Skateboarding is one of five new sport formats added to this year's Olympics, so you know Nike SB is making it a priority to outfit its athletes with the absolute best uniforms, both in terms of design and function. To achieve this, the brand called on Dutch artist Piet Parra to lend his design expertise for the inaugural federation kits.
Nike SB is sponsoring four federations and 19 athletes in Tokyo this summer for the street and park-skateboarding events, including the United States, Japan, France, and Brazil. In terms of athletes, the Swoosh's skate division is backing 45 percent of the women’s field in street, while also getting behind the future of the sport by representing the likes of 12-year-old Sky Brown of Great Britain and 13-year-old Rayssa Leal of Brazil. This accounts for a mere portion of the athletes that will be donning the Nike SB threads in Tokyo.
The federation kits incorporate distinctive Pantone landscapes that draw from the geographies of the respective countries. The Brazil design, for example, clearly references the seaside city of Rio de Janeiro, as you can see in the coinciding imagery.
“We started to see the natural connections between a landscape and the act of skating," said Donavan Harris, the Nike Design Lead for the kits. "You don’t skate in a vacuum. Everything that’s around you plays a role in drawing new lines.”
While integrating recognizable cityscapes, the Nike SB kits also draw inspiration from a sport closely tied to each country: basketball for the United States, baseball for Japan, tennis for France, and football for Brazil. Specific elements from the uniforms for each sport are implemented on the skate kits, which are made from 100 percent recycled polyester to help eliminate waste. The woven yarns utilized during construction then wick away moisture to ensure skaters remain cool during competition. Lastly, each kit features a bird that symbolizes the respective countries: an eagle for the United States, a crane for Japan, a rooster for France, and a toucan for Brazil.
You'll have the chance to purchase Nike SB's Olympic kits before the games begin, as they are slated to release July 18 at specialty skate shops and July 20 on SNKRS and at select retailers.