Stab Magazine | Expensive drinks, stoned adults, video games and Agenda
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Expensive drinks, stoned adults, video games and Agenda

Words by Morgan Williamson  The season’s changed, a ball dropped in New York and seven days later it was time for Agenda to have its inaugural jam in Long Beach. The industry’s favourite trade show followed a few days of heavy El Niño rain in the golden state. Every brand you’d expect showed face at the convention […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Words by Morgan Williamson 

The season’s changed, a ball dropped in New York and seven days later it was time for Agenda to have its inaugural jam in Long Beach. The industry’s favourite trade show followed a few days of heavy El Niño rain in the golden state. Every brand you’d expect showed face at the convention centre, and it was a time to network or get your hair cut. And, behind closed doors, the scent of business wafted through the seams of compound booths.

ALien body use

Super disco breakin’

The attendees shuffled through the isles with $12 beers and cocktails, overwhelmed by the clutter of fresh digs. There were women, beautiful women, everywhere. The typically extravagant fashionistas weren’t present today, although people in alien and rabbit suits were present for some reason.

Fresh out of the entrance sat an arcade fit with air hockey, Jurassic Park pinball, Cruisin’ USA and the classic Simpsons game. Kids and stoned adults could be found tapping away at red and blue buttons and joy sticks, an unmistakable marijuana smell thickening the air as morning slipped into the afternoon.

If socks were the jam in 2015, they’re the greatest hit early 2016. Companies are sprouting to challenge Stance, which was a bustling booth once again. Richer Poorer looks like the best competition for the Stance empire, taking a less in-your-face patterned approach to their competition. You can always differentiate the bigger from smaller brands at Agenda. Brands like RVCA, Volcom, Vans and Hurley have an aura of exclusivity to their booths and do their business behind closed doors; appointment only. However, Vans was cooking waffles outside of their booth, so bravo.

Skate ramp

Babylon skate dem. Photo: AgendaLB

Quiksilver’s new line is the best looking digs from the brand in years. Converse had two separate sections, one for the shoes and lifestyle jazz, the other housing accessories. You could find Mr Brad Gerlach looking dapper as always manning the Banks booth. And dear Dion Agius standing, as tall as physically possible, at Epokhe. And CJ Hobgood hanging with the Salty Crew. Dion, Brad and CJ were the only pro surfers to been seen at the trade show today, but the waves have been pumping in So Cal so it’s understandable. The surf side of the event was mellow, business-oriented and clashed with the vibe of skateboarding counterparts.

The majority of the crowd was at the skate area, and for good reason: It was more fun. Babylon built a mini ramp which was constantly seshed. All the booths were designed to hang out and have a few drinks, complete with mattresses, comfy chairs, a handball court and graffitied walls. The vibe was happier, more laughs and high fives than looking for buyers. A refreshing release from the biz-savvy side of surfing.

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