The Weekend at Surf Expo

Over the weekend, Surf Expo saw an influx of traffic to its January show, with some major events driving show goers to several different zones within the Orange County Convention Center.

BRA held several key seminars on the main stage Saturday, educating retailers on how to encourage their community to shop local, and providing tips for increasing shops’ social media score. The day was also graced with several key industry members and celebrity appearances, from legendary skater Tony Alva, who was snapping photos and showing off the latest collection of Alva Surfcraft, and iconic surfer Shaun Tomson [Read our full interview with Tomson to get his story behind creating of The Code] who was on hand to sign copies of his latest book, The Code, to actress Ashley Greene of Twilight fame.

Retailers ranging from Skate Park of Tampa to New Hampshire’s Summer Sessions were walking the show over the weekend, and major brands such as VonZipper, Sector 9, Hurley, Reef, Body Glove, and L*Space returned to the show to preview next season’s collections to a heavy line up of buyers. Stance, Catch Surf, Otis, and Roark were also present, gaining some great traction at the show with many shops calling out their new lines as some of their favorites.  Fox, a brand that has been gaining traction at Surf Expo for the past couple of seasons, had a particularly strong show with the introduction of cleaner booth structure, highlighting its men’s and women’s offerings with easy to understand, storyboard style displays.

“At the show we were also previewing our Fall/Holiday outerwear collection which received a great response,” says Fox Juniors National Sales Manager Sasha Hartloff.  On the women’s side, buyers were also stoked on the new variety of prints and colors, ranging from photo reel art to take-downs of vintage Fox moto prints. The brand has also worked hard at matching its buying and shipping cycle closely with the upcoming seasons, and creating a story that carries over between several pieces.  “Being more buy-now wear-now, because Fall ships in June and July, we are offering more sleeveless tanks and muscle tees than we have in the past, and of course a variety of fleece, all of which are designed to merch with the prints in the leggings,” explains Hartloff.

Please stay tuned for official attendance numbers, coming soon from Surf Expo. To see the first day of coverage, follow the jump to page two.