suspended from the ceiling on which the course is build on looks pretty small in such an environment…
What you see on this picture is not even half of the actual course. Nike SB also has a showroom there and everybody was able to have a look at fall 2011. Agra, product manager of Nike SB Europe gave me a tour and showed me what they have to offer during the next year and I have to say it doesn’t dissapoint.
Just a small teaser: The Koston 1 might be the first shoe I can’t really review because there’s simply nothing to criticise. It’s pretty much the shoe I’d design if I’d be in charge. Oh and they finally managed to solve the problem of the Swoosh falling off because of worn out stiching, but I won’t spoil the surpise how they did that…you’ll see soon.
In the skatepark there was a new pair of the Zoom FP waiting for every guest. Brad Staba took a small nap on the boxes. Rumor has it that the American team riders consisting of Eric Koston, Ishod Wair and Brad Staba watched baseball until the early morning and apparently Staba had to compensate the lack of sleep.
This video was filmed by Alex Schmitz of the Zupport store in Trier, Germany.
Since I’ll post review about the Zoom FP in rougly two weeks, I won’t get too much into detail here, but compared to the Tre family the FP is a huge step forward in almost every category and the slimmer and more subtle design looks very appealing in my opinion.
When the two hour session with the Nike SB teamriders was over (especially Ishod Wair left a huge impression on everybody!), we went back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner and the 5 years of Ben G skate shop party. The invitation consisted of a dog tattoo that was necessary to enter the party and the bouncers wouldn’t let you in without it being applied on your body.
The hotel we stayed in, calling it fancy is slighly understated.
As mentioned, before the party we went to a nice restaurant for dinner. Appart from eating delicious food yet again a sample of the Prod 5 was shown. I won’t reveal too much if I say it looks definitely promising…
One member of the German delegation that was invited to the wear test was Kenny Hopf, Nike SBs newest German team rider. His personal highlight was definitely meeting Eric Koston in person and you can’t really see it in this picture, but he was super nervous about meeting him. They talked for a bit and Koston seemed really nice and down to earth.
The Ben G afterparty was great, and the open bar and live music was just the cherry on top.
All in all it was an outstanding day that was totally worth the journey! The additional infos about the FP will make the upcoming review a lot more interesting.
Thanks again to Kaspar, Bjorn and Agra of Nike SB for the great event and for inviting me, I had a great time and I really appreciate the support I get from you. Thanks as well to the German delegation including Pascal Schmidt.
For more coverage of the FP weartest, skate pictures and the Ben-G party have a look at these links, I’ll update them as soon as more articles are online:
And to answer one question right away: No, the invitation won’t affect my review. I will still review the FP as objective as possible, eventhough I got invited by Nike to this event. Most probably I will criticise it even more strict so there’s no way anybody could say I was influenced…