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Highsnobiety Q&A June, 5 2014

Highsnobiety Q&A | Paul Rodriguez Discusses the Nike SB P-ROD 8, Primitive Skateboarding and More

Nine years after the release of his first Nike SB signature shoe, professional skateboarder Paul Rodriguez has once again teamed up with the sportswear giant to produce the most innovative skate silhouette to date. As the Nike SB line was forged, the Air Jordan 1 was the blueprint, leading to the launch of the Zoom Air-assisted SB Dunk, which mimicked the AJ1’s iconic color and shape. The Nike SB team formed soon after and would include Paul Rodriguez, who, like many, grew up a diehard fan of the basketball legend and his iconic series of silhouettes. In 2005, Rodriguez became the first Nike rider to get a Nike SB signature shoe, and the Nike SB Paul Rodriguez Zoom Air and its successor, the P-ROD 2, were given special makeovers based on the Air Jordan 3, representing Rodriguez’s respect for the iconic basketball sneaker. Continually evolving in line with his legendary career as he masters more height, more air and more speed, the P-ROD collection has always maintained a wearable simplicity that connects to the pure form of skateboarding.

The Nike SB P-ROD 8 brings 360 degrees of Nike Lunarlon impact protection to the design, delivering lightweight, responsive cushioning plus the board feel that skaters require. The Hyperscreen+ traction layer amplifies durability, and the dynamic Nike Flywire offer the ultimate solution for an adaptive fit. In addition, the P-ROD 8’s outsole traction pattern was created to provide unsurpassed grip during flicks and flips.

Following the unveiling of the new shoe, we had the opportunity to discuss with Rodriguez the new technologies associated with the P-ROD 8 as well as the forthcoming technologies we can expect to see in skateboard footwear of the future, his Primitive Skateboarding brand, and much more.

The first thing you notice when looking at the shoe is without a doubt the eye-catching color way. What was the inspiration behind the choice of colors?

For that exact reason, it’s very eye-catching; very vibrant. It’s a shoe we’re really proud of, there’s a lot of technology in it that we’ve never applied to skateboarding before – we want it to stand out; the whole design itself is meant to stand out.

What are some of the advantages of the new technologies?

For instance, with the Flywire, especially when you don’t land, when you have to ditch you board and jump on to your feet, the Flywire wrap around your feet and keep the shoe real tight and secure. Also, it takes less Lunarlon to create more cushioning for enhanced impact protection, and then the new Hyperscreen+ is super durable – just as good as suede.

You mention off-board safety, has that always been something that you and Nike SB have taken into consideration? Or did it come about during the development of the P-ROD 8 due to the incorporation of new technologies like Flywire?

A little bit of both; we’ve definitely been trying to pursue the best way to protect yourself against foot injuries and all that. The fact that all of these technologies have been available at other categories of Nike, and now we have access to it… It ended up being the perfect solution.

When developing the new shoe, was there any thought or consideration in regards to working with Nike’s new Flyknit technology?

[Laughs] Well, I don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves, but that definitely was not lost on us to try and work with that stuff.

In April you launched very own skateboard brand, Primitive Skateboarding. What is Primitive working on at the moment that we can expect to see in the future? Are there any new boards we can be on the lookout for, anything releasing soon?

Yeah, always. We’re constantly trying to put out new products. We’re not necessarily working on a traditional timeline of having to have this out by this season, or this out by that season. We just have really talented artists who are constantly coming up with stuff and I’m constantly feeding them ideas if I have any. I literally just pulled up to the office to check in on the latest things that are being worked on – we’ve got a couple cool things dropping for July 4th, so that’s going to be fun.

Are there any big events that fans of yours can look forward to seeing you at? Any competitions, ride videos or movies that you, the Primitive team or Nike SB itself may be working on?

Yeah, absolutely. First, there’s going to be X Games, which is coming up real soon on June 5 – 8 in Austin, Texas. Then after that we have Street League at the end of June in Chicago, and then I believe in Los Angeles in July; and then in Newark, New Jersey in August. And then I think we have the Dew tour in October. There’s a lot of competitions coming up.

As far as video projects, I know Nick Tucker is working on a cool video part for The Berrics which we’re hoping to see out later this year, and I know Carlos Rivera is working on a video part for… I can’t remember exactly what, but that’s coming out this year as well. So you’ll see those guys all the time, and I’m personally working on a film project with Ty Evans of Brain Farm productions which is due out next summer.

Are there any collaborations coming up between Primitive and Nike SB we can look forward to, or that you’re aloud to speak on?

I don’t know that I’m aloud to speak on it, and let the cat out of the bag, but yeah we definitely have one that’s coming which I’m really excited about.

 

The P-ROD 8 will be available at select Nike SB retailers and online at Nike beginning June 21—International Go Skateboarding Day.

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