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BRA Covid-19 Retailer Resource Guide (strategies, webinars, loans and more) – updated July 1, 2020

Welcome to the BRA COVID-19 Resource Guide. Below you will find resources for the benefit of all board specialty retailers (BRA Retail Members and non-members alike) during this challenging period. The Board Retailers Association is actively aggregating resources to assist you in navigating these uncharted waters. We update this page with additional resources daily. If you are interested in contributing relevant information or helpful resources that will benefit other board specialty retailers, please email our Executive Director at doug@boardretailers.org Relevant and trustworthy online resources providing facts related to transmission of Covid-19 (Corona Virus) and strategies to battle the spread #spreadthestokenotthevirus Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Official Website Flatten The Curve – Everything you and your customers need to know to battle COVID-19 is on this website World Health Organization – Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak This epic and relevant drawing was created by Reddit User Darth Voter Relevant educational webinars (on-demand) > Crystal Media – 3 Tips To Get Started With Social Selling Today and Staying Top-of-Mind and Connected to Customers During a Pandemic > Management One – 1) “The Retailer’s Guide to the Economic Stimulus Package & Financial Options to Address COVID-19” – The CARES Act is a complex mix of government aid and bank loans each with their own timelines and requirements. The parameters and regulations for these loans is changing hourly! 2) With rent being one of the highest monthly expenses for brick and mortar retail businesses, it’s a good idea to approach the subject of temporarily altering the structure of your agreement – The Art of Landlord Negotiation to Ease the Highest... read more

“The Tony Hawk Foundation Is Now THE SKATEPARK PROJECT” by TWS

The Tony Hawk Foundation has announced a change in name, but not in focus. Now known as The Skatepark Project, the organization continues its award-winning work to support community skatepark projects across the U.S., and skatepark-based programming internationally.ADVERTISING Its mission is to help underserved communities create safe and inclusive public skateparks for youth. The Skatepark Project envisions thriving, healthy and sustainable communities throughout the United States in which young people have equitable access to safe outdoor spaces for creative expression, physical activity and a sense of belonging. Head to skatepark.org to learn more about how to support public skateparks through The Skatepark Project or get help with your local public skatepark advocacy project. L to R: Leticia Bufoni, Tony Hawk, Thalente Biyela, Jack Black, Sky Brown, Eric Koston, Samarria Brevard, Cher Strauberry, Killer Mike, Lizzie Armanto Transworld Skateboarding is an excellent source of skateboarding news and related content. Be sure to bookmark: https://skateboarding.transworld.net/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

““She Surf” Is An Enlightening Look at Women’s Surfing – A NEW BOOK SHINES A BRIGHT LIGHT ON SOME OF SURFING’S MOST INSPIRING WAVE SLIDERS” by Zander Morton via Surfer Mag

“Women now make up between 20 to 30 percent of surfers, and that number continues to grow,” writes professional surfer/writer Lauren Hill, in the foreword to her new book, “She Surf”. “As girls are given the opportunity and support to engage with the sport, and accessibility to boards and beaches increases, we will make up for lost decades in getting back to surfing’s legacy of inclusivity. As we work to catch up — not to men’s surfing — but to what our own minds, hearts, and bodies are capable of and long for in the water, we are witnessing the depth and diversity of a truly global women’s surf culture.” “She Surf” is a celebratory look at women’s surf culture and history. It’s 250 pages of inspiring photography and storytelling, featuring chapters on a wide variety of subjects, including historical vignettes and profiles on the likes of 7x World Champ Steph Gilmore, “National Geographic” Adventurer of the Year Emi Koch, environmental activist Belinda Baggs, Brazilian logger Chloe Calmon, expert photographer Sarah Lee, all-around inspiration Bethany Hamilton, the founding mothers of pro surfing, female board builders and many, many more. “This isn’t a book just for women and girls,” Hill tells us. “It’s also for men who have an interest in the lives, perspectives and experiences of women. Which is all men, I hope?” A 250-page look at the past, present and future of women’s surf culture Read below for an interview with Hill, and then Read below for an interview with Hill, and thenclick here to purchase her bookto purchase her book. For starters, how did this book go from... read more

“WHAT YOUR GRIPTAPE STYLE SAYS ABOUT YOU” by MAX OLIJNYK via Jenkem Mag

If you’re anything like me, you’re itching to skate that shiny new board you impulse-bought online. And with every new board comes the question: how should I grip it? With all this spare time on your hands, you should set aside an hour or so to do something special, right? Personally, I’ve been considering subscribing to the Dan Drehobl method. My reasoning? Firstly, he’s arguably the most enjoyable skateboarder on earth to watch. It varies from board to board, but Dan’s grip seems to follow a common ratio or coded pattern. It’s unclear whether it serves a practical purpose (foot placement guidance, perhaps?); perhaps it began as a way to ration out a sheet of grip on wider boards, or maybe it goes much deeper than that. Knowing Dan Drehobl (I don’t know him), it probably doesn’t mean shit. The whole thing got me thinking about grip jobs, and how all of that stuff matters, even if we pretend it doesn’t. Here’s my analysis of a few key approaches. PS. I realize I’m going crazy. THE SPEED STRIPE A cult favorite amongst the progressive crowd, the speed stripe (a vertical stripe running down the center of the board) tips its hat to skateboarding’s surfing lineage while thumbing its nose to the normies. “Stripers” can do every trick, but prefer to try weird combinations of things that look easy but actually aren’t – or are they? It’s all a big joke, anyway. And if you think it looks wack, the joke’s on you. Home turf: A spot that isn’t really a spotSoundtrack: Pop punk party hits of the ’90sBoard brands: Frog, WKNDKey offenders: Jesse Alba, Austyn Gillette THE ENDORSEE There’s... read more

“Office Depot Preferential Member Pricing Program now available for all BRA Regular (no cost) and Distinguished Retail Members”

The Mission of Board Retailers Association is to consolidate the voices, the experiences and the visions of Board Specialty Retailers into a cohesive organization. We do this by identifying ways to lower day to day expenses, to increase profit margins and to create more remarkable customer experiences for our Retail Members. As a BRA Retail Member, you will have a voice, you will benefit from BRA relationships and you will have access to a number of BRA programs and resources including the new Office Depot Exclusive Preferential BRA Member Pricing Program. The image below elaborates on this outstanding Member Benefit, which is available to both Regular (no cost) and Distinguished Retail Members. If you are interested in improving your business, click on the following link to learn about both BRA Retail Membership options: https://www.boardretailers.org/retail-membership/ Soon after you complete the following super simple join form, we will email you the link to gain access to this rad program and begin saving on over 20,000 Office Depot Products and Services: https://www.boardretailers.org/join-bra/ #boardretailersassociation... read more

“Global Skateboard Sales Surge Outstrips Supply” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Please click on the following link to view this relevant Shop Eat Surf Article:   Global Skateboard Sales Surge Outstrips Supply Please note that this article is a Shop Eat Surf Executive Edition article so you will need to sign up and pay for access before viewing. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the SES Executive Edition Membership outweigh the cost. Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Will Online Appointments Replace Face-to-Face Shopping?” by John Federman via Total Retail

The whole state of retail is in flux — and it’s anybody’s guess what the future holds for consumers, retailers and shopping, especially as the holiday season approaches. All we know is that consumers and retailers alike want to get back to normal. But what will normal be? Will consumers ever feel truly safe shopping face to face, or will online appointments become the next normal? The truth is it will be both, at least for the time being. It will boil down to the consumer, their age, health, personality, and how they feel about the COVID-19 pandemic itself. How retailers engage these different dynamics as consumers contemplate their future shopping habits is crucial. No doubt, consumers and retailers would like to go back to February, when shoppers could brush against each other without gasping, touching fabrics wasn’t frowned upon, and Clorox wipes weren’t a luxury. However, for most consumers, feeling comfortable returning to physical stores comes with many caveats and rules. And for the elderly and the health-compromised, it’s a confusing, if not daunting, time. Related story: Omnichannel: The Future of Retail Getting Back In-Store To gain consumer confidence in getting people back in-store, retailers will have to take stringent precautions like providing a means to manage queuing, in-store capacity and foot traffic, as well as provide frequent cleanings and enforcing social distancing requirements. Lack of contact will force personal service. Once the parameters are in place, it will be up to the consumer to “play by the rules.” Will we? Or will the rules be so overwhelming that we throw our arms up and opt for a different... read more

“Rolling For Rights Recap | San Diego” photos by Blair Allie and Jaime Owens via Transworld Skateboarding

Wow! First and foremost I want to give a major shout out to everyone involved in making this possible: Tyrone Olson, Shuriken Shannon, Brandon Turner, Alfonso Huey, Zack Dowdy, Khalid Alexander, Xpress it, and the San Diego skateboard community. What a great success! We came together to spread our messages and bring awareness to the issues that have needed attention for far too long: Racism, white supremacy, police reform, police brutality, equality, human rights and justice for all! We had an amazing turn out and we couldn’t be more grateful to everyone for keeping it peaceful and organized. Huge thank you to all that donated and to all of our volunteers, on the frontlines or in the background. Without everyone’s help and cooperation none of this would have been possible. Once again to the San Diego skateboard community, this is just the beginning, we have a lot of work to do. Let’s educate ourselves on every platform in order to attack the issues at hand and be able to make an effective change that will last for generations to come.—Tommy Sandoval The Rolling for Rights movement event we were all a part of in San Diego was epic to say the least. I believe we got our message across as skateboarders representing our city for the Black Lives Matter movement and justice for all. SD showed up for a peaceful protest with no violence and no vandalism. I’d like to thank everyone who was able to make it out to hear our stories and voices to unite as one. This doesn’t end here… One love.—Brandon Turner A day to... read more

“Surf Expo Learning Labs -powered by Retail X and #StandUp4Retail (complimentary live and on-demand webinars)”

This series of complimentary webinars led by experts is designed to help Retailers combat and navigate through the challenges that COVID-19 has posted, and find success despite the obstacles ahead. We have partnered with Outdoor Retailer, RetailX, ASD Market Week and NY NOW to provide this comprehensive series. Upcoming Webinars: The Future of CBD Retail and Other Cannabinoids Tuesday, June 23 | 11 AM PT | Register > CBD is one of hundreds of cannabinoids found in hemp and each cannabinoid has their own unique qualities. As quickly as CBD exploded, other cannabinoids are expected to be extracted and developed into new products with similar retail potential. From broad spectrum to isolates, join this webinar to learn about: – The latest cannabinoids and their potential– Which cannabinoids are most likely to grow as popular as CBD–  And how retailers can expect the hemp-derived product industry to grow and change. Pivoting During a Pandemic: Aligning Ecommerce Marketing Functionality with Profitability Thu, Jun 25, 2020 12:00 PM EDT | Register > Over the past three months, ecommerce marketers have been faced with unprecedented challenges. While historically low CPMs may have led to lower CPAs, AOVs also have fallen, fewer companies are placing large trade orders and foot traffic, for the most part, has not been walking into showrooms. (In non-marketing-geek terms, that means it’s cheaper than ever to advertise online and capture new visitors to your site, but your conversion rates are falling.) How do companies navigate this new landscape with an eye toward profitability? What marketing levers can be turned off and on, and what items need to fall by the wayside during this downturn? Learn how... read more

“Copy-writing Masterclass: Captivate Your Customers with Compelling Copy” webinar on-demand via PropagandaHQ.net

