Kazu Kokubo joins Adidas Pro Team

Adidas is officially upping the ante, unveiling a team that will make it a serious contender to become one of the biggest brands in snowboarding. Jake Blauvelt (who was already on the team) will now be joined by Keegan Valaika and WEND rider Kazu Kokubo, which might explain why the pair of them parted company with Burton over the summer. They’ve also signed heavy hitter (and Transworld Rider of the Year) Eric Jackson as well as Yes girl Helen Schettini and Gnu’s jibbing jedi Forest Bailey. How’s that for some seriously heavy hitters?
The announcement came out yesterday, and interestingly, it didn’t come directly from Adidas, but via the athletes’ social media feeds. As well as being a clever way to let the news leak virally, the decision to announce their participation this way fits with Adidas’ emphasis on collaboration, something they see this as key to the brand. It’s also indicative of their softly, softly approach similar to the one that has seen them grow so successfully in skating, which has to beat coming in all guns blazing.
As such, the only thing we’ll be seeing from Adidas this year is the ‘apres shred boot’, designed with the help of Blauvelt. The first of their snowboard boots proper won’t be unveiled until next year’s tradeshows, in time to make it into shops for winter 2013. If the launch means they’re going to give serious resources to the likes of E-Jack and Kazu, we’re not complaining. That’ll surely just mean more of this kind of radness!

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