In 1990, etnies debuted the Rap (seen up there on the right in black leather), designed specifically for skateboarding. Two years later, in Plan B's legendary video, Questionable, Sal Barbier helped put etnies on the map in the United States when he rocked both the all red and all blue suede Raps in his part. Shortly after, the Rap, etnies, Sal and Plan B all rose to serious skateboarding fame and skateboarders across the world were singing Del tha Funkee Homosapien:
Around the same time, etnies became the first skateboarding footwear brand to advertise in both Big Brother magazine and 411 video magazine. the Rap, Sal, Ronnie Creager and a few others were featured in those ads.
In 1993, to meet the ever-evolving demands of skateboarders, seeing that they were cutting down their high top Raps, etnies released the Rap Low. Navy/white was all the rage and every pro imaginable was rockin' them at the time. Beloved and imitated by many, the Rap Low became one of the most staple skateboarding shoes of the early and mid '90s. Even today, the influence of early etnies models, especially the Rap, can many skate shoes and skate shoe brands out there on the shelves. Although this sort of imitation might anger some companies, we're actually pretty flattered! Thanks, guys!
In 2006, to celebrate our 20th anniversary, etnies reissued the Rap High in limited quantities. For 2009, we figured it was due time to bring the Rap back, for real, and evolve a little bit as well. So we are pleased to introduce to Rap Vulc Low, (RVL) a mid (RVM) is on the way too.
Here you can see Sean Malto totally is totally killing it. Why? Because he's pretty stoked on the new RVL. So stoked, in fact, that he went to Barcelona and ollied this massive gap for his latest ad. Wheeeeeeeeee!
The RVL embodies the classic styling and design of the OG Rap. However, it's been updated for the demands and standards of modern day skateboarding and style. The RVL features a vulcanized construction for superior grip and board feel, System G2 heel gel for impact protection, STI Foam for comfort and protection, lower hidden lace loops and extra laces, padded tongue and collar, elastic tongue centering straps and more.
It doesn't matter if you've been skating for 20 years and used to rock the old Raps or you're new to the game and never had a pair of etnies... we welcome all skateboarders to join our ride and we think the RVL has enough juice in it to make everyone happy!
Check the new RVLs out when you get a chance and keep your eyes peeled for a few more surprises in design and construction and skate-specific technology that etnies and STI will be unveiling in conjunction with the RVL very soon. We hope you enjoy this sneak peek of all the RVL colorways for Spring '09.