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AGENDA: Pre-registration and lodging specials for Vegas show, Aug. 17-19.
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More photos, panel details from Skate Summit

By Tiffany Montgomery
May 19, 2011 10:29 AM

I’m catching up on posting some more photos from the IASC Skateboarding Summit and a few more details about some of the panels.


Click here to see more photos from the summit previously posted.


Click here to read what Alien Workshop co-founder Chris Carter said during his keynote interview.


Angelo Ponzi of Board-Trac presented some data that outlined the decline in skateboarding participation. Much of the decline has to do with an aging demographic, though a swell of new potential participants in the prime age group is coming through in the next five years, he said.


That aging demographic and the tough economy has led to less buying of skate goods, even by active participants. In 2009, active participants bought an average five decks a year, while in 2010, they bought three decks, according to Board-Trac data.


In softgoods, buying among active participants also fell to just under $2.5 billion in 2010 from $3.5 billion in 2009. Consumption among passive participants increased slightly however.


Cary Allington of ActionWatch provided data from the approximately 250 core stores on his retail panel.


In 2010, apparel sales were flat, hardgoods sales rose 4.3%, accessories sales rose 5.2% and footwear sales declined 5.1%.


Margins rose about a full point in all categories.


For more information about the rise of longboards in the skate market with some eye-opening data from ActionWatch, see our previous story from the Summit about the issue.


On the retail panel, Marty Ramos of Kona Skatepark said customers increasingly want quality products and service. A lot of customers are still deciding and want help from the staff.

Matt Pindroh of Liberty Board Shop said a wider-age range than ever before is shopping in his store. Customers range from 10 years old to 40 years old, he said.


Those in in their mid-30’s to 40s are often looking for something special and different to wear out at night and aren’t as price sensitive. Yet Liberty still needs to have goods for those kids who are just starting to skate at prices that won’t scare off moms.


Dave Nash of Sun Diego said the market is still about price, and the discounting that goes on online and elsewhere has hurt small skate shops. He also said having limited, differentiated product for independent stores is key.


Donny Damron of Pharmacy Boardshops echoed his thoughts, saying specialty product for specialty stores is important.


However, he asked that it be something good, not something that is ugly and won’t sell.


He also said manufacturers need to give stores a reason to talk about brands with customers – there needs to be energy behind a brand and the kids on the floor need to be excited about it.


Donny also said that most customers don’t care about technology in boards.


However, George Leichtweis of Modern Skate urged the group not to give up on technology because the stores need something to talk up, even if it’s a limited customer at the moment.


See Page 2 for details about the manufacturers panel and pro career panel




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