1996 Airwalk Promo

by

Uncovered from the vault

Airwalk was a fascinating company. Founded in 1986, it grew to become the third-biggest sneaker brand in the world, behind Nike and Adidas, by the early 1990s. When this promo video was released in 1996, however, the Airwalk bubble was on the verge of bursting. The company subsequently decided to shun its professional line and instead focus on a cheaper range of consumer footwear, and along with a plague of manufacturing issues and a reluctance to innovate, the company completely fizzled out around the turn of the century. 

Despite its impending doom, in '96 the brand was still heavily invested in both its team and the production of this promo video. Shot by Jamie Mosberg on 16mm film – an expensive alternative at the time, à la Birdhouse's The End – the film features a heavy lineup of skateboarders, including a pre-Vans Geoff Rowley and a pre-Emerica Andrew Reynolds, alongside the likes of Steve Berra, Andy Mac, and, of course, Tony Hawk. 

These early Airwalk promos tend to be seldom discussed, at least in comparison to other videos of the era, despite containing seriously impressive footage from some of the most renowned skateboarders of all time. There's also something about Mosberg's 16mm cinematography that makes this one particularly special. This is the first of many skate videos we'll be posting from our archives in the coming months, with a focus on the lesser-known, under-appreciated, or just plain obscure. Stay tuned and enjoy.  

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