In this webinar, content marketing experts Peter Abraham and Phat X. Chiem the marketing brains behind the brand communications agency, Marlowe, will show you examples of superb copywriting and explain why they work.  You’ll learn how to tap the power of brand storytelling to convert customers from browsers into buyers. More than ever, brands need to reach customers on an emotional level. And in this masterclass, Phat and Peter will show you: ✔︎ How to engage consumers with emotive storytelling ✔︎ How the experts use the Shopify blog tool ✔︎ How to put together an awesome product description ✔︎ How to avoid common copywriting mistakes Click to watch the webinar! Be sure to bookmark this brand new Action Sports trade and news resource: https://propagandahq.net/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Why the Surf Industry Is On the Cusp of a Surprising Upturn Despite a Battered Economy” by Sam George via The Inertia

The surf shop has always been at surfing’s core. And the core, it seems, is what has made it through this pandemic. Photo: Ocean Hut Surf Shop Surfers have long cherished the conceit that simply by stepping off the shore and paddling out into the waves they leave terrestrial cares and woes back on the beach with their sandy shoes and smelly towels. This illusion was shattered when, during the initial three months of the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our exulted tribe was lumped in with the rest of civilian America under orders to stay at home, avoid virus-wafting group gatherings and, in our case, stay out of the water. Outrage was immediate and fierce, with most serious surfers adhering to the sincere belief that surfing is an absolutely essential activity. How dare a government, however well meaning, tell us that we can’t surf? Yet how few surfers, existentially unable to imagine a future beyond their next go-out, gave much thought to what their surfing lives would look like when these restrictions would inevitably relax.  Because in addition to the many hundreds of thousands of ‘mainstream’ businesses across America dramatically — and in most cases negatively — affected economically by nation-wide pandemic shutdown measures were the surfboard manufacturers: wetsuit and surf wear brands, makers of fins, leashes, wax, board bags, skateboards, all the items that are absolutely essential to a surfer’s life. Right along with the surf shops that sell them. Deep down, we all knew the waves would be there after COVID-19 restrictions eased. But would the surf industry?  And, if so, what was it going to look like? “I feel... read more

“U.S. Retail Sales Rebound More Than Expected in May” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this relevant Shop Eat Surf Article:   U.S. Retail Sales Rebound More Than Expected in May Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“The Southern California Surfing Community Gathers En Masse for Racial Justice – A CELEBRATION OF GEORGE FLOYD’S LIFE AND A CALL TO END RACISM” by KATIE RODRIGUEZ via Surfer Mag

“This has been the hardest week in my 48 years on this planet. This has been the hardest week to exist in my skin, and in my blackness. It has been that way for all of us, to have this skin: to wonder what it is … and ask whether or not we get to be Americans like everyone else.” Sal Masekela’s poignant words above reverberated across a silent crowd of over 3,000 people who gathered together at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas Wednesday evening for the “Paddle Out for Unity in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter” demonstration. The event, organized by Textured Waves, Kindhumans Movement, Changing Tides Foundation and Masekela, was held to honor the life of George Floyd and other black lives lost to police brutality, as well as to take a stand against systemic racism in America.  From right to left, Danielle Lyons from Textured Tides with friends Olga Diaz and Shelby Tucker People came together adorned with flowers, signs listing the names of lives tragically lost to racial injustices, surfboards spray-painted with “Black Lives Matter”, and yes, masks, with respect to COVID-19. The ceremony was backed by genuine community support and an earnest commitment to do the work necessary to fight racism. While the fight for equality expands much larger than the surfing community, we all have a larger role to play in ending racism. “For all of the surfers that happen to be black, we’ve known and experienced challenges in this community that would probably shock you,” Masekela says. “It’s been very hard for people to perceive [that] people [who] don’t look like them, can love the ocean as much as... read more

“Core Store Sales Better than Expected in May” by Action Watch via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this relevant Shop Eat Surf Article from BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Action Watch:  Core Store Sales Better than Expected in May Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Fighting Racism and Becoming Better Allies” by Melissa Campanelli via Total Retail

Welcome to this week’s Retail Resources. This week, I’m dedicating this post to what I believe are valuable resources to help retail business leaders fight racism and become better allies. If there’s anything you would like me to share in a future post, let me know by dropping me a line at mcampanelli@napco.com. LinkedIn has made its seven-course learning program “Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for All” free through the end of June. Courses include “Unconscious Bias,” “Skills for Inclusive Conversations,” “Bystander Training: From Bystander to Upstander,” and more. Check it our here.Korn Ferry is hosting a series of webinars this week called Race Matters. Topics range from how whites can become authentic allies in addressing systemic racism through structural inclusion to creating a racially equitable future as inclusive leaders, and more. For more information and to register, please click here.This Fast Company article discusses a plea from Aurora James, founder of the Brooklyn boutique Brother Vellies, for major retailers across the U.S. to commit to buying 15 percent of their merchandise from black-owned businesses. The campaign is dubbed the 15 Percent Pledge. “So many of your businesses are built on black spending power,” James wrote on Instagram. “So many of your stores are set up in black communities. So many of your sponsored posts are seen on black feeds. This is the least you can do for us. We represent 15 percent of the population, and we need to represent 15 percent of your shelf space.”The Female Quotient has put together a webinar series around how to “turn words into action, become true allies, and address racism head-on.” You can register for the series, called the “Virtual Equality Lounge®: Moving From Conversation to Action,” here.In this profound, thought-provoking and often... read more

“Training Sales Associates in the Post-COVID World” by ENDVR via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this absolutely relevant Shop Eat Surf Article about BRA Supporting Vendor Partner ENDVR:    Training Sales Associates in the Post-COVID World Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“HOW TWO SHOPS ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE PANDEMIC” by LARRY LANZA via JENKEM MAG

It’s no secret that, prior to the pandemic, one of the greatest things about a skateshop was its fixture as a hub for the community, serving as a place to hang out, talk shit, and ask for a pivot cup or spare bearing or something. But with the shutdowns, shops have to find new ways to keep their local skaters and new customers hyped on the shop and invested in their survival.Gary Smith, the owner of Vù Skate Shop in Baltimore, and Ben Jones, owner of Kinetic Skate Shop in Wilmington, just 60-minutes apart from one another, recently released a shop collaboration deck and shirt. Two shops working together on a joint promotion is extremely rare in the skate biz, even though skaters will collab with just about anything. The ongoing pandemic has put skate shops in a weird place because, even though their storefronts are closed, they are still selling boards, more than ever before in some cases. There’s no set business model in place to weather a pandemic, but shops like Vù and Kinetic coming together to support one another gives one way forward for shops struggling to make it alone. This is one of the few times we’ve seen shops collaborate like this, where did the idea come from? Ben: Gary told me about this maybe three years ago. It was one of the coolest ideas I’ve ever heard. Especially since owning a skate shop has changed in the years that we’ve both been doing it. When we first started doing this, I feel like there were more rivalry between the shops. Now, we’re all friends and we’re all in the same fight together.... read more

“Facebook and Instagram Launch Shops for Businesses” by Kristina Stidham via Total Retail

Facebook and Instagram have launched a new Shop feature, allowing consumers to make purchases directly on businesses’ Facebook pages or Instagram profiles, reports TechCrunch. The social network’s (Facebook own Instagram) new tools go further than its previous support of e-commerce, enabling businesses to create a full-fledged Facebook Shop. The release of the new feature is a global test, with nearly 1 million businesses already signed up. Those businesses will be able to create a Facebook Shop for free — they just upload their catalog, choose the products they want to feature, then customize it with a cover image and accent colors. Visitors can then browse, save and order products. Facebook’s Vice President of Ads Dan Levy described this as a “build once and render anywhere” solution. What will differ is how consumers discover the shops, whether it’s via the Facebook Marketplace or a product tagged in a photo on Instagram. The company also plans to launch another experience this summer called Instagram Shop, and there will also be ways for merchants to feature and link to products in their live videos from their Facebook Stores, as well as for consumers to connect loyalty programs to their Facebook accounts. Total Retail’s Take: As social commerce continues to grow, it only makes sense that platforms would move to make the purchasing experience more seamless. It stands to reason that by adding more frictionless shopping features, consumers will spend more time in the app discovering and purchasing from brands. Facebook and Instagram are also creating additional advertising opportunities as they move toward being an e-commerce marketplace. Instagram had already moved in this direction in 2019 when it launched... read more

“Bright Spots Emerge at Core Retail” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this absolutely relevant Shop Eat Surf Article (about BRA Distinguished Retail Member Hi-Tech Surf Shop):   Bright Spots Emerge At Core Retail Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf Not already a BRA Regular (no cost) or Distinguished Retail Member? You can easily opt in via this super simple join form:... read more

“Reopening Your Store after Covid-19: The Things You Are Not Yet Thinking About” – Relevant Webinar (Now Available On Demand) brought to you by Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys and Board Retailers Association

In this valuable webinar, Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys (https://www.retailsmartguys.com) will provide some guidance for independent retailers like you to help open your stores after Covid-19. This super informative webinar will cover store layouts, staffing, marketing, selling, merchandising, and financial steps that retailers need to take in order to successfully reopen your stores after having been shut down. Board Retailers Association specially arranged for Dan to present this helpful and relevant webinar to our retailers. When?: Dan originally presented this valuable and relevant webinar on Thursday, May 21, 2020 but is now available on demand anytime. Where?: Right here. Just push play. Why?: Because Board Retailers Association is a nonprofit that cares deeply about specialty retailers and provides resources like this to not only help specialty retailers like you to reopen your doors but also to lower your day to day costs, increase your profit margins and create more remarkable customer experiences. Not already a BRA Regular (no cost) or Distinguished Retail Member? You can easily opt in via this super simple join form: https://www.boardretailers.org/join-bra/ BONUS In addition to the video, we received some other materials from Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys related to the presentation to share with you upon request including: A copy of all the slides of the presentation A Checklist to do the things that are mentioned in the presentation! Management One’s 12 Week Cash Flow Plan – A great tool to ensure that you know where your cash flow is headed.  It will help you make the important decisions you need to make to keep your cash!Management One’s PPP Planner – For... read more

“See Which States Are Reopening and Which Are Still Shut Down” By Sarah Mervosh, Jasmine C. Lee, Lazaro Gamio and Nadja Popovich (Updated May 21, 2020)

Since late April, when the first states began to lift restrictions put in place to curb the coronavirus outbreak, a new pattern has played out across America: The number of new cases of the coronavirus continues to grow, as does the number of people returning to public life. In Oregon, retail stores are flipping their window signs to “Open.” In Oklahoma, people can go out dancing at nightclubs again. More than half of the states have started to reopen their economies in some meaningful way. Several more are letting certain counties or regions reopen while keeping the areas worst-hit by the virus shut down. The lifting of restrictions has represented hope in some quarters and deepened fear in others. The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, testified before Congress last week that reopening too soon could trigger a new outbreak and lead to “some suffering and death that could be avoided, but could even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery.” The New York Times is tracking when orders to stay at home are lifted in each state, as well as when broad reopenings are allowed. A state is categorized as “reopening” once its stay-at-home order lifts, or once reopening is permitted in at least one major sector (restaurants, retail stores, personal care businesses), or once reopening is permitted in a combination of smaller sectors. A state is categorized as “regional reopening” if, by and large, the governor permits certain counties or regions to open while others remain closed. States may shift categories as conditions change, or to account for changes... read more

