Photos: Michael A. Cohen
Words by Michael A. Cohen; additional reporting by Kailee Bradstreet
Last week’s first New York City Longboard Trade Show and Concrete Wave Reader’s Choice Awards, organized by Concrete Wave magazine Publisher Michael Brooke, was hosted at The Longboard Loft’s new shop at 132 Allen Street in New York’s Lower East Side. This one-day, eight-hour trade show was packed, and featured a live web-cast during the awards segment of the show.
A group of thirty five brands was in attendance, including Globe, One Skateboards, Triple 8, and Bustin. The longboard market continues to expand, and according to ActionWatch reports, longboard sales increased 43% during the first quarter of 2010 compared to the previous year.
“The longboard market is growing rapidly and this expo is long overdue,” says Brian Davenport, founder of Pushculture.com, a longboard specific website.
The show was followed by the second annual Concrete Wave Reader’s Choice Awards, where top honors went out to EG from Sector Nine, Jeff and Bobby of Triple 8, and Brian at Earthwing Skateboards. (Watch the video here to see all of the winners.)
TransWorld Business contributing author Michael A. Cohen resides in Brooklyn, works for SHUT Skateboards, and is a U.S.A.S.A certified judge and head judge for the Southern Vermont Snowboard and Freeride Series. Cohen had a chance to attend last week’s Longboard Expo and had this to report:
As I walked the tightly packed makeshift trade show I started to bring up the new term kicking around the longboard society, “Push Culture.” This term seems to be created by a small group of new comers to the industry because the majority of the older gene, or my age crew, does not seem so open to it. The sense I got was that they are segregating themselves from the rest of the overall activity of skateboarding on a Longboard. It was a topic that came up when I chatted with most of the vendors. But the most important question of the show was whether it was worth it for the reps and brands. All of the vendors agreed it was an interesting format and worth it for the exposure their brands need for New York and the East Coast.
“While looking for a space to host ‘The 2nd Annual Readers Choice Awards,’ I was trying to tie the event into an Adrenaline push race ( 26 mile push race) out in Cali,” says Brooke. “Things didn’t work out for the Cali event and then I decided to have it in NYC after having a memorable time at the Broadway Bomb. I then contacted the owners of The New Longboard Loft to have 10 to 15 vendors and keep it simple. BUT, it suddenly became apparent that the interest in the trade show had grown to 32 paying and another 18 [brands] hitting up the trade show “Gangster style or Ghetto style as they call it,” I then decided the time was right and I did a longboard trade show in New York.”