The semi-annual surf lifestyle trade show completed its three day run in January 2016. Each year the premier surf lifestyle gathering of marketers just gets better and better. The North / South halls at the Orange County Convention Center were packed each day with buyer, store owners and hoards of media.
This show was a little different than shows of the past because the floor layout had changed. Instead of having each market segment, surf, skate, wake, sup, wind swim, boutique, resort, coastal gift and performance, have a full row of booths, the floor was chopped up where each segment had one half of a row. The number of booths in each segment had not changed, but where each market segment was located had. Instead of stacking the market segment side by side that ran the entire row length, the market segment would end half way down a row and wrap back the front. This made it very confusing when trying to schedule booth meetings.
Packed into 30 plus isles and 7,500 store fronts of surf, skate, wake, sup, wind swim, boutique, resort, coastal gift and performance products 2,600 booths, buyers and store owners found new products and brands to stock their shelves with for the 2016 surf and beach season. Mixed among the rows of surf lifestyle products were man y old exhibitors and a few new ones. The following are some highlights from the January 2016 Surf Expo.
BEANBACK™ Hats – The company is located in Short Hills, New Jersey and was founded by Miranda Brody in 2015. According to Miranda, “BEANBACK™ is a unisex fashion brand for people who like to chill out and have a good time.” Miranda manned the BeanBack booth where she shared the story about her novel hybred hat design and how she started her company. She designed the first hybrid beanie and baseball cap (patent pending) which was on full display at her booth. See slide show. Click HERE for a link to her webpage.
Dry Case – This brand is always at Surf Expo with their water proof cases for your smart phones and tablets. This year they rolled out a new soft side ice bag to compete head to head with Yeti. The Dry Case Snows Cut Super Insulated Soft Cooler holds 48 beer cans with 35 liters of usable space. The MSRP is $199.99. See slide show. Click HERE for a link to her webpage.
Pukka Headwear – Surf Expo attendees can expect to see great new had designs at the Pukka Headwear booth. This year was no exception. A lot of the Pukka hat are designes are made on the snap-back hat platform. A lot of people with large heads cannot wear the standard snap-back hat. Pukka has a solution for that. They have a snap-back hat for large heads. If a buyer places the standard 48 hat order, they can get 12 snap-back hats for large heads added to their order without any minimums. See slide show for the Pukka Girls. Click HERE for a link to her webpage.
Howler Brothers – Who does not love this brand? When you visit the Howler Brothers’ booth you can find Mason Brent, CFO, hocking all the great apparel and accessories. You just might even find him on Youtube. Click HERE for a video from a previous Surf Expo. These Austin, Texas guys are just fun to be around. The January show is the show to showcase spring and summer products, but have you seen the Merlin Jacket in the Winter Collection? It is really sweet or the camp mug? Be sure to check out their website. Click HERE for their web page.
Drika Kite Wear – This was Drika Kite Wear’s first Surf Expo. Adriana Ayala was manning the booth. This is another great swimwear manufacturer from South America. Their tag line is “Born in the Caribbean, raised in Brazil”. The Drika Kite Wear’s booth was a rainbow of colors. See slide show and click HERE for a link to her webpage and HERE for their Instagram page.
AVEX – Avex is another dependable Surf Expo exhibitor. The Avex lineup of water bottles and thermal bottles always brings in a large crowd. This show was no different. In the very competitive high end water and thermal bottle market segment, this brand is holding their own. They introduced the stainless steel spirit glasses and growler before Yeti. This brand tends to stay ahead of the curve. See slide show and click HERE for a link to their webpage.
The Dub Box – Rounding out this Surf Expo summary is the Dub Box. What a great addition to this year’s January expo. The Dub Box VW style camping trailer offered up visions of surfers camping on the beach with night time bonfires lighting up the night’s sky. Click HERE for an Examiner article on the Dub Box at Surf Expo.
For other Examiner articles from the January Surf Expo click the link below.
Native Eyewear – Click HERE
Hobie Polarized Sunglasses – Click HERE
Hang Ten Is Back – Click HERE
Fat Tire Bikes – Click HERE
This expo was another great experience. The September expo is only summertime away. Hope to see you there. So until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.