“Facebook debuts Shops e-commerce initiative for small businesses” by Robert Williams via Retail Dive

Brief: Facebook unveiled Facebook Shops, a new feature to help small businesses in the U.S. turn their social media profiles into digital storefronts. Businesses can set up a single online store for customers to access on Facebook’s core social network and photo-sharing app Instagram, according to an announcement and details shared by CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a livestream Tuesday.Shops will let businesses have online conversations with their customers via the WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct messaging platforms. Facebook introduced privacy controls that won’t identify which individuals visit a digital storefront, unless they give permission to do so. The company is currently testing Facebook Checkout to handle sales transactions, CNBC reported.Shops also will let businesses tag products shown in Facebook and Instagram livestreams, letting customers see a product order page after tapping on those tags, Zuckerberg said during the livestreamed event. The company is working with e-commerce partners including Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics to support small businesses with Facebook Shops. Insight: Facebook’s introduction of Shops expands on past efforts to bolster mobile commerce, while the coronavirus pandemic has added urgency to helping small businesses whose brick-and-mortar stores were ordered to temporarily close. Facebook has previously said that its core ad business is seeing weaker demand due to the pandemic, but e-commerce is on the rise among quarantined consumers who can’t go to physical stores to buy goods. Shops could help Facebook capitalize on this opportunity and accelerate adoption for the shoppable features it’s been steadily building out over the past several years that look to give a stronger competitive edge against companies like Amazon. The social networking giant plans to expand the... read more

“Hi-Tech Owner on Business Trends Since Hawaii Opened Up” via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this absolutely relevant Shop Eat Surf Article (about BRA Distinguished Retail Member Hi-Tech Surf Shop):   Hi-Tech Owner on Business Trends Since Hawaii Opened Up Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf Not already a BRA Regular (no cost) or Distinguished Retail Member? You can easily opt in via this super simple join form:... read more

“New Survey Results Show Core Retailers As More Optimistic” provided by Action Watch (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

Thanks to Action Watch for supporting BRA as a Supporting Vendor Partner and for providing the following intel directly to our organization. The following survey results represent the status for independent surf and skate specialty retailers during the first week of May 2020. All respondents participated anonymously, and the data has been aggregated to reflect: • Emergency Funding• Current Store Status• Business Health Thanks again to Action Watch for supporting BRA as Supporting Vendor Partner and for providing this intel directly to our organization. As a reminder, BRA Distinguished Retail Members benefit from our relationship with Action Watch by receiving quarterly reports upon request. The data in the reports are from the ActionWatch Retail Panel, which is made up of over 250 U.S. surf and skate retail stores.  These are made available to you as a benefit to BRA Distinguished Retail members so that you can compare your store against other similar stores (shop names and other confidential info is not shown). If you are a BRA Regular Retailer and would like to receive links to quarterly Action Watch Data reports as well as a number of additional special offerings and discounts by upgrading your Membership to Distinguished, simply email doug@boardretailers.org and he will email you an invoice for the $99.00 Annual Membership Fee. If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via the link to the super simple join... read more

“Introducing The Shop Local Project” via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this Shop Eat Surf Article:   Introducing TheShopLocalProject.com BRA note: This helpful non-profit initiative was created by BRA Supporting Vendor Partner ENDVR.io and is backed by Board Retailers Association Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“COVID-19 is Spurring a New Kind of Localism – FOR ONCE, DISCOURAGING OUT-OF-TOWN SURFERS IS ABOUT MORE THAN LOCALS’ WAVE COUNT” by ZANDER MORTON via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Grant Ellis – As beaches reopen, some surfers try to regulate their local lineups to avoid overcrowding during the COVID crisis In March, coastal communities around the world closed their beaches in an attempt to curb group gatherings and stop the spread of COVID-19. Now, as certain governments begin to relax restrictions and reopen beach access, some areas are showing a resurgence in a different kind of enforcement, with some surfers trying to regulate their lineups as a means to keep their spots overcrowded by visitors. This week, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that in parts of Sydney, Australia, surfers have invoked a bit of old-school localism, posting signs near the beach saying things like “If you don’t live here, don’t surf here”, “If you decide to come out anyway, it’ll be a short surf anyway”, and “You’re putting our community at risk.” Some signs were even mocked up to resemble official council notices. “There’s definitely been some grumbling because there [have] been a heap of people surfing,” says Sydney-based surfer and longtime surf writer Nick Carroll. “So many people are working from home, etc., plus every kid is homeschooling. That’s meant a lot of people in the lineups.” When asked if he’s seen more signs than usual, or witnessed any aggressive behavior, Carroll continues: “There have been a few of those signs around, ‘If you don’t live here, don’t surf here, respect our community’ whatever, but they feel pretty feeble to me, they’re always anonymous, so it’s kind of pathetic.” Outside of Sydney, other “locals-only” signs have been less aggressive — like in a town south of... read more

“Ron Jon President on Store Openings” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this absolutely relevant Shop Eat Surf Article (about BRA Distinguished Retail Member Ron Jon’s Surf Shop):   Ron Jon’s President on Store Openings Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat... read more

“Retail Recovery Playbook” – Courtesy of Retail Smart Guys and Management One

Click the following link to view this excellent strategic retail resource courtesy of Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys and the awesome people at Management One: Retail Recovery Playbook If you would like access to more resources that help you to lower day to day costs, increase profit margins and create more remarkable customer experiences, you should opt in to a BRA Regular or Distinguished Retail Membership. Regular (no cost) BRA Retail Members have a voice, benefit from BRA relationships and you have access to BRA programs and resources.  All Regular Retail Members will be included in periodic member surveys, receive regular communications (Bi-monthly newsletter and exclusive partner emails detailing the latest issues, products and services affecting the industry and independent retailers), receive a number of BRA Vendor Partner discounts as well as limited Brand Partner offerings, quarterly educational webinars and free access to most BRA sponsored Gatherings, Trade Shows and Retailer Roundtable Events. Distinguished BRA Retail Members have all the benefits of Regular Membership and so much more.  You will receive even more discounts on the latest vendor services and products that as an individual shop you might not otherwise be able to access.  Our Distinguished Members are provided with training and education opportunities and occasional invitations to exclusive industry events. We also provide you with industry and retail statistics via BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Action Watch—and the opportunity to participate in action-sports specific research programs.  We stand together as a voice in the industries that we serve to ensure our members are a part of the innovation and evolution of the board specialty retail. You can opt in to either... read more

“Skateparks Filled With Sand, So What, Shut Up And Skate – Venice and San Clemente skateparks get filled in with sand, here’s why it’s okay” by Jaime Owens via Transworld Skateboarding

When videos of the San Clemente and Venice, CA skateparks getting filled with sand went viral last week, many in the skateboarding population and beyond had real negative reactions – the outrage was fast, extreme, and polarizing. There was a lot of online screaming about personal freedom being take away. There was even a line of screaming about sand damaging the parks. The parks. Which are made of concrete. Being damaged by sand. For those of you who were up in arms about this, I’m here to tell you: everything’s gonna be fine, just fine. The parks were filled in because skaters weren’t obeying local ordinances mandating social distancing or respecting the clearly posted “No Trespassing” signs. Was it an extreme measure? Yes. Was it warranted? Probably, because what skater do you know who respects “No Trespassing” signs? I surely have skated right past my fair share or thousands. Having your local skatepark filled with sand is a bummer, I feel you, particularly when you have no clue when it’s going to get cleaned out. But the moral of the story is,  I don’t really give a shit and neither should you. San Clemente is my local park, and I want to skate it as badly as all the skaters who freaked out about the sand, but it’s still there. They didn’t bulldoze the damn thing, and one of these days it’ll be skateable again (no, Johnny, sand can’t hurt the concrete). But, more importantly, when did we let our skateboarding get regulated by whether some skatepark is open or not? There’s so much other shit to go skate, and... read more

“See Which States Are Reopening and Which Are Still Shut Down” By Sarah Mervosh, Jasmine C. Lee, Lazaro Gamio and Nadja Popovich via The New York Times

After weeks of shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, the nation is beginning to slowly open up. Beaches and state parks are reopening to visitors, spurring concerns about overcrowding. The first barbers have returned to work, masks over their faces. Even some restaurants are getting ready to serve customers again. The reopenings — which in some cases have gone against the advice of public health experts — are happening piecemeal even as the number of new cases increases or remains steady across many states, leading to both pushback and confusion. The New York Times is tracking when orders to stay at home are lifted in each state, as well as when broad reopenings are allowed in public spaces, such as restaurants, retail stores, salons, gyms and houses of worship. In some cases, stay-at-home orders are lifting separately from restrictions on businesses. This page will be updated regularly. To view this entire article and the interactive map (both updated regularly), click on: NY Times States Reopen... read more

“LIBERATING SKATE SPOTS WITH THE KNOB BUSTER” via Jenkem Mag

Skate stoppers are an unfortunate reality for skaters, but if you live in Southern California, you now have a masked hero who is alleviating these pains by unknobbing spots all across Los Angeles County for skaters to enjoy. The Knob Buster, as he’s known, prefers to stay anonymous, but he’s still actively sharing his handiwork with the skate world via social media. He’s got an Instagram account cataloging the spots he’s freed up, and you can even tag posts on Instagram with #calltheknobbuster to let him know of a spot you think deserves to be freed from its shackles. Chances are he might make your dreams come true. We had our friend Bobby Bils follow The Knob Buster for a day as he hit a couple of rails. After some close calls with onlookeres and a little elbow grease, LA was left with two more skateable spots (as if they needed any more). Check out The Knob Buster’s adventures in the player above and make sure to call him if you know of a spot in need — within reason, of course. Video by: Bobby BilsShare this with a vandal on FacebookReport this as destruction of property on Instagram and Twitter For even more outstanding skateboarding related content, visit http://www.jenkemmag.com/ Please note that Board Retailers Association does not condone any acts of vandalism or destruction of private property, but it is good to know this valuable customer resource... read more

“What’s Selling at Aqua East?” via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Please click on the following link to view this excellent Shop Eat Surf Article:  What’s Selling at Aqua East? Please note that this article featuring BRA Distinguished Retailer Aqua East Surf Shop is a Shop Eat Surf Executive Edition article so you will need to sign up and pay for access before viewing. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the SES Executive Edition Membership clearly outweigh the cost. Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat... read more

“U.S. Supreme Court Delivers Victory for the Clean Water Act!” by Angela Howe via Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider Foundation and our co-plaintiffs in the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui case are celebrating an important victory today with the decision to protect water quality and the intent of the Clean Water Act by the United States Supreme Court.  In a 6-3 ruling, the majority of the court refused to allow a large loophole in the Act and found that liability for pollution exists “when there is direct discharge from a point source into navigable waters or when there is the functional equivalent of a direct discharge.”  This litigation was filed to stop polluting discharges from the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility in Maui that discharges 3-5 million of gallons of treated sewage each day into the Pacific Ocean via the groundwater beneath the facility, devastating a formerly pristine reef and recreational resources, including at Kahekili Beach.  In April of 2012, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club-Maui Group, West Maui Preservation Association and Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, as represented by Earthjustice, filed suit in federal district court to address water quality violations of the County and the resulting intense threat to beachgoer health and safety posed by contaminated nearshore waters. The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) requires those who discharge pollutants into navigable waters from pipes or wells to obtain a federal permit.  The district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal agreed with the plaintiffs, but the County appealed to the Supreme Court. The question presented to the Supreme Court was whether the CWA requires a permit when pollution originates from a point source (like the wastewater plant on Maui) but is conveyed to navigable waters by a nonpoint source, such as groundwater here.  The November 6, 2019 oral argument at... read more

