Surf Expo Is Slick And Convalescent
Day one from Stab's Orlando residency!
After years of hearing how Orlando's Surf Expo—once a wildly self-indulgent affair and venerable industry orgy–had grown tame, neutered, watered down by novelty brands slinging shark tooth necklaces that belonged in a kiosk at the Honolulu airport; we got wind of a sea change occurring. The Expo is returning to form, to its core roots.
Stab was set up smack dab on the runway in, our booth wrapped in a Cory Wilson image from our trip to Japan filming Stab In The Dark, which we'll be screening (sans spoilers) this afternoon with the gents at the Florida Surf Film Festival.
The back and sides of Stab's erected monument features Surfer of the Year winners, Steph Gilmore and Italo Ferreira, as well as all 50 of the surfers Sam McIntosh, Mikey C. and the boys endlessly pestered for their votes in Hawaii.
Zen Fanning, Stab in the Dark is coming very, very soon.
Mark Cunningham digesting the massive amount of information compiled for Surfer of the Year.
The response to Surfer of the Year, and the excitement around the much-anticipated and fashionably late Stab In The Dark has been lovely—Southern Hospitality, at its finest, surely. We'll be hosting four of the shapers from the film—Matt Biolos, Jon Pyzel, Britt Merrick, and Hayden Cox—for a conversation on the film, and about the teched-out boards they put under Mick's feet, at 4:45 this afternoon.
"I spent December wondering if Stab was going to ruin my Christmas," Hayden Cox told us of his anxiety around his board being in this year's Stab In The Dark. Trust us, he'll be much happier with this year's performance than previous.
Will 2x Stab in the Dark winner Jon Pyzel rack up a three-peat?
The day was spent bouncing between hosting duties at the Stab booth and making the rounds, rapping out endlessly with old bros—When did you get in? You getting into anything tonight? Where's the Happy Hour!?—while admiring a few standout brands.
With '90s Nostalgia as heavy as it's ever gonna be, the Rusty booth looked insane, their new line of clothes all acid washed, thrashy goodness, and a handful of super-secret late-'80s inspired channel bottoms (that we'll reveal more about later this weekend), their raw-edged R-Dot logo on the beaked tip.
Clint Priesendorfer, heir to the R-Dot throne, and one of their new models for 2019, The Blade. (Yes, please!)
If you're amongst the huddled masses in the Orlando Convention Center today, swing by the booth and hang—the Reef, Sanuk, and Salty Crew will surely have another hell of a Happy Hour, and you don't want to miss the sneak peak at Stab In The Dark, which we'll be premiering in Australia and online, very, very soon. Scroll south for a look at Day One of a reinvigorated, slick, and convalescent Surf Expo.
Evan Geiselman rolled in to hang at his dad, Greg's Orion Surfboards booth, after a banner session at home in New Smyrna, getting amped for next week's Florida Pro at Sebastian Inlet, where as one of thehighest seeds in the event, he'll surely come up against the event wildcard who shares both his initials and last name, Lark Himself, Eric.
The RVCA bunker, featuring their upcoming collaboration with legendary New York tattoo shop, Smith Street.
Sharp Eye's Marcio Zouvi, fondling his wares.
The Roark Revivalists' compound.
CJ Hobgood, Eric Tomlinson, and Globe's Gary Valentine.