Yesterday, I received news that I would not be able to carry Vans at the shop. Now, since my neighbor already sells all the hipster Vans, I was only interested in what are called “Core-Exclusives.” You see, most skate companies create a line that can only be sold at shops that sell decks, trucks, and wheels and these are their Core-Exclusives. This is the thanks we get as skate shops so we can stay afloat while huge corporations like Pac-Sun, Zoomiez, Active, etc., bring in all the cheddar from the kids who jock skaters and the skate lifestyle but are too lazy to get out and try it themselves. So, I called my sneaker rep who is an awesome dude and has been very helpful in the past, and unfortunately for us, his hands are tied. Why? Because Harvard Square is already saturated with Vans products. So, of course I have to ask Vans, how could Harvard Square be over-saturated with core exclusives when we are the only skate shop in town? Now I know Concepts sells hard-goods, we saw THE deck in the new shop, but we all know who grips and maintains every deck that is sold there. And I have no problem with Concepts, the shop is obviously a business model we can all learn from…the problem I have is with today’s skater. Today’s skater buys $150 skate shoes and puts them in his closet. Today’s skater can only be found skating on 75 degree days 3 months out of the year. Today’s skater gets high in order to land a kick-flip on his X-box 360 as opposed to blazing with his boys and hitting the streets. Last I checked most skaters don’t fit in at school and sure as hell don’t follow the orders of the establishment. I used to love reading Thrasher to see what kinds of beers the pros were pounding not to see what kinds of rims their new Escalade has on it. If I could have imagined MTV giving a skater a TV show in the past I would assume it would have 95% skating, 5% fighting/vandalizing/puking. Instead I have to watch some 15-year-old pretty boy arguing with his parents or some old dude baby-talking his bulldog. Is this a sign of times to come? I never thought I would see Sex Pistols shirts being cranked out by the millions to prep-school kids. I also never thought I would see an 18-year-old girl get the Republican elephant tattooed on her lower back. This is why I believe graffiti is the final battle. Or are they already taking saws and cutting out COPE 2 pieces and putting them up in galleries? Anyways, I digress. So, what are we left with? Well, Nike S.B.’s were designed to be the ultimate skate shoe…but, unless you sell $59 t-shirts in a museum quality environment you can’t sell them. And don’t even think about riding a board with them, they will devalue! I just wish skaters would wake the fuck up and realize that their culture is being used by huge companies to move units and leave all the hypey products to the uninspired. I expected nothing less from Nike, and if you saw their newest video you obviously know where their focus is, but I am going to need a moment of silence for Vans.