“Core Retailer Survey on Ability to Survive Crisis” provided by Action Watch (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

Thanks to Action Watch for supporting BRA as a Supporting Vendor Partner and for providing the following intel directly to our organization. Thanks again to Action Watch for supporting BRA as Supporting Vendor Partner and for providing this intel directly to our organization. As a reminder, BRA Distinguished Retail Members benefit from our relationship with Action Watch by receiving quarterly reports upon request. The data in the reports are from the ActionWatch Retail Panel, which is made up of over 250 U.S. surf and skate retail stores.  These are made available to you as a benefit to BRA Distinguished Retail members so that you can compare your store against other similar stores (shop names and other confidential info is not shown). If you are a BRA Regular Retailer and would like to receive links to quarterly Action Watch Data reports as well as a number of additional special offerings and discounts by upgrading your Membership to Distinguished, simply email doug@boardretailers.org and he will email you an invoice for the $99.00 Annual Membership Fee. If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via the link to the super simple join... read more

“Jeff Kearl on How Pandemic May Change Industry Going Forward” via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Please click on the following link to view this excellent Shop Eat Surf Article:  Jeff Kearl On How Pandemic May Change Industry Going Forward Please note that this particular article is a Shop Eat Surf Executive Edition article so you will need to sign up and pay for access before viewing. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the SES Executive Edition Membership clearly outweigh the cost. Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat... read more

“Businesses Look to Government Lifelines in Order to Survive” by Andrew Asch via Apparel News

Like thousands of other businesses, Pocket Square Clothing, a maker of suiting accessories and bespoke clothing, had to furlough its staff because of the COVID-19 crisis. PSC co-founders Rodolfo Ramirez and Andrew Cheung saw their business come to a sudden halt just one year after they had acquired a 10-person sewing shop, Top Hand MFG, near the University of Southern California. But a few days later the city allowed PSC to reopen and the clothing company was able to bring its staff back. The local government had found a quick resolution to some of the company’s problems. The City of Los Angeles deemed PSC an essential business after it signed up for L.A. Protects, an initiative to mobilize Los Angeles apparel businesses to make face masks and personal protective equipment. PSC received no funding from the city; however, the city provided a database where companies needing face masks could contact manufacturers making the protective equipment, Ramirez said Getting involved with the L.A. Protects program meant that they had to rearrange the factory’s layout and bring it to the social-distancing specifications required by the Centers for Disease Control. Ramirez and Cheung are also working more than 12-hour days sourcing fabrics and materials to make face masks, Cheung said, “You have to start from scratch, and everyone is looking for the same thing you are,” he said of his new responsibilities. PSC is one of the few companies that has avoided a shutdown during the current crisis. Many shuttered companies had to suffer through massive furloughs and layoffs. Many of them don’t see quick fixes ahead, despite federal, state and local governments offering loans and stimulus... read more

“Complimentary Webinars hosted by the good people behind Surf Expo and Outdoor Retailer” via SurfExpo.com

This series of complimentary webinars led by experts is designed to help Retailers combat and navigate through the challenges that COVID-19 has posted, and find success despite the obstacles ahead. We have partnered with Outdoor Retailer, ASD Market Week and NY NOW to provide this comprehensive series. *Please note: Seating to the live webinars is limited. On-demand versions will be posted here shortly after the live webinars end.  Webinar 1: Redefining Retail: 5 Realities Retailers Can Do Now to Help Protect their Business LaterThursday, April 16, 2020 | 4:00 PM EDT Register Here> The world has experienced unexpected change when it comes to commerce and that includes how retailers engage with customers, how consumers shop with brands, and what connects them in-between their purchasing decisions. While COVID-19 continues to cause challenges for retailers online and offline alike, this webinar will unveil actionable steps commerce-focused companies can make in order to help protect their business longevity. Join Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Founder at Retail Minded, and learn 5 ways to help your business despite the challenges of COVID-19 PLUS gain resources and actionable insight to help you navigate the future of retail in the world of coronavirus. Featured Speaker: Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Author of ‘Retail 101: The Guide to Managing & Marketing Your Retail Business’ and Founder at Retail MindedNicole Leinbach Reyhle is recognized as a global retail thought leader from companies that include IBM, American Express, Vend and more – including having been recognized as #3 out of 100 worldwide retail influencers. Reyhle regularly contributes to media outlets that include Forbes, Entrepreneur, NBC and others – as well as speaks at worldwide events with a core concentration... read more

“Brain Floss: Paul Kobriger” via Transworld Skateboarding

April 10, 2020 This one’s amazing and special to us. Paul worked as our Marketing Director for several years and rediscovered his love and talent for illustration while at Transworld. We saw his hobby turn into a full blown artist’s awakening, and he even penned our Dylan Rieder tribute cover. His pro skater and musician portraits are displayed across the country in the traveling Punk Rock and Paintbrushes shows, and are favorite pieces of the skaters themselves. For more outstanding skateboarding related features and videos via the following link: https://skateboarding.transworld.net/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Coastal Breeze Can Carry COVID-19 More Than 6 Feet, Says Virus Expert – IN CASE YOU NEEDED ONE MORE REASON TO STAY AWAY FROM THE BEACH” by Todd Prodanovich via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Grant EllisA perfect example of what not to do. Malibu crowds, sometime before the COVID-19 pandemic. Between stay-at-home orders, threats of fines for surfing and the off chance of getting shot at (if you happen to live in Costa Rica), there are plenty of reasons to steer clear of the beach right now. But if the sum total of those is somehow still not enough to keep you from paddling out, consider this: coastal breezes don’t care about our social distancing protocols and can carry the COVID-19 virus distances greater than 6 feet. That’s right, according to UC San Diego atmospheric scientist Kim Prather, who studies how viruses and bacteria can be transmitted in the ocean, your 6-foot safety bubble is burst when you enter a breezy environment, as the ocean and beaches frequently are. “Surfers are saying that they’re safe if they stay 6 feet away from other people, but that’s only true if the air isn’t moving,” Prather told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Most of the time, there’s wind or a breeze at the coast. Tiny drops of virus can float in the air and get blown around.” In the UT article, Prather compares the way virus-carrying droplets travel in the breeze to the way cigarette smoke travels downwind. While you’re not gonna smell someone’s ciggy from very far away when the air is still, you can pick it up from a good distance with the wind. So what would be considered safe social distancing amid an ocean breeze? Pretend you’re standing 6 feet away from someone at the beach. OK, now back up. Keep going back. A... read more

“Jeff Grosso R.I.P. 1968-2020” via Transworld Skateboarding

Today, legendary ’80s vert skater and host of Vans’ ” Loveletters To Skateboarding” Jeff Grosso passed away at his home (1968-2020). We don’t have any details right now, but our deepest condolences go out to his family, close friends, and all his fans around the world during this heavy time. Jeff was a unique, funny, opinionated motherfucker that loved skateboarding and always kept the true spirit of it alive. His Love Letters show was a way for him to educate the youth and future generations of where that spirit and attitude came from so that it could carry on in some fashion and not be forgotten, and we loved him for that. He always spoke for the outcast, misfits, weirdos that made skateboarding so great and special. He was the people’s champ! Man, this one hurts. Here are some words from around the industry: “Jeff was a true skateboarder at his core, and a great wealth of entertainment, insight and valuable philosophy to a younger generation. I was lucky enough to skate with him over the last four decades and occasionally featured on his Vans “Love Letters” series. Jeff had a genuine love of skateboarding and a renegade attitude. One of the last times we spoke, we talked about how ridiculous it is that we still get to do this for a living and that anyone even cares what we do or think in terms of skateboarding at our age. I believe Jeff is a big reason that anyone truly cares, and skateboarding was lucky to have him as an ambassador and gatekeeper to its history. He was also a great... read more

“Why Are Surfers Getting Shot At By Police In Costa Rica?” by Zander Morton via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Instagram – A frame from the viral video of a surfer being shot at by a police officer in Playa Hermosa., Costa Rica. LOCAL NOE MAR MCGONAGLE ON THE RECENT DRAMA AMID THE COUNTRY’S COVID-19 LOCKDOWN We’re all in this COVID-19 crisis together. Isn’t that wild? Wherever you’re at right now you can relate. It’s as if a Category 5 hurricane is bearing down on the entire world, and we have no idea how or when it will ever dissipate. Last week countries everywhere began ordering residents to stay at home. And then they started closing beaches and lineups. From South Africa to Indonesia perfect waves are currently going unridden for the first time in 50-plus years. J-Bay is on lockdown. Surfers in LA are getting $1,000 fines. And in Costa Rica, cops are firing guns at surfers — well, at least one cop did. Wanting to hear more about the COVID-19 situation down in Costa Rica, we called Noe Mar McGonagle, after he’d been “arrested” for surfing at the same beach (his local beach) where a surfer had a gun fired at him (or at least in the vicinity of him) a couple days earlier. We saw the photo of you being escorted off the beach in cuffs from the other day. Walk us through that situation. Did you know it was illegal to surf? Yeah, we’d been banned from surfing — the whole country, all beaches — for a couple of weeks already. But everyone was pushing it, still surfing. That day I was just surfing totally by myself, and I had 10 cops rock up on me... read more

“MY DOORS ARE CLOSED…..NOW WHAT??” by BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Dave Seehafer of Global Wave Ventures

(aka how to stay stoked during these crazy times!)In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had numerous conversations with specialty retailers across the nation to brainstorm ways to keep revenue flowing, customers happy, employees paid and much more. Here are a few ideas that may help you during these unprecedented challenges: –COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS—keep them coming to you!Send messages to keep them stoked and positive via email, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, direct mailAnnounce the “special” services that you are offering i.e. free local board delivery, free t-shirt with any online purchase, etc. Create online videos of new products arriving in the store, review of latest surfboard or finsPartner with local gym, physical therapist, yoga studio on how to stay in shape for surfing/paddlingRaffle off a high-ticket (but slow moving) item—surfboard, paddleboard, paddle, wetsuit –DO A PHYSICAL INVENTORYCompare/update physical numbers to those on your POS systemIdentify products to go on sale –REVIEW/UPDATE POS/POP SYSTEMUpdate, correct any numbers, based on physical inventoryCreate a 1 page “hot sheet” which identifies top sellers, slow movers, low inventory levels –REVIEW ALL PENDING ORDERS NOT YET RECEIVEDRevamp 2nd quarter sales projections, and adjust open-to-buy accordinglyAdjust ship dates or cancel orders if necessary –RE-MERCHANDISE THE STOREGreat time for new paint, more lighting, revamped dressing rooms, expanded window displayMove racks around—move departments around—make it look new and fresh! –DEVELOP NEW ART/LOGOS FOR YOUR PRIVATE LABEL GOODSGood time to focus on high quality, high margin productsAdd a new category –DO SOME EMPLOYEE TRAININGCreate “what if” scenarios and have them act them out with each otheri.e. how to handle refunds, how to upsell without pressure, how to cross-merchandisekey questions... read more

“How U.S. Surf Shops Are Trying to Adapt During COVID-19 Pandemic” by James Burke via Surfer Mag

