Quiet, mellow, and somewhat deserted.
Not exactly the words associated with past San Diego ASRtrade shows, but this year, such was the case.
Sure, business still bustled, but thats all. It was all workand hardly any play. Gone are the days of blaring boomboxes, kegsin every booth, and porn stars perusing the aisles. This year itlooked more like, well, a trade show.
The multilevel San Diego Convention Center underwent amassive expansion after the September 2000 ASR trade show thatwas so packed, aisles were jammed and booths spilled over into thelobby.
This year, however, the entire street course, vert ramp,and numerous musical stages all fit on the main floor alongsidebooths with ample room to spare. The convention center neverlooked so cavernous.
At the Sessions booth, the company was offering freetattoos for anyone over eighteen years old. Drunk skaters and freetattoosdraw your own conclusion. Rest assured they were busy.
Globe and Gallaz had quite the busy booth going on, witha few items of interest: the legendary Rodney Mullens new shoecomes complete with a DVD offering footage and trick tips. Kind oflike that prize in the cereal box. Gallaz launched a full-scalewomens clothing line. Fun, sporty, and urbanexpect it to blossom.
The Dwindle booth was a popular place to take a break inbetween appointments. The distributor had set up a complimentarymassage parlor complete with two masseuses. In terms of business,however, its Speed Demons brand will now be a pricepoint linecompeting with Powells Mini Logo brand as well as with shop andblank decks.
The friendly Oregon crew at Savier had the expectedinnovation-heavy bags and shoes. The new Brian Anderson pack hasan insulated cooler in the bottom half, and their new TheStory shoes have a comical tale written by Tim OConnorimprinted on the shoe soles.
Grind King put on its longest-ollie challenge. AndrewReynolds took the ten-grand purse with a nineteen-foot-long wedge-to-wedge ollie. The next day, Billy Marks also took home ten-thousand dollars as the victor of the San Dieguito handrail challengeacross the street at the Coup DÉtat.
For those outside the loop, the Coup DÉtat is Tod Swanksbrainchild/anti-trade show he does near the ASR site. Tum Yeto andDNA Distribution had their companies, along with many othercontributors, exhibiting at the Childrens Museum across the streetfrom the Convention Center.
Speaking of the Coup DÉtat, Chris Carter was showing offthe latest and greatest from his DNA Distribution companies. AlienWorkshop and Habitat have gift tins for the holidays, complete withtape measures, pocketknives, and wallets. Their bolts come intriangular cardboard pegboards that allow kids to play thatleapfrog/checkers-type game. Theyre also making curb-wax candleswith wicks that can be burned before or after lubing that specialcurb. Basically, this stuffs cool. They even offer hooded sweatshirtswith a stash pocket.
Fellow Coup exhibitor, Tum Yeto, has begun using the NewWave technology that has been seen on so many Blitz DistributiondecksFlip, Firm, and Baker. New Wave, manufactured byClearwood, is apparently making itself available to more brands inthe future. Mike Page explained that Tum Yeto, a longtime WatsonLaminates account, is simply doing a test run to see how it sells.Future New Wave use is still up in the air.
Embarrassingly smaller than last year, the combination ofASRs rising prices and the waning effectiveness of the trade showatmosphere have left many companies disgruntled. Some feel theirrep force is the real bread and butter, but many companies still viewthe hands-on/face-to-face aspect of the ASR as an invaluable part oftheir business year.
Februarys scheduled Long Beach ASR show should beinteresting.