SIMA Begins Research For Fifth Specialty Retail Distribution Study

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. (January 8, 2013) -- The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) launches the 2012 SIMA Specialty Retail Distribution Study, the fifth of its kind, next week and retailer participation is crucial.

Specialty retailers can expect to begin receiving telephone calls the week of January 14 from the Leisure Trends Group (LTG), a full-service consumer research and consulting company, on behalf of SIMA asking for their participation in the study. Calls will be made through mid-February, and specialty surf and skate retailers will be selected at random to participate. Survey calls should last approximately 15 minutes, and retailers can request to set an appointment/call-back time allowing the phone survey to be completed at their convenience. All participating retailers and SIMA members will receive a free copy of the study results when released (a $5,000 value).

"One of SIMA's most important responsibilities is providing valuable and credible industry data, and the SIMA Specialty Retail Distribution Studies have been very successful at doing just that," says Doug Palladini, SIMA President and VP of Marketing for Vans. "Participation from specialty retailers is imperative. We highly encourage all retailers to participate in the survey should you receive a phone call. The 15 minutes taken to answer this survey will provide crucial information that will help grow the future of our industry."

The goal of the study is to obtain surf and skate industry data and statistics covering areas such as regional and channel differences, and category sales volume via the phone survey of specialty retailers. The 2012 SIMA Specialty Retail Distribution Study will provide an overview of the U.S. surf and skate market in 2012, as well as provide the surf industry with the information needed to better understand the trends that directly impact sales, business performance and retail strategies.

SIMA's 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 Retail Distribution Studies were well received and valued by both the surf industry and non-endemic entities alike. Highlights from the 2010 study included:

2010 SIMA Retail Distribution Study - Top Surf Industry Trends

1. Footwear: The overall footwear category (men's and women's shoes and sandals) generated the greatest sales in 2010 with $1.5 billion­ - an increase of 8.2% from 2008.

2. Stand up Paddleboard (SUP): As an emerging trend, 2010 was the first year the SIMA Retail Distribution Study has tracked the sales of SUPs. SUPs accounted for 9% of total surfboard sales generating $14.5 million. The average SUP cost $1,105 making it the highest costing product in the study.

3. Wetsuits: Wetsuit sales increased to $110.4 million in 2010 (24.5% over 2008). Fullsuits continued to drive wetsuit sales. An average of 139 full wetsuits were sold per store at an average price of $217.

4. Hard Goods: This product category including surfboards, skateboards and other hard good accessories increased by 35% to $1.46 billion in 2010. For the first time, the study indicates that surfboard hard good accessories including surfboard leashes and surfboard traction pads accounted for 5% of these sales, generating $73 million.

Results from the study will be announced and reviewed at SIMA Surf Summit 16 in Los Cabos, Mexico, May 15-18, 2013. For more information about the SIMA Specialty Retail Distribution Study, please visit

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than 300 surf industry suppliers. Founded in 1989, SIMA is a non-profit organization that serves to promote awareness of the surf industry and participation in the sport of surfing through public relations efforts and a variety of services, educational programs and research. In addition, SIMA actively supports oceanic environmental efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the SIMA Environmental Fund. In the past 23 years, SIMA’s Environmental Fund has raised more than $6.2 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world’s oceans, beaches and waves. The SIMA Humanitarian Fund, also a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, was established to award grants to various surf or boardsport related social and humanitarian non-profit organizations whose efforts are focused on improving the quality of life, health and/or welfare of people. Liquid Nation Ball serves as the annual fundraising event for the SIMA Humanitarian Fund, and since 2004 has raised and donated more than $1.58 million to surf-related non-profit humanitarian organizations. For more information regarding SIMA, please visit Follow SIMA at