I find it kinda funny how a lot of the same people who bitch about the corporatization of surfing by companies like Nike also happen to be the biggest pro hos who love following the CT. If you have a problem with surfing selling out don't just point yourself to the obvious culprit in Nike. Point your finger at Quiksilver, Billabong, Hurley, etc. Point your finger at Slater, AI (RIP), Mick, Jordy, Dane, etc. All of the surfers on the CT represent this. They're being paid to wear and endorse merchandise and help sell surfing to the masses. They don't care about crowded line-ups. In fact they want crowded line-ups and wave pools in every town. The more the merrier when it comes to quarterly reports. I know Nike entering the mix just kinda enhances this reality but if you really want to stop supporting the selling out of surfing to corporate interests then stop supporting pro surfing and the publications that cover pro surfing and sell ad space to these companies including Surfer mag and this website.
I know for a fact that Nike managed to enter the skateboarding industry and did it in a more than credible manner with the Nike SB line. They recruited a team of legit riders and actually put out a limited and good quality line of apparel and shoes distributing them in limited quantities only to exclusive core retailers. Snowboarding as well. A good friend of mine who worked for various well known and respected companies was hired to help spearhead their snowboard line with a team of people who had a long history working in the snowboarding industry. It's not like they just had a bunch of guys in suits in an office building start designing snowboard boots. I don't see why they can't do the same with surfing. And at the very least have no less of an impact on the industry than the existing corporate behemoths like Quik, Billabong and Hurley.
I love the idea of supporting the little guy and have been looking towards Buell for my next wetsuit like many on the erBB. But if it turns out that Nike makes a good product that's reviewed well and it happens to fit me better than I may actually consider it. But if their wetsuits end up being the wetsuit equivalent of surftech popouts forget it. I'll let the product do the talking.
Disclaimer: I do feel a lot different about companies like Target getting in on it. I don't think a company like target has any interest in entering the surf world in any credible manner and has little if anything to offer.