Besides the Billabong crew, O’Neill is debuting its girls activewear line, Rusty had a booth showcasing its new waterproof tops with built-in headphones, Sanuk was at the show with a large presence, and Reef, Hippy Tree, Ocean Minded, and Quiksilver Waterman were also at the show.
In talking to a few people and just by walking around, I heard a lot of traditional outdoor brands and retailers excited about the action sports companies coming in, and action sports brands said they were busy seeing buyers.
“We’re in a section with new brands to this market, and we’ve been busy with retailers all day, so it shows that buyers are excited about finding new brands for their shops,” said Casey Fleming of Rusty.
I also heard some more talk of the SUP market breathing a lot of life into the show and the industry as a whole. There was an entire section with just SUP boards and a full hallway of SUP gear and accessories. Brands like Xcel, Rusty, O’Neill and Quiksilver Waterman all had product to wear while paddling.
Xcel, known for wetsuits, showcased a full line of sun protective gear. Kirk Presley who does sales and marketing for the brand, said Xcel has been at the show for the last five years and that being there lets buyers know how versatile the line is.
“These products are as relevant for a guy mountain biking as they are for a guy standup paddling or even hiking.”
Besides technical products, I also saw more of the traditional “surf” brands showcasing apparel to appeal to a more mature customer than the typical teenage target demographic.
Some outdoor brands are already targeting this customer in surf, including Patagonia, which had a packed booth all day at the show.
To see photos from the day, see our slide show above.
I’ll have more pictures tomorrow and a lot more stories in the next few weeks.