Surf Expo September 2014
The weekend saw another major flux in trade show traffic on the floor at Surf Expo. The consensus on what we were seeing from most brands is a move away from denim and an increase in elastic waist shorts and joggers, and comfort driven soft fabrications and styles across the board.
Hurley is focusing on its Active Wear collection, which has seen 40% growth in the past year, and is updating its leggings, tops, active bras, and hybrid walkshorts and tanks that incorporate the Nike Dri-Fit technology. Quiksilver is also focusing on the active market for Spring, with the launch of its AG47 collection, which includes a range of technical boardshorts that draws on its Dry Flight technology, as well as a new collection of AG47 Amphibian shoe and sandal, which makes it easier to transition from the street to the beach.
Take a look at what we saw on over the course of Surf Expo’s three-day show:
Brands are also continuing to reinforce their heritage through next season’s collections. Quiksilver Modern Originals boardshort collection is re-introducing the brand’s original bubble logo, and O’Neill is releasing updates to its Originals collection, which has a retro feel reminiscent of the brand’s roots.
On the women’s side, Roxy’s collection was a combination of classic swimsuits and beach-inspired flowy dresses and cropped tanks, mixed with several trendy pieces like bright, poppy printed denim shorts. In the Lifestyle section, Rhythm was debuting its swimwear collection for Spring with feminine floral patterns, and Seea was also showing its retro-inspired pieces. Amuse Society has a really diverse collection of swimwear and apparel, and is branching out into statement pieces like full-length kimonos and midi-length, open-leg pants in a myriad of comfy fabrications.
Day one of Surf Expo kicked off Thursday at the Orange County Convention Center. The September show is traditionally geared more to SUP hardgoods and wake brands, with a dedicated demo pool on the floor in the South Hall, but the Surf specific section seemed like one of the busiest spots on the floor throughout the duration of this year’s show. The Lifestyle section, which included brands like Howler Brothers, Katin, Hippy Tree, Globe, Rhythm, and Krochet Kids, has been moved to the front of the show floor, greeting guests immediately as they walk through the doors.
POV camera accessories and tech gadgets is another section that has increased its footprint at this September’s show. Many brands were showing Summer 2015 collections which had just arrived from production, while others were still promoting their Spring lines. Many companies we talked with agreed the show is a welcomed way to build brand awareness and talk to the large number of Southeast retailers scattered across an expansive territory that can sometimes be challenging to communicate with otherwise.
Heritage brands like Vans, Hurley, O’Neill, Quiksilver, and Billabong had a strong presence on the floor, with several (Hurley and Billabong) expanding their footprint and creating a dedicated space for retailers and buyers to have meaningful conversations around next season’s collections. Take a look through our day 1 gallery above, and check back tomorrow for an updated report from the show.
2014 Surf Expo Board Demo Day
Retailers and buyers made their way today to the annual Board Demo Day Wednesday, September 3, to get Surf Expo kicked off early. The demo day supports the Stand Up Paddle and Wake markets and allows retailers to try products before buying. Held at the Orlando Watersports Complex, the event featured several unique contests, including the 3rd annual Surf Expo BIC SUP One Design Challenge and the Inaugural Shop Shootout.
The "BIC SUP One Design Challenge" is a race for all skill levels. Every participant received a raffle ticket for a chance to win a WING, the award-winning board used at all BIC SUP One Design events, and the winner will be announced at Surf Expo on Friday at 5pm at the BIC SUP booth #673. This year marked the first Shop Shootout, hosted by Liquid Force, Byerly Boards, CWB Boards, O'Brien, and Hyperlite. The evening contest offered shop employees a chance to compete on the cable, which give riders of all abilities a level playing field.
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