You probably saw that this past week, DC released a tour video from their recent Latin American Super Tour. The tour's name was a throwback to the DC Euro Super Tours of years past, the viewing of which was a formative part of our skate upbringing. We tracked down the October 1998 issue of Big Brother, which contains a lengthy piece on the second Euro Super Tour, and had a look. All scans included below are from that issue.
The concept behind the Euro Super Tours was this: a group of skaters, all with different board sponsors, go to Europe together for a common shoe sponsor - not for a contest, but to skate demos and local spots. They all dress intentionally, reflective of their level of skill, and video footage of their exploits is edited in a clean, almost ambitious manner. This all seems pretty standard to us now.
However, it's worth considering that this was the mid-90s. A lot of skate footage you saw was thrown together hastily, and often set to pop punk (or sometimes ska). Most skaters had a certain 'look'. The industry was still centered around board teams - skate shoe companies were still a new thing, and the teams they did have were often large and not very organized. It's worth noting that before he rode for DC, Josh Kalis was getting shoes from four different companies at once. This was before shoes were really a 'thing' in skateboarding, and the idea of getting a select group of the best skaters from different board companies and uniting them under a common shoe sponsor was a new one.
The Super Tours brought about a vibe that was clearly different from what was going on in the rest of skateboarding at the time. When we saw the videos and photos that came from these tours (or were lucky enough to be there in person), we saw something that stood out as being elite. These were guys who looked like they had their shit together. They did clean, technical tricks in front of big crowds, all dressed as a team. This made skating look less like some kids dicking around in a parking lot and more like a professional sport.
Fast forward to 2018, and our normal looks a lot like what was new and different in the late 90s - starting with the Euro Super Tours. We're not claiming that this is the moment when skateboarding changed, but it was definitely a big push toward what we see now. Today it's shoe companies, not board companies that are putting on big events and tours. The skate videos that shoe companies put out look more like real movies. With skating's inclusion in the upcoming 2020 Olympics, it's looking a lot more and more like a 'real' sport. And there will more than likely be uniforms.
For more on Euro Super Tour 2, the 411 segment from issue #30 has been posted by Transworld, and the video quality is really good :)