Karl Watson Interview
Bay Area skate legend Karl Watson has a new venture on the horizon—Praxis Footwear. Heading up the new brand as its marquee pro rider, street level ambassador and as a part owner, Karl now has the opportunity to continue to push his skate career forward while also functioning on the business side of things as a marketing expert and team manager. Karl is hyped about his new opportunity and why shouldn't he be? After all, the direction of Praxis is based on an organic, natural vibe that’s come to define Karl and his approach to skating and life throughout his career. CCS caught up with the man himself this week to get the details on his latest ongoing with Praxis. Here’s some of what he had to say.
What’s the Praxis program all about? What are you guys up to?
Praxis was a concept we came up with last summer. We were watching what was going on out there with skateboard footwear and we thought there was room for a small start up brand with a new direction and perspective—something that could come in and add some new flavor and life to what’s already being offered. So we ended up launching Praxis back in October.
Where does the name Praxis come from?
The name is Praxis and it means action guided by a purpose. The concept was youthful lifestyle footwear dedicated to the essence of skateboarding.
What’s your involvement at this point?
I had been looking for an opportunity in footwear and ended up having some good conversations with some of the owners. I felt like this was a great opportunity to get involved on the ground level with a new company and after a few meetings I was made part-owner of the company which gives me a long term interest in its success and longevity.
How does it feel to be a company owner now?
It feels great. These guys are my friends and being partners with guys that have been in the industry for a long time is great. I work together with everyone really well. It’s a really good fit.
What’s your day-to-day then? Are you involved on the business side of things?
I’m helping out a lot on the marketing end of things and I’m guiding a lot of what’s happening with the team. I’m working on my pro model right now that’s coming out next year, but mostly I’m pushing what we’re doing with the skaters and the team. I let my partners manage the sales side of things.
What’s unique about Praxis? What sets it apart from other footwear brands?
Our colors and our message standout. We’re promoting a very positive message. We’re all about being an individual and being who you are on a skateboard and not having to fall into a certain category. That’s what this brand is all about.
What’s the agenda with the team?
It’s happening very organically. It’s going to happen naturally. We’re not trying to force the team or throw money at people. That’s not the way things should be. People are coming to us and we’re considering them and that’s how it’s working as of now. So far so good.
Is there a music component to the brand as well?
Music and art are a huge part of what I’m into and are definitely a part of the brand message of Praxis. We’ve got DJs, musicians and artists that want to be involved. There’s definitely more going on aside from the skate aspect.
How’s the durability of the shoes?
The shoes last really well. I skated the same pair of shoes for two months straight on purpose. They’re great. They last long, they’re durable and they skate really well. They have the thinnest sole of any cupsole shoe available right now. They feel like a vulc, but it has the protection and safety of a cupsole.
What about the pattern used on the sole?
Sacred Geometry is a big part of the look and feel of the brand. We incorporated it not only into our site but we brought it into the product as well on the insole and the box. The Sacred Geometrical pattern appears throughout the universe and throughout nature. I’ve had a lot of people who skate our shoes tell me that their feet feel better. I feel like it’s a strong component to our brand.
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