To skate, you’ve got to have balance. And like a finely executed grind, the essence of Nike SB is a balance that centers on Nike’s own respect for the sport and the culture of skateboarding, as well as looking towards skating’s future: balancing revolution with evolution.

A skater’s approach to what they wear is about the essentials of comfort and movement, and Nike SB’s new SP16 collection highlights this approach perfectly. Melding their technical prowess in sport and performance wear with the simple aesthetics and needs of contemporary skateboarding, Nike SB has created a collection that is finely tuned to the streets of today.

To road test the new threads, Nike SB roped in some of their pros, gathering together the living legend that is Brian Anderson with relative newcomer Kevin Bradley, while all-round-nice-guy and veteran pro Eric Koston joined rising Norwegian pro Karsten Kleppan to complete the lineup at the Copenhagen Open, held in Kødbyen – the city’s Meatpacking District – in July 2015. Scroll down for a closer look at the key pieces.

Pairing up 2016’s core products with pros like Koston, Anderson, Kleppan, and Bradley, highlights the storied road Nike SB has thrashed down since its inception. Anderson was one of the first pros to join the project back in the ’00s. Brian “Street Pirate” Anderson is a man whose rep is founded on his unmistakable style and deep roots in the scene, strengthened by a legacy of multiple game-changers down San Francisco’s Hubba Hideout (his organic style also blesses him with one of the most aesthetically-pleasing varial flips in skateboarding). Add that to Koston, whose dedication to skateboarding and its footwear design (first seen on Nike SB with his innovative work on the Dunk Low Premium in 2010) cements him as a true ambassador for the brand within the scene.

Mix this up with the likes of Bradley and Kleppan and you’ve got that balance appearing again: between heritage and evolution. Nike SB’s third Chronicles film marked the debut of Kleppan – the man from Oslo who’s slowly been making himself felt in the scene over a number of years. Working with Nike’s Skyline DRI-Fit Cool Tee, his deep bag of tricks runs from obscure to gnarly, with an edgy, evolving style that contrasted with Kevin Bradley’s more fluid way of doing things. Bradley, decked out in the Everett Motion crew, is one of the youngest pro Nike members and has a distinct set of tricks and style that’s entirely his own.

Nike SB’s SP16 collection therefore represents the next stage in the label’s continuing journey with the scene and the sport. The new collection injects skate wear with a level of performance and an approach to innovation normally only seen in more ‘traditional’ sports. However, the collection works in features essential to a skater’s comfort and needs, from every angle and down to every seam, making engineered garms that skaters actually need and that they’re actually using. This makes Nike SB’s approach – the balancing of respect, revolution and steady evolution – one that should be applauded.

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