IT’S FAR FROM BUSINESS AS USUAL AT OUR CULTURAL WATERING HOLES Many surf shops that have been around for decades, like Hansen’s Surfboards, have taken a big hit in sales this month due to the COVID-10 outbreak. Photo credit: Hansens It’s hard times all around as we all batten the hatches and hunker down for the storm caused by the novel Coronavirus. Small businesses, in particular, are feeling the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis we’re in. And surf shops — our culture’s brick-and-mortar watering holes — are no exception. Shop owners in the U.S. are bracing for the long haul, turning to their e-commerce sites and offering free shipping and sitewide discounts to remain afloat — but they’re not losing hope just yet. “It’s like Groundhog Day around here. A few of us come to work, we get some work done,” says Josh Hansen, of Hansen Surfboards, one of San Diego’s oldest surf shops. “We’ve been shut down now for seven days, and quite frankly, the seven days prior to that we were seeing maybe an 80 percent falloff in business. Our March business will be down probably 60 percent, and we’re anticipating probably not being open in April. So, yeah, it’s challenging. We’re rationing our cash and just trying to understand the small business loan that’s coming out through this new bill that Congress just signed. We should have details on that soon, and be able to make a decision on which direction to go from there. But, we’re blessed to be financially strong, so we feel like we can get through this. If we can’t get through... read more

“Some Landlords Offering Rent Relief to Retailers” via Shop Eat Surf (plus rent relief request form letter template resource from Board Retailers Association)

Please click on the following link to view this absolutely relevant Shop Eat Surf Article:   Some Landlords Offering Rent Relief to Retailers Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf Note from Doug Works (BRA Executive Director): We, at Board Retailers Association, are pleased that Shop Eat Surf reported on this important topic. BRA recently developed a Rent Relief Request form letter template for our Regular (no cost) and Distinguished Retail Members upon request to help start this much needed conversation and communicate your request for rent relief in a reasonable and eloquent manner to your Landlord. Please email doug@boardretailers.org if you would like us to send you this customizable template as well as some links to relevant articles that back up your position, which you can send along to your Landlord with the... read more

“2020 Tokyo Olympics Will Be Postponed Due To Pandemic, According to IOC Member “ON THE BASIS OF THE INFORMATION THE IOC HAS, POSTPONEMENT HAS BEEN DECIDED”” via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Moran Kolohe Andino might have to wait another year to chase gold. Just a month ago, at the end of February, rumors began circulating about the possible cancellation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games if the coronavirus continued to spread worldwide. A long-time senior official at the International Olympic Committee by the name of Dick Pound estimated that the committee had until the end of May to decide whether or not to call off the Games. A spokesman for the Japanese government, however, said that the IOC was continuing with preparations for the Games as scheduled. But much has changed over the past few weeks, with countries going on full lockdown, sporting events of all sizes canceled and the number of COVID-19 cases climbing each day, and now it seems that the IOC is having to make a difficult decision. In response to the ongoing outbreak, Pound told USA Today that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are going to be postponed, likely to 2021, with the details to be worked out in the next four weeks. “On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound told USA Today in a phone interview. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.” Pound’s comments came on the heels of the IOC’s announcement Sunday that they were considering postponing the event to a later date. A complete cancellation of the Games was ruled out, with the board noting that doing so would “destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes”. According to CNN, the IOC has been... read more

“FREE DROP SHIP COMMERCE FROM EXCHANGE COLLECTIVE”

BRA Supporting Vendor Partner, Exchange Collective, is here to help our BRA Retail Members BELOW IS A MESSAGE FROM OUR FRIENDS AT THE EXCHANGE COLLECTIVE. With retailers having to shut down, Exchange Collective wants to help be a part of a proactive solution to what is going on.  We believe if we work together with brands and retailers during this uncertain time, we can build a better retail landscape now and for the future. We are offering a free drop ship commerce solution for retailers that don’t have anything right now.  We are also onboarding brands for free, to provide this drop ship capability for the retailers. This will increase the number of brands a retailer can offer their customers. What we need from you is to spread the word. Please, share this with all the brands and retailers you are connected with. Here is a link you can share. We will work with all retailers and brands to get them going as fast as we can. We are dedicated to making a positive change to how brands and retailers work together. Lastly, if you or someone you know wants to get involved please let us know.  There are many ways to be a part of this. We cannot do this alone and it will take a collective effort to provide customers the best experience possible. ThanksDave and Dan PankratzCo-FoundersLearn more by clicking this... read more

“Brand Leaders Paint Grim Picture of Current Challenges” via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Photo courtesy of CDC Please click on the following link to view this somewhat disturbing Shop Eat Surf Article: Brand Leaders Paint Grim Picture of Current Challenges Please note that this particular article is a Shop Eat Surf Executive Edition article so you will need to sign up and pay for SES Executive Edition access before viewing. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the Executive Edition Membership clearly outweigh the cost. Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat... read more

“Olympics Postponed and Hierarchy Breakdown” by Dave Carnie via Transworld Skateboarding

Editor’s Note: USA Today just confirmed that the Olympics have been postponed until 2021. This story highlights the cancellations prior to this news and the Hierarchy of the Olympics. On March 13, 2020, the World Skate site provided an update regarding the Olympic qualifying schedule. As you would expect, all of their events are either cancelled, or suspended, or are under consideration to be cancelled or suspended: “Following the recent increased provisions around the world to contain the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please find a new update below on Skateboarding Olympic Qualification Events planned before the end of April 2020.” 1. SLS – STREET PRO TOUR – LAS VEGAS (USA) Date: 24 – 29 March 2020 SUSPENDED 2. LIMA OPEN – STREET & PARK 5 STAR EVENT – LIMA (PERU) Date: 5 – 11 April 2020 SUSPENDED 3. RIZIN ARK LEAGUE – STREET 5 STAR EVENT – SAMUKAWA (JAPAN) Date: 21- 26 April 2020World Skate is currently assessing with the Local Organizer the impact of the new provisions on the event, and the ability for athletes to enter the country, practice and compete. 4. SLS – STREET PRO TOUR – BEIJING (CHINA) Date: 28 April – 3 May 2020 CANCELLED First, is there even going to be an Olympic Games this year? The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not cancelled them yet, and I’d be surprised if they do, so, probably. I base this on evidence that everyone involved with the IOC is so greedy and corrupt that even a nuclear holocaust wouldn’t be cause to cancel. (The IOC’smost recent statement says that they “remain fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”) Second question: if there is an Olympic Games in... read more

“How to Save your Local Gear Shop” via SNEWS

The coronavirus crisis has hit independent retailers hard. Let’s make sure they (you) can weather the storm. Spread the message and help us save local retailers. As the coronavirus crisis spreads, independent retailers are hurting badly. (Even before this pandemic, many were losing business to Amazon and other direct-to-consumer competition.) Shops are now empty, workers have been sent home, and cash flow is drying up. At the same time, retailers still have bills to pay, inventory to move, and payroll to meet. We all love our local gear shops. They are the lifeblood of outdoor recreation at the community level, providing everything from expert advice to gathering places for our fellow adventurers. Without them, the outdoors—and our lives as lovers of the outdoors—would be vastly different. Editor’s note: Supporting local retailers, from the Editor-In-Chief of SNEWS Right now, independent specialty retailers need your help. Keeping the lights on requires one simple action on your part: buying gift cards. Like a cash advance, visit your local retailer’s website and offer these funds as a credit against your own future purchases. Buy gift cards for yourself, your friends, as birthday or graduation gifts—anything. It’s a small act, but for your local shop, it will make all the difference. And at some point, you will need a new jacket, a new pack, or a new water bottle. Finally, please share this page and spread the hashtag #SaveYourLocalGearShop. When you buy a gift card, tag the shop, too. Our local retailers are counting on us. It’s time to step up and help. For more informative outdoor news related articles, visit:... read more

“IS IT SAFE TO SKATE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS?” via Jenkem Mag

by CHRISTIAN KERR  Just a few months ago, when the first person died of a mysterious new form of the coronavirus in China, we were still arguing over the pretentious poetics of Verso. But now, with over 173,000 confirmed cases and nearly 7,000 deaths attributed to that virus across the globe, we’ve been arguing over something else: What should skaters be doing during the pandemic? COVID-19, the name given to this particular strain of coronavirus, is no normal flu, and drastic measures are being taken to stop its spread. The suddenly empty sidewalks and open schoolyards seem like a skater’s dream scenario (so much is obvious even to skater moms). But given all the uncertainty surrounding this virus and how contagious it seems to be, should we even be skating? There’s a complicated ethical calculus necessary here and the math is pretty hard. To help make some sense out of the confusion, we rounded up some tips and resources so you can make the right decision for you and the people around you. Dumbass Disclaimer: We at Jenkem are not medical professionals. In fact, we’re barely professionals. Still, we compiled this information to the best of our limited knowledge from the most trustworthy sources we could find. Talk to your doctor (if you have one), stay on top of the news, and always act out of an over-abundance of caution for the most vulnerable amongst us. The Godfathers of Skating’s lives depend on it. IS IT OKAY TO GO SKATEBOARDING? via @quartersnacks There isn’t a simple answer to the question of whether it’s okay to go skating, but if you wanted the hardline, most-responsible answer,... read more

“Updated: Store Closures Mount, Independents Get Creative” via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this informative Shop Eat Surf Article:  Updated: Store Closures Mount, Independents Get Creative Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat... read more

“SIMA Award Winners Announced (including Retailers of the Year)” via SIMA email announcement

WINNERS FROM THE 16TH ANNUAL SIMA AWARDS More than 300 attendees from surf companies, specialty retail shops and friends of the industry attended the 16th Annual SIMA Awards on March 11, 2020 to cheer on and celebrate the outstanding innovations and contributions made to the industry by the 86 finalists. Be sure to scroll to bottom of page to see PHOTOS of winners, finalists and attendees of the awards ceremony.  Congrats to the Winnersfrom the 16th Annual SIMA Awards! PRODUCT CATEGORIESAccessory Product of the YearWINNER: Surf Sessions by SurflineOther Category Finalists:FinPuller by FinPullerSearch GPS2 Watch by Rip CurlSurf Boot Mid by VansThe 4ocean Bracelet by 4ocean Environmental Product of the YearWINNER: The 4ocean Bracelet by 4oceanOther Category Finalists:Billabong Recycler by BillabongMen’s & Women’s Yulex Wetsuits by PatagoniaAlgae Traction by Slater DesignsUpcycled Coconut Boardshort Collection by Vissla Footwear Product of the YearWINNER: UltraRange Hi DL MTE by VansOther Category Finalists:Alapa Li by OlukaiRivi Slide by QuiksilverCushion Bounce Collection by ReefPair O Dice by Sanuk Eyewear Product of the YearWINNER: JJF12 by ElectricOther Category Finalists:Sampan by Costa SunglassesRob Machado Resin Collection by DragonOMAR by Otis Eyewear Wetsuit of the YearWINNER: Infiniti LTD by XCEL WetsuitsOther Category Finalists:Hyperfreak Series by O’Neill WetsuitsFlashbomb Heat Seeker by Rip Curl7 Seas Wetsuit Collection by Sisstrevolution7 Seas Wetsuit Collection by Vissla Surfboard CategoriesPerformance Shortboard Model of the YearWINNER: Cymatic by Slater DesignsOther Category Finalists:Seaside by Firewire SurfboardsBlack Baron by JS IndustriesAstro Pop by Pyzel419Fish by Rusty Surfboards Alternative Surfboard Model of the YearWINNER: Shadow by PyzelOther Category Finalists:Monsta Box Hyfi by JS IndustriesThe Blade by Rusty SurfboardsFRK by Slater DesignsDisco Inferno by Surftech x Sharp Eye... read more

