If you know PIF, you know he likes to skate big stuff and to be able to do what he does on a regular basis, he needs shoes that can handle a fair share of abuse. After more than 5 years of skating exclusively with És shoes, one thing is sure: PIF is not about to try another shoe brand anytime soon.
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És Footwear, which is still among the most important shoe brands in the skate industry, is one of the last shoe companies that was originally created by skaters and for skaters. Much like PIF, the brand has had its ups and downs, until practically disappearing for a few years, but in both cases, it was only to come out stronger afterwards!
From his first contacts with the brand to his introduction to the Canadian team all the way to his favorite shoe model, Pierre-Yves Frappier talks about his favorite shoe brand: És footwear!
When were you first introduced to És?
I heard about the brand not long after I started skating in the late 90s, but I got really hooked when I saw Eric Mercier and Étienne Tanguay wearing És at the skatepark. These guys were the best skaters in Quebec at the time and they seemed to like these shoes a lot, especially the Accel model. I already loved the brand because my favorite local skaters wore them religiously.
The Menikmati video came out shortly after. That’s when I started to develop a real interest for the brand. The team was crazy, the shoe models were on point and the skate skills were through the roof! I was 15-16 years old at the time and was already dreaming that one day, I’d be riding for them.
Which part was your favorite in Menikmati?
The Arto Saari part was obviously my favorite, but I also really liked Rick McCrank’s. Besides having a crazy part, he's a Canadian!
If you were dreaming of riding for És 20 years ago, why we've never seen you with És on your feet until recently?
Because I got another opportunity with another shoes brand before I could try with És. I was young and this company offered me a lot of support so I accepted. I still loved És, but the brand was not what it once was at that time. Shortly after, the brand started to fade away. You could even say that És disappeared and reappeared around the same time as me.
What do you mean by "disappeared and reappeared"?
Well, the brand stopped making shoes for a few years, but I'm not sure why. I was also absent from the skate scene during that time because I was partying too much. That said, when I quit drinking and started skating again, És was coming back strong as well.
As soon as I started feeling confident on my board and doing tricks again, I knew I wanted to skate some És. Tyler Holm at Timebomb started to flow me shoes and then I went on a trip to Barcelona with the És Canada team. I skated a lot during this trip and was officially added to the Timebomb family! I'm happy to finally skate in the shoes I've always wanted to skate.
How long have you been riding for És now?
I've been on 5 years and I hope it won’t stop anytime soon. I seriously wish I’ll be able to skate És for the rest of my life.
What is your favorite És shoe?
The Accel Slim without a doubt! It's a smaller version of the legendary Accel shoe. The one Mercier and Tanguay were wearing back in the days, but revamped with a modern flavor. There are several És models that I really like, including other types of Accels like the Accel Plus, but my favorite is definitely the Accel Slim.