Surfboards Are (Literally) Flying Off The Rack At Surf Expo - Stab Mag

Surfboards Are (Literally) Flying Off The Rack At Surf Expo

Save some for the rest of us!

elsewhere // Sep 10, 2021
Words by Zack Raffin
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Surf Expo is the largest surf trade show in the world.

Since 1976, the world’s top surf, swim and resort brands have come together in Orlando, Florida (at least) once a year to proliferate their brand image, talk shop, sell their wares and enjoy a beer (or 15) together. What other industries might consider “the dreaded tradeshow” is actually an exuberant, highly enjoyable experience.

After having to cancel January’s in-person edition due to our pesky little friend called COVID, Surf Expo is back with their 45th iteration hosted in the seasonably wave-rich Sunshine State.

Here are our major takeaways from Day 1:

The world is built on beads.

Get To Know Repreve…

We’ve all seen the slogans: Made from 50… 70… 80% recycled plastics. But have you ever asked where this…stuff…comes from? Meet Repreve, the company that pioneered the bottle-to-thread movement. Having collected nearly 30 Billion bottles from Poseidon’s domain since 2007, Repreve has allowed your favorite brands to easily align themselves with the sustainability movement. How does it work? Well, Repreve melts the plastic down into the tiny little beads you see above. These are then distilled even further into yarn, and turned into a fabric that allows you to feel good about buying new products. Ta-da!

Surfboards: now hotter than NFTs.

Still Waiting On Your Board? You’re Not The Only One…

Typically the ‘surf’ section of Surf Expo is as much about boards as it is apparel. This year was decidedly different. While we posted a story about shapers being bogged down with months and months of orders back in December of 2020, it doesn’t appear things have changed regarding your favorite foam mowers. The only board rack on-site was Rusty’s pictured above the boards all sold to one eager buyer within 15 minutes of opening. Surfboards are hotter than crypto right now, so if you want a new stick for Christmas, order literally right now, cross your fingers, and pray. You’ll need all the help you can get.

You can’t shake the big dawgs.

Big Box Surf Retailers Aren’t Going Anywhere

Surf Expo is in no way exclusive. Brands big and small come together to talk shop and share ideas… with booth sizes ranging anywhere from 10×10 to full-scale constructions complete with a trapeze and tight-rope act (ok, maybe that’s a stretch). With that said, it’s easy to spot the major players based on their geographic hold of the showroom floor. The Hurleys, Quiksilvers, Billabongs, Rip Curls, and Volcoms of the world aren’t going anywhere, with new product lines, new developments, and reportedly nothing but growing accounts in the year 2021. While you justifiably love boutique or up-and-coming brands, make no mistake: when it comes to industry slugging percentage, the big boys are still on top.

Back tomorrow with more from our favorite brands at this year’s Surf Expo.


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