US company Vans is best known for its shoes, but it also offers a full range of clothing and accessories. The company was formed in 1966 in Anaheim, California by brothers Paul and James Van Doren, but it only entered the skateboard market in the mid-70s. It now sponsors surf, snow, BMX, and MotoX teams as well a skateboard squad.
The company has a history of supporting skateboarding events and competitions – it has sponsored the Triple Crown contest series since 1994, and also lends its name to the Best Trick contest at Simple Session and the unique Downtown Showdown concept. It also runs the Vans Skate Park in Orange County, California, which features a 20,000 square foot indoor street course, a Combi pool, mini ramps and a beginners area.
The first ever Vans skateboarding shoe was released in 1975, and – known as the ‘Era’ – is still an important part of the range today. Another long-running favourite is the famous ‘Slip-On’, available since 1976. As well as these ‘Core Classics’, the current Vans skate footwear range features ‘Pro Classics’, ‘Team Shoes’ and ‘Signature Shoes’ endorsed by riders such as Geoff Rowley, Chima Ferguson and Gilbert Crockett.
The Vans ‘signature’ team also includes Anthony van Engelen and Tony Trujillo, and there are also eleven ‘pros’ such as Pedro Barros, Jason Dill, Elijah Berle and Curren Caples, and amateurs Alex Perelson and Kyle Walker. Many of the current team featured in a Brazil tour video from 2010, as well as the superb full-length ‘Anthem’ commercial from 2013.