“The WSL Cancels First World Tour Stop Due to Coronavirus” via Surfer Mag

ALL OTHER WSL EVENTS IN MARCH WILL ALSO BE CANCELED AS COVID-19 FEARS ESCALATE MARCH 12, 2020 BY ASHTYN DOUGLAS Photo Credit: Chachi The World Surf League just announced that due to the quickly escalating situation surrounding the COVID-19, all events slated for the month of March will be canceled, including the first stop on the ‘CT, the suddenly-ironically-titled Corona Gold Coast Open. The decision came as a preemptive move out of “caution for the safety of our athletes, fans, and staff.” Continue reading for more from the WSL on their recent decision: This decision is based on guidance from the World Health Organization, who has declared that COVID-19 is now a global pandemic, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, governments and local public health authorities where our events are being held. “Coronavirus is having massive consequences for sporting events and gatherings of all kinds around the world, and we are no different,” said WSL CEO Erik Logan. “We did not take this decision lightly as we are aware that it has a significant impact on the surfing community. However, the health and safety of our athletes, fans, and staff are paramount. From the standpoint of social responsibility, we also take very seriously the role our events might play in accelerating the spread of the virus. We’ve been in close contact with our athletes and we feel strongly that this is the right thing to do right now.” “The fluid nature of this situation is forcing us to evaluate things day-by-day, and even hour-by-hour,” Logan said. “As this continues to evolve, we’ll continue to adapt, endeavoring to make the... read more

“AN INTERVIEW WITH A SKATER UNDER CORONAVIRUS QUARANTINE IN CHINA” via JENKEM Mag

MARCH 10, 2020 /NIC DOBIJA-NOOTENS  Unlike most world news events, the COVID-19 coronavirus has already been affecting the skateboarding world. But in between wondering whether the Olympics will be postponed and whether we’ll even have to go to work anymore, no one’s really talked to any skateboarders living in quarantined areas.Through a friend, we were able to connect with a young woman named Coretta living in China who’s been under quarantine since January. She’s a skateboarder and usually works teaching kids how to skate at an academy in China, but for the past several weeks she hasn’t been able to skate or do much else. We chatted with Coretta to get a firsthand account of what things are like under a coronavirus quarantine. Her situation obviously doesn’t speak for everyone everywhere, but if your newsfeed and local gossip circles got you feeling overly anxious, hopefully this can offer a little perspective to keep you grounded as you continue scrubbing your hands with bleach. How long have you lived in China and what you do for work?I am in Ningbo, it is a second-tier city about two hours away from Shanghai. I have lived here for close to a year and a half now working as a skate coach at the Skateboard Supercross Academy. The SBSX skatepark is on the campus of the Zhicheng school where we offer skateboard physical education classes to the students as well as weekend lessons for anyone who wants to ride outside the school. How is the quarantine affecting you on a daily basis?Since returning to China from vacation at the end of January, I have seen many stages of the... read more

“Is the Coronavirus Threatening Surfing’s Olympic Debut? IOC SENIOR OFFICIAL SAYS GAMES MAY BE CANCELED BECAUSE OF SPREADING VIRUS” via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Craig – Kolohe Andino The Tokyo Olympic Games are scheduled to open in five months on July 24. Japan is reportedly spending at least $25 billion to put the games together, twice what they budgeted for the events. 11,000 athletes are gearing up for Tokyo. Housing has been built, media camps are in planning stages, billions of bucks in broadcast contracts long ago signed and budgeted. Surfing, finally for some, regrettably for others, will have its largest mainstream audience, maybe, just maybe, taking its place along snowboarding and skating as an action sport with a handful of marketable names and the occasional weekend contest on network TV. Then along comes the virus. Fears of a coronavirus spread into Japan from neighboring China is on the minds of the International Olympic Committee, prompting one longtime senior official at the IOC to say the unthinkable: The games may have to be canceled. “I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo, or not?’” said the IOC’s Dick Pound. Pound estimates that the IOC has three months to wait and see what happens with the virus, meaning they could put off their decision about what to do until late May. He figures two months would be sufficient to ramp everything up in time to put the games on appropriately. A refresher: As of this week, over 77,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide with more than 2,600 dead, the vast majority in China. Japan has, thus far, seen 5 deaths. Though the virus and the illness... read more

“HOW NIKE SB’S DUNK CULTURE AFFECTS SKATE SHOPS” via JENKEM Mag

MARCH 5, 2020 /IAN BROWNING  The Travis Scott Dunks, which were released in skate shops last weekend, were a financial blessing for skate shops but also a headache for employees. Although shops posted detailed info on social media about how the shoes would be raffled, they were inundated with calls, emails, DMs, and comments from people dying to find a pair. Some shops, like Andrew in Miami, had a laugh making people rap Travis Scott lyrics over the phone just to get in the raffle. Other shops, fed up with the hype, posted their release info and unplugged for the week, turning their phones off and disabling comments on Instagram. Crushed in DC received over 100 calls in one day. Of course, because these $150 shoes sell for over $1,000 online, there’s also a tangible financial incentive to get a pair. StockX, the main shoe resale website that handles these transactions, is funded by venture capitalists and valued at over a billion dollars. Reselling sneakers has grown from an eBay hustle into an industry, and skate shops have become inadvertent players in it. the cause of the commotion Nike’s latest entry into the skate shoe market was initially successful in part due to hype built around limited Dunk releases. Some skaters were into the shoes, but so were people that had nothing to do with skating. “SBs were sort of a way where legit skaters and sneakerheads, who were sort of adjacent to skaters, met in the middle,” said Jian DeLeon, editorial director of Highsnobiety. “It was this trojan horse that brought fuckboys into skate shops.” For a handful of years,... read more

“Introducing Team USA’s Olympic Skateboarding Uniforms via Transworld Skate” by Dave Carnie

As you surely know, Nike released their Olympic Skateboarding uniform collection last week for the four Olympic Skateboard Federations they sponsor: Brazil, France, Japan, and USA. Nike delivered a handsome apparel collection, but not everyone is pleased with it. The decision to not protect apparel as “performance equipment” has potentially negative consequences for the future of skateboarding’s ecosystem. THE UNIFORMS It’s interesting that there’s not a single uniform, but rather plural: uniforms. It’s a snazzy collection that boasts a variety of options for the skaters to wear in competition. “It’s more of a kit of parts than an actual uniform,” Kelly Bird at Nike said, “because we were really cognizant about the fear of the Olympics and that skateboarding would have this homogenized look through a standard uniform. So we created a giant collection of apparel that included anything that we could picture anyone being into. At the beginning, I think it was like upwards of 20 skus. We want people to be individuals when they’re skating. If someone doesn’t want to wear, say, a pair of track pants, then they can wear the khakis. So we created a kit of parts, basically, instead of a single uniform, like, ‘Here’s your three piece outfit,’ and everybody has to wear it and look like the Sims team in the 70s, you know?” For those who decry the very idea of a skateboard uniform (which seems to be the angle in most stories I’ve read about these uniforms), may I remind you that uniforms have been a part of skateboarding since the very early days. Back in the 70s most teams... read more

“CHRIS HASLAM LAUNCHED A NEW BOARD BRAND FOR CHARITY” via JENKEM Mag

BEN STODDARD & MIKE BRADLEY /VIDEOS Like sub-prime mortgages in the mid-2000s, there are way too many pro-skater-owned board brands today. So when we heard Chris Haslam was starting one to kind of stave off retirement, we didn’t think much. But unlike most brands, Brainchild Skateboards has more of a purpose, in that a portion of all proceeds go to charities. Since the passing of his friend and former Dwindle teammate Ben Raemers, Chris decided to start off donating to Project Semicolon, a non-profit that works to prevent suicide by providing better access to information and resources. Chris also runs his brand from a van that he lives/sleeps/pees(?) in. That means he travels with stacks of up to 100 boards and piles of T-shirts in custom storage containers, ready to pack and ship stuff wherever he is. Interested in his brand, and deeply curious about his #VanLife, we got one of Chris’ friends to make this video profile on everything he’s been up to. His van seems to be pretty tricked out, but if you want to brainstorm any ideas to make it faster or more profitable, hit us up in the comments and we’ll print ’em out and mail them forward. For more interesting and informative articles, visit: http://www.jenkemmag.com/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Skateboarding improves mental health, helps build diverse relationships, USC study says” via LA Times

Julian Jeang-Agliardi jumps a ramp at Vans Off the Wall Skate Park on May 9 in Huntington Beach (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)By LA Times CITY NEWS SERVICE February 26, 2020 USC researchers have found multiple benefits in skateboarding, ranging from mental health to education and careers, the university announced Wednesday. A first-of-its-kind study of skateboarding culture found the sport improves mental health, fosters community and encourages diversity and resilience, according to USC. The study, conducted by the Pullias Center for Higher Education at USC’s Rossier School of Education and USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, also indicated that gender and race matter in the skateboarding community. “Skateboarding is embedded in youth culture today,” said skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, whose Tony Hawk Foundation funded the study. “Until now, little attention has been directed toward truly understanding who skateboarders are, what they think or why skateboarding becomes such an integral part of their identity. We at the Tony Hawk Foundation are proud to have sponsored this work in order to highlight these young people.” Researchers created a survey that targeted 13- to 25-year-olds and received more than 5,000 responses, including a significant number from skaters who identified as female and/or as a person of color. Interviews also were conducted with 120 skaters and skate community stakeholders in seven cities across the U.S. The findings fly in the face of commonly held misconceptions around skateboarding culture, according to the Pullias Center’s Zoe Corwin, the study’s principal investigator. “Skateboarders are prone to being labeled by society as rebels, social deviants or rule-breakers,” Corwin said. “Stereotyping masks an array of valuable skills obtained through skateboarding.... read more

“Skateistan Documentary ‘Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone (if you’re a girl)’ Wins Oscar” by Transworld Skateboarding

Skateistan Documentary Wins Oscar February 14, 2020 By TWS  This past Sunday night, “Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone (If you’re a girl)” a documentary about Skateistan’s operation in Kabul, Afghanistan won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject and the skate world rejoiced! Watch the trailer to get a glimpse of what it’s all about. We’ve been following Skateistan’s movement and it’s founder Oliver Percovich since it’s inception and have been impressed and moved by how they’ve been changing lives through skateboarding in some of the poorest areas of the world especially with girls. We even gave Skateistan and Oliver our Eric Stricker Memorial Award back in 2015 for all the hard work he and his crew had put in up until that time, which you can watch below. We continue to be inspired Skateistan’s mission and are so proud that their work has been put into the global spotlight and can’t wait to see what else they’re able to achieve! You can help their cause by donating to their website: here Congrats Skateistan! For more news and resourceful articles as well as a ton of ripping skateboarding, visit: Transworld Skateboarding Here is another story from the good people at Jenkem that sheds light on why this is important to skateboarding:... read more

