All extreme sports enthusiasts can instantly name favourite brands for their sport. These brands become much-loved not because they look cool but by doing a good job when doing the sport.
We all have our favourites mine are GT for mountain biking and Burton for snowboarding as neither have ever let me down.
But many of these brands have become popular outside of their sports and you see extreme sports fashion on every high street. Not everyone wearing a Quicksilver t-shirt can surf. Same goes for people sporting Fox jeans – it’s unlikely they ride motocross, and you don’t have to be a snowboarder to keep warm in a Burton jacket.
So why have extreme sport brands become fashionable?
For some people I am sure it just because the sports and people doing them are considered cool so by wearing an associated brand you get some of that ‘street cred’.
But don’t forget these brands make good quality stuff that transfers well into every day life. My DC trainers have never seen a skateboard but they are hard wearing, comfy and look good. What better reason is there to buy trainers?
The reality is that the brands which occupied a small niche see an opportunity and branch out occupying an ever growing niche which eventually becomes main stream.
Fox (or Foxhead for its full name) is a great example; they started out making high performance motocross parts, their riders did well and the hand made kit they wore became popular so Fox started selling it.
They still lead the motocross apparel industry and have also branched out into MTB, wake, surf and BMX kit. They are an international leader in the youth lifestyle clothing market and the Foxhead logo is widely recognised by people who have never done any of those sports.
So what about me?
Well I am too old to care about street cred, but I still regularly snowboard and mountain bike. When shopping for my sports I buy the kit I know and trust I occasionally branch out to try something new either on a recommendation or because of a good deal but mainly I stick to what I have confidence in.
And when shopping for normal clothes am I influenced by what Shaun White is wearing? No! But I am influenced by those brands I trust from the extreme sports market because I know they make good stuff.
I recently went on a mini shopping spree at FreestyleXtreme. My intention was to buy a new pair of DC trainers, which I have been buying on and off since I was a teenager and had a skateboard. However I also bought a Fox hoodie, a pair of AlpineStars jeans and a Fro Systems t-shirt.
It was my first time using the FreestyleXtreme site which I found easy to use and reasonably priced. Having ordered on a Friday I was surprised when my shopping arrived, well packaged, on a Monday. So a big ‘thumbs up’ from me and when I next hit the high street FreestyleXtreme are responsible for an extremely fashionable 36 year old….