Thursday, March 4, 2010

Adios Adio

I live in France, where (correct me if i'm wrong) Adio is not really popular among non-skater people. Even though you're likely to meet some die-hard skateboarders sporting some (such as this young Gareth Hill below), the success of the brand remains rather limited comprared to the other giants of the 'board culture'.

Consequently, I never understood the hate that American or British skaters could feel towards that brand. Of course, they used to sponsor Bam Margera and the Birdman, but a lot of shoe brands have had embarrassing heads in their team by the past. Okay, they sponsor surfers, wakeboards, BMXers and other sportsmen eager for thrills ; but they're not the only ones. DCshoes used to in the past and they were accepted by the skateboard community (those were the days); Etnis still do and they are becoming more and more acceptable, partly due to the remodelling of their team.

But, enough is enough. It is 2010 and it is time to start to hate Adio.
First, the team. I know the arrival of Converse on the shoe market did not help, and that Kenny Anderson probably left rather than was givent the boot; but still it's one less reason to like Adio. The aficionados of car-racing, hair-brushing and handrail-sliding have found one less reason to like the brand after the departure of their idol for the formerly fresh DCshoes. Moreover, no more Danny Montoya and Brian Brown! The former almost got me to buy some Adios whith his part in Viajeros Locos (thank god I didn't stumble on any pair of Adios during the following month and decided to buy the same Dickies pants with the money instead!) and the latter gave some East Coast pedigree to the brand.

Then the shoes. Like most of the brands, each season featured at the most 3 pairs that were worth buying. But the main reason to buy Adio was to that you could get some Chuck Taylors in which you could skate. Yes, remember that Kenny Anderson's line (1:08).

After, that video we all checked Adio's website and found out that the handsome and environmentally-friendly Chinese technician was not wearing Converses but a pair of subtle rip-offs named Adio Dean's. Being the fan of Mr Anderson's work that I am, I managed to put my hands on these artifacts.

Well, my friends, I have to admit that I was fairly disappointed. The sole, despide its thickness, is very hard and gives the impression that you're skating without insoles. I had to replace the original insole by one coming from some Half-Cab pros. Not to mention the rubber cup on the toes, which I pictured to be as large as on the Chucks (that is, rather small).

How much my innocent hopes were shattered when I opened the mailbox and realized that the shoes had actually what seemed to be at the time a knee-pad glued over the toes! I thought for a minute of bringing them back to the para-pharmacy, thinking they were orthopedic shoes. The picture is not really explicit. But, I swear the top is huuuuge. They are the kind of shoes that are always a bit loose no matter how much you tighten them. To give you an idea, my good friend Antoine used to compare them with those:

Oh yeah, and they were really heavy. Even though it is pretty convenient to use as an excuse for the days when I suck at skateboarding, that is, rather often. I compared their wheight with another pair of mine (Lakai Howard Hi WWCD). Though the Lakais appear much bigger, they are actually lighter than the Adios from more than 100grs.

To top it all off, after a night of moderate partying and a day spent over my university work, I decided to enjoy the sunshine a bit and put on my Adios to skate some flatground. Before going on, you have to know that in 13 years of skating, I never had a single sprained ankle. Well, less than 20 minutes were necessary for these shoes and a fatal switch kickflip to break this lucky-spell.

I might be of bad faith but I blame mostly the shoes because there were really loose despite the fact that my shoe-laces were tightened and tied. Anyway, I had to walk for 3 weeks with crutches and I still have to do some physical therapy...
I'm not saying all Adios are bad, just that the Deans suck big time, that the brand has made some dubious choices regarding their image and has lost its most interesting riders. I'm rather puzzled by their present team, which includes semi-famous pros and some amateurs whose name I might have stumbled accross on the Slap Forum on a rainy afternoon. Once again, time will tell.
Nevertheless, I'll be willing to write another review (less biased by my personal experience and more detailed)providing that they send me a pair of one of their best models!

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