Vans, 20 Years of Progression with Geoff Rowley

The Latest Chapter of THIS IS OFF THE WALL Campaign Puts a Lens on Geoff

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Photo Credit: Sturt

Since 1966, Vans has championed skateboarders, supporting the iconoclasts who pushed boundaries within action sports and brazenly lived for what they believe in. Over the last two decades, legendary British skateboarder Geoff Rowley has epitomized this ethos, living and breathing an “Off The Wall” mentality all his own, and progressing skateboarding with a level of rawness the world had yet to behold. As Rowley characteristically puts it, “if my body can handle it, I will push it till the day that I die.”

Vans reflects on Rowley’s 20-year career on the Vans team with ‘Rowley VsOpens a New Window.,’ a new chapter of the brand’s THIS IS OFF THE WALL campaign. An homage to the defining moments of adversaries overcome in Rowley’s prolific career, Vans pairs archival video and personal insight into the history of Rowley’s skateboarding evolution, and succinctly conveys his enduring mindset throughout the grueling process.

Chief among the series is his 50-50 on the Staples Center hubba in Los Angeles in 1999. The iconic trick on the chest high ledge—still one of the gnarliest spots ever skated—cemented Rowley as a force to be reckoned with, and laid the groundwork for the release of his innovative Rowley Pro, the shoe that single-handedly spawned the rebirth of the vulcanized skate shoe and ushered in an era of slimmer-fitting, higher-performing skate shoes.

To commemorate this historic moment and Rowley’s overall contribution to skateboarding, Vans has erected a bronze statue of the icon himself at the L.A. Convention Center hubba, where the trick took place. While traditional sports have honored gilded superstars such as Oscar De La Hoya, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wayne Gretzky and others in similar fashion, Vans makes a subversive move to memorialize Geoff Rowley, a true legend of skateboarding. Within sight of the said sports superstar statues, Rowley’s monument sits at the ledge across from Star Plaza and will live there for 30 days as a tribute to skateboarding and Vans’ recognition of the sport’s magnitude in our culture.

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