“Skate Shop Day” happens on Feb. 19th – FAQs & more

What is Skate Shop Day? Skate Shop Day, like Record Store Day and Comic Book Store Day, is the day that the skateboard community celebrates our cultural hubs, the foundations of every skate scene, the places that bring skaters together and act as the glue for skateboarding as a whole. Go Skateboarding Day is meant to get skaters OUT skating. Skate Shop Day is meant to get skaters IN to the shops to show love to the unsung heros that do so much for skating the other 364 days of the year. We support skateshops every day but we celebrate them on February 19th. Who is behind Skate Shop Day? Two old friends who grew up 3,000 miles apart loving skateboarding and music and spending much of their formative youth dreaming of the world just past their town’s boarders thanks to the images were shared in the magazines found in their local shops, Surf Styles in Mission Viejo, CA and Ollie Pops, (Now called Pro Skateshop) in Howell, NJ. (Read Scotty’s story HERE.) Scotty pursued a life dedicated to music while Chris dedicated his to skateboarding, ultimately opening NJ Skateshop in 2003 with his two childhood friends, Steve Lenardo and Troy Jankowski. The most beautiful part is there is a collective of skate shop owners from all over the world that will help steer Skate Shop Day so that it can be as impactful and inspiring as possible. Where is Skate Shop Day heading? In 2020, Skate Shop Day was born. In 2021, it’ll start to take shape thanks to some to some very special projects from a number of our... read more

“Never Mind the Internet. Here’s What’s Killing Malls. Yes, the internet has changed the way we shop. But taken together, other factors have caused greater harm to traditional retail stores, an economist says.” by Austan Goolsbee in The New York Times

By Austan Goolsbee  Published Feb. 13, 2020 It has been a tough decade for brick-and-mortar retailers, and matters seem only to be getting worse. Despite a strong consumer economy, physical retailers closed more than 9,000 stores in 2019 — more than the total in 2018, which surpassed the record of 2017. Already this year, retailers have announced more than 1,200 more intended closings, including 125 Macy’s stores. Some people call what has happened to the shopping landscape “the retail apocalypse.” It is easy to chalk it up to the rise of e-commerce, which has thrived while physical stores struggle. And there is no denying that Amazon and other online retailers have changed consumer behavior radically or that big retailers like Walmart and Target have tried to beef up their own online presence. But this can be overstated. To begin with, while e-commerce is growing sharply, it may not be nearly as big as you think. The Census Bureau keeps official track. Online sales have grown tremendously in the last 20 years, rising from $5 billion per quarter to almost $155 billion per quarter. But internet shopping still represents only 11 percent of the entire retail sales total. Furthermore, more than 70 percent of retail spending in the United States is in categories that have had slow encroachment from the internet, either because of the nature of the product or because of laws or regulations that govern distribution. This includes spending on automobiles, gasoline, home improvement and garden supplies, drugs and pharmacy, food and drink. Collectively, three major economic forces have had an even bigger impact on brick-and-mortar retail than the internet has. In no particular order, here they are: Big Box Stores: In the... read more

“Evo is paving a new kind of future for outdoor retail” by Amelia Arveson via SNEWS

Evo is paving a new kind of future for outdoor retail By investing in real estate, adventures, youth, and its fellow retailers, evo founder Bryce Phillips is building a cohesive and complete adventure community. by AMELIA ARVESEN  FEB 10, 2020 Evo’s story starts like many outdoor endeavors: Bryce Phillips as a college student was slinging ski gear out of his apartments in Seattle and Whistler in the ‘90s and launched the website evogear.com in 2001. The former professional skier’s startup business merged outdoor, fashion, culture, and community into a single lifestyle brand that has grown into a major player across many industries. And this year, the business comes full circle with the opening of multiple storefronts in Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort’s village. Along with its large online presence, evo also has locations—better known as “experience and community centers”—in Seattle; Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; and in the coming months, Salt Lake City. “It’s not a coincidence that we’re opening locations in places we all love to be,” Phillips said. Whenever we scout somewhere new, there’s always recreation woven into all of it. We don’t go to Utah and not get outside. We don’t go to any of these places and not have something baked into the calendar where we’re really getting a chance to go outside with coworkers, friends, and customers in those places.” Bryce Phillips, now 42 years old, founded evo as a typical online retailer when he was in college, but today the company defies labels, blending retail with food, lodging, and adventure experiences like bouldering and skateboarding. We’ve kept tabs on evo for years now and we finally called Phillips... read more

Register for free webinar – Retail Outlook: Improve, Engagement, Profit, and Sustainability with Analytics (Feb 25th)

As the retail industry rapidly changes, a company’s ability to exceed customer expectations—from browsing experiences to delivery—continues to determine profit and sustainability. Join us for a webcast to learn how successful retailers are using advanced data to create a focused view of their customers. In this session, we’ll cover key trends in the retail industry for 2020 and ways your company can leverage these trends to enhance customer experience and stay competitive. START TIME: February 25, 2020 10:00 AM PST DURATION: 1 hour LOCATION: Online CONTACT: Marci Reynolds, Moss Adams, 916-503-8206 COST TO ATTEND: Complimentary Please click on the following link to register for this complementary webinar via this link: Retail Outlook: Improve Engagement, Profit, and Sustainability with Analytics Improve Engagement, Profit, and Sustainability with... read more

“Thoughts from Outdoor Retailer / Snow Show” by Jeff Harbaugh

Thoughts from Outdoor Retailer/Snow Show February 6, 2020 in Market Watch Column, Trade Shows by Jeff Harbaugh The first thing you think when you walk into the show is what an incredibly great idea it was to consolidate The Snow Show with Outdoor Retailer.  The second thing you think is, “What took them so long?”  I imagine the answer to that is quite a soap opera. The next thing I thought was whether I’d gone to the dog show by mistake.  I like dogs, but the sheer number was rather remarkable this year. For the two days I was there, it was a vibrant and active show.  Not so sure about the third day, given the number of attendees who were on the Friday morning flight back to Seattle with me, but that’s what happens at trade show; the last day is typically slower. What the hell did we do when the show was even longer?   Oh, that’s right- we were younger and it was a lot more fun.  It was amusing when the people who were supposed to show up first thing in the morning didn’t make it till noon because they’d been out “networking” all night.  Somehow, it made you credible. Before the world (inconveniently) changed on us, shows focused on retailers writing orders and brands “getting paper,” whatever that is, from them.  Now, as a show veteran pointed out to me, buyers want to get on their computers, put orders from all their brands into their systems, and see how things look over all before finalizing orders given their sell through and new brands they may have discovered. Which is how... read more

“Danny Harf wins the Legend Award, the latest in wakeboarding’s most exclusive club, there has never been another Legend like Harf” by Wakeboarding Magazine

Danny Harf Wins The Legend Award The latest in wakeboarding’s most exclusive club, there has never been another Legend like Harf By Wakeboarding Magazine The Legend Award is arguably the biggest honor a wakeboarder can receive. Created at the inception of the Wake Awards to honor those who paved the way and had the biggest impact on the sport, the list of winners is a who’s who of wakeboarding. And it is not awarded annually. In fact, it is only given out when the time is right. Since 2004, the list of winners now includes the following: Scott Byerly, Shaun Murray, Darin Shapiro, Parks Bonifay, Zane Schwenk, Erik “Gator” Lutgert, Greg Nelson, Thomas Horrell, Gregg Necrason, Cobe Mikacich and Randall Harris. For 2019, we at Wakeboarding felt it was time to add another member to this esteemed club, and one name in particular deserved it. Let’s cut around the semantics and superlatives of Danny Harf’s career and just call it like it is: one of the most influential and successful in history. Simply put, you could make the argument that Danny is the best all-around wakeboarder ever. Beyond the basic checklist of wakeboarding career accolades like contest results, media coverage and progressive riding (which he has in spades), Danny has been an influencer unlike any other. Fans and fellow pros alike followed his lead for over a decade because he was much more than just the best. His style set trends, his pro-model boards have been top sellers year in and year out, and his easygoing personality attracts fans across all spectrums. Based on accomplishments and impact alone, Danny could have won... read more

“Could Statistical Analysis Predict Who Will Win the Next ‘CT Event? HOW A PROFESSOR OF BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE USED A PREDICTIVE MODEL TO WIN FANTASY SURFER” by RAY BERGMAN via Surfer Mag

Could Statistical Analysis Predict Who Will Win the Next ‘CT Event? HOW A PROFESSOR OF BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE USED A PREDICTIVE MODEL TO WIN FANTASY SURFER JANUARY 31, 2020 BY RAY BERGMAN Each year since 2003, thousands of Fantasy Surfer players attempt to predict the success of World Tour competitors at each WCT event. Those with the best strategies (or perhaps a really lucky Magic 8 ball) accumulate enough points by season’s end to be crowned Fantasy Surfer Champion. Past FS victors have been software gurus (Kevin PriesterOpens in a new Window.), ex racecar drivers (Luca FioravantiOpens in a new Window.), former top-tier professional surfers (Shea LopezOpens in a new Window.), and several industry insiders. Dan Walters–this year’s winner who outsmarted 13,600 other Fantasy Surfer players–used analytics, statistics and a keen eye for who’s surfing well and who’s not to climb his way to the top of the 2019 rankings. Walters, who works as a professor in behavioral sciences, used predictive data to choose winning teams and accumulate the most points by year-end. We recently caught up with Walters for a quick back-and-forth regarding his Fantasy Surfer success. How long have you been playing Fantasy Surfer? I’ve been playing Fantasy Surfer for 7 years. My strategy centers around weighing the factors that are most predictive of surfer success at each venue. What do you do for a living? Something that might tend towards analytics? I’m a professor of behavioral sciences so I spend a lot of my time trying to predict human behavior using modeling and statistical analysis. I attempted to bring the same level of rigor to my Fantasy Surfer predictions. In... read more

“Brands that Won at Core Stores in 2019” via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this excellent Shop Eat Surf Article: Brands that Won at Core Stores in 2019 Please note that this particular article is a Shop Eat Surf Executive Edition article so you will need to sign up and pay for access before viewing. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the Executive Edition Membership clearly outweigh the cost. Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat... read more

“A Talk with Ron Jon Leaders at New Disney Springs Store” via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this excellent Shop Eat Surf Article: A Talk with Ron Jon Leaders at New Disney Springs Store Please note that this particular article is a Shop Eat Surf Executive Edition article so you will need to sign up and pay for access before viewing. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the Executive Edition Membership clearly outweigh the cost. Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf... read more

“Shaping Icon Maurice Cole on Racism, Cancer and the Power of Surfing – The Australian Legend in his own words” by JUSTIN HOUSMAN via Surfer Mag

Shaping Icon Maurice Cole on Racism, Cancer and the Power of Surfing THE AUSTRALIAN LEGEND IN HIS OWN WORDS JANUARY 18, 2020 BY JUSTIN HOUSMAN Short film by Peter Baker The often cloistered, impenetrable surf world could use a lot more figures like Maurice Cole. Doesn’t take much poking to get Cole to hold forth with hours of surf stories, many told from a vulnerable and deeply personal place. He’s a man quick to open up to a stranger, commiserate with what you’re dealing with, and share a knowing wink. A refreshing blast of honesty in a surf environment often too blasé to offer anything of substance. In this moving short, we learn about Cole’s run-ins with the law, with his health issues both physically and mentally, and what surfing has meant to him through it all. In it, we find a surf legend no different from us plebes. Just one with way better stories. For more outstanding Surf related content... read more

“No Comply and the Austin Skate Community” via Parade

No Comply and the Austin Skate Community Owner, Elias Bingham, talks of the importance of the local skate shop Posted by Neil Chester6 min read Wednesday, January 15, 2020 No Comply is a skate shop located in Austin, Texas. As with all great skate shops, community is everything for No Comply. Whether that’s the friendly and dedicated staff on hand to offer advice or simply shoot the shit about the latest goings on in skateboarding. There’s a steady stream of locals rolling through to lurk and grab a coffee before heading to the incredible outdoor skatepark located right behind the store. The owner, Elias Bingham, has created something special here. Can you tell us about being a sponsored skater, who you rode for, when and what made you stop pursuing that and eventually open a skate shop? First sponsor was Jukebox Skate Shop in NYC around 93/94. Then Balance Skateboards and a couple of others in the late 90’s till I ended up on Element flow for about 10 years. I rode for Vita shoes, then Ipath, Circuit Wheels was my first ad in 98ish. I also skated for Venture Trucks, Spitfire, FTC and Upper Playground. First pic in a mag was the contents page of Slap’s first year anniversary issue. My first interview was in Big Brother’s East Coast issue ‘95. I got a Thrasher cover in May 2001, and appeared in 411vm and TWS. Sponsors supported my life of skating and helped me to travel the world and connect with our international skateboarding familia. As far as pursuing skateboarding, I never thought of doing it as a career, it has been what I’ve done most of my life and... read more

“Finland’s Finntastic Response To World Skate” by Dave Carnie via Transworld Skateboarding

Finland’s Finntastic Response To World Skate January 9, 2020 By Dave Carnie The Finnish Skateboarding Association found a clever way to repel the roller derby junta’s invasion of their country’s skate scene. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) resolved the conflict between the International Skateboard Federation (ISF) and Rollersports regarding who would be skateboarding’s official international governing body by combining the two disparate organizations into one now known as World Skate. The compromise reached was that Olympic Skateboarding would be handled 50/50: ISF, the skateboarding contingent (comprised of core members of the skateboard industry and helmed by Woodward’s Gary Ream), would handle everything that involves skateboarding, from running the contests, to course design, to drawing up rules, etc., while the Rollersports people would handle the logistics and the “business” of Olympic Skateboarding. As I expected, that is not how things are playing out. For one, World Skate is helmed by members of the former Rollersports organization, a group dedicated to roller skating and rollerblading. Skateboarding is merely one of many disciplines under the World Skate umbrella. While Skateboarding is governed by respected members of the skateboard community, it is still, ultimately, only a division of World Skate. The former Rollersports officials have shown both in attitude and action thus far that they very much intend to assert their dominance over their new Skateboarding division and milk it for all its worth because it’s the first time they’ve “owned” anything worthy of being called an Olympic sport. As one anonymous source told me, “World Skate is the worst organization I’ve ever experienced. Coupled with arrogance and inexperience, they believe they are the best... read more

“A Comprehensive Guide to Airline Board Bag Fees in 2020 PLANNING TO TRAVEL WITH SURFBOARDS THIS YEAR? CHOOSE YOUR AIRLINE WISELY” By ZANDER MORTON of Surfer Magazine

A Comprehensive Guide to Airline Board Bag Fees in 2020 PLANNING TO TRAVEL WITH SURFBOARDS THIS YEAR? CHOOSE YOUR AIRLINE WISELY JANUARY 7, 2020 BY ZANDER MORTON  For better or for worse, surfing is more widespread than it’s ever been. Whether thanks to the WSL’s corpo approach in recent years, the explosion of wave pools, John Florence, the Olympics or some combination of all of those things, the world is taking notice. And so are the airlines. Fortunately, that’s a good thing. Gone are the days when nearly every airline was gouging the pockets of surfers, charging $150 per surfboard, if you were lucky. At one point, United Airlines actually doubled and tripled that charge for having more than one board in a bag, and many surfers actually paid over $1,000 to tote their boards from location to another. One way. These days, while there are still some bad apples out there, most airlines are leaning towards being surfer friendly, with some big carriers like American Airlines and Delta having recently cut surfboard fees completely. (Finally!) After digging through the oversize/sports equipment charges for every major airline you might consider flying, we figure the three best/worst airlines (in terms of low-cost board bag fees) are as follows: The Best: Qantas, Air Tahiti Nui and Emirates, as surfboards fly free on all three, so long as they are one of your two checked bags, and stay under the standard allowed weight and dimensions. (Honorable mention to American Air and Delta for cutting surfboard fees in 2019. Now you only pay $30 for surfboards on both airlines, assuming you aren’t checking more than... read more

“2019 Wake Awards – Wakeskate Trick of the Year – The best wakeskate tricks of the year, compiled for your viewing pleasure” by Wakeboarding Magazine

Wakeskating progression is always some of the most mind blowing, and for 2019 the Wake Awards Wakeskate Trick of the Year reel is one of the craziest yet. This video contains all the craziest tricks of the year, and it is beyond impressive.   We owe a special shoutout and apology to Matti Buys and Maxime Giry. In the craziness of Hurricane Dorian rolling toward Florida, tricks still being submitted, and ultimately Surf Expo and Wake Awards being cancelled, we lost track of their submissions. Both of these should have been featured in the Wakeskate Trick of the Year reel that was featured in the full Wake Awards show. We’ve re-edited the reel to add them in here so they can get some of the recognition they deserve. For more excellent Wakeskating and Wakeboarding related content,... read more

“Danny Way Talks Olympics and Absence Of The Mega” by Mackenzie Eisenhour via Transworld Skateboarding

Danny Way Talks Olympics And Absence Of The Mega December 20, 2019 By Mackenzie Eisenhour  This is part 3 of my ongoing conversations about the upcoming Olympics (Read Part 1 with Josh Friedberg here and Part 2 with Tony Hawk here). Skateboarding being in the Olympics is a funny thing. Everybody has an opinion on something that has never happened. I would chalk that up to how much each and every one of us loves skateboarding as it is—pre-Olympics—and our fears, real or imagined that being a part of the biggest sports event on the planet might change that. For this installment, I checked in with Danny Way—on the eve of him celebrating 30 years of professional skateboarding—to get his two cents on how he thinks Tokyo 2020 will affect the broader culture and specifically the counterculture of skateboarding. I also asked him—as arguably the founder of the Mega Ramp—what his response was to the absence of one at Tokyo next year. And finally, as a company owner (of Plan B and with deep ties to DC Shoes) I wanted to know how Way felt about Nike’s outsized role next year dressing the skaters from Team USA and beyond. Here were his responses. Photo Credit: Mike Blabac Danny at the Great Wall of China, 2005. What are your thoughts on skateboarding joining the Olympics in general? You know, It’s cool that skateboarding has gotten that validation—that it has matured to that level. It’s cool to see—it’s been around for a long time and it’s paid a lot of dues to sort of get to this point of mainstream recognition and finally being accepted. On... read more

“This Shop Was Ground Zero For One of The Greatest Advancements in Surfboard Tech ‘SURF SHOP CHRONICLES’ TAKES A TRIP TO DANA POINT’S ICONIC HOBIE SURF SHOP” via Surfer

This Shop Was Ground Zero For One of The Greatest Advancements in Surfboard Tech “SURF SHOP CHRONICLES” TAKES A TRIP TO DANA POINT’S ICONIC HOBIE SURF SHOP DECEMBER 17, 2019 BY SURFER MAGAZINE  In the 1950’s, when most surfboards were still made out of heavy balsa wood, Hobie Alter and Gordon Clark teamed up to experiment with new shaping materials in Alter’s Dana Point store. “Hobie was making the most surfboards at that time,” recalls Kris Carlow, Hobie’s Brand Manager, in our latest episode of Surf Shop Chronicles. “But in ’58, along with Grubbie [Gordon] Clark, they decided to halt surfboard production and just R&D foam. For a full year, Hobie didn’t make surfboards.” And we all know what happened next. The polyurethane blanks Alter and Clark produced left balsa in the dust, became the industry standard and changed both surfboard performance and surfboard manufacturing forever. They weren’t the first to produce a foam blank, but they did perfect their production and ushered in a new era of surfboards. As impressive as that fact is, it’s only just the beginning of Hobie Surf Shops storied history in Dana Point and beyond. Click play above to learn more about one of the most iconic shops and recognizable brands in surfing history. For more interesting articles via this outstanding publication, click:... read more

“SURF EXPO MINI RAMP JAM, Skaters compete for cash and prizes!” via SurfExpo.com

SURF EXPO MINI RAMP JAM Skaters compete for cash and prizes! All I Need Skate & World Industries will be hosting an EPIC Game of Skate & Mini Ramp Jam at Surf Expo.  Judges will include legendary pro’s Anthony Shetler and Florida’s own Timmy Knuth as well as rookie pro’s Evan Mansolillo, Kevin Klemme & Billy Drowne. Come shred the ramp & meet some pro’s while possibly winning some prizes! Does your shop want to compete? Click here to apply.  Hosted by: All I Need Skate and World Industries  Schedule: Wednesday, Jan. 8: Mini Ramp Jam Practice/Registration @ Noon, Game of Skate @ 1 pm Thursday, Jan. 9: BRA Battle of the Shop Bosses from 9am to 11am Mini Ramp Jam Practice/Registration @ 9 am, Mini Ramp Jam @ 10 am Friday, Jan.10: Open Ramp   Legendary Pros: Anthony Shetler  Timmy Knuth Rookie Pros: Evan Mansolillo  Kevin Klemme  Billy Drowne Skate Ramp by Goat Ramp  The ramp is 40’ long and 32’ wide, with various heights between 5′, 7′ and 8’. Art by Peter James Glenn  Exhibitor List Floor Plan JANUARY 8-10, 2020 Wednesday – Friday ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER N/S CONCOURSE • ORLANDO,... read more

“Six resourceful books that could help you to improve your retail operation” by Doug Works (BRA Executive Director)

As a former shop / skatepark owner myself, I strive to make relevant suggestions, create beneficial programs, introduce solutions oriented vendors and provide strategic resources that help our members to lower expenses, increase profit margins and create more remarkable customer experiences. Below are six resourceful books that I have personally read from cover to cover and highly recommend to all retailers.  Each of these books are relevant and easy to understand.  I suggest reading them from #6 to #1 to maximize the overall benefit, but if you are struggling with making time to read anything or do anything proactive, then absolutely begin with #4. #6: “Permission Marketing”by Seth Godin —the groundbreaking concept that enables marketers to shape their message so that consumers will willingly accept it.  Whether it is the TV commercial that breaks into our favorite program, or the telemarketing phone call that disrupts a family dinner, traditional advertising is based on the hope of snatching our attention away from whatever we are doing. Seth Godin, the author, calls this Interruption Marketing, and, as companies are discovering, it no longer works. Instead of annoying potential customers by interrupting their most coveted commodity—time— Permission Marketing offers consumers incentives to accept advertising voluntarily. Now this Internet pioneer introduces a fundamentally different way of thinking about advertising products and services. By reaching out only to those individuals who have signaled an interest in learning more about you, Permission Marketing enables companies to develop long-term relationships with customers, create trust, build brand awareness — and greatly improve the chances of making a sale. #5: “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin —an intelligent book that... read more

“The Surfer Awards Fan Favorite Poll Results Are In…And Some Are Shocking” by TODD PRODANOVICH via Surfer

The Surfer Awards Fan Favorite Poll Results Are In…And Some Are Shocking YOUR CHOICES FOR BEST SURFER, MOVIE OF THE YEAR, BEST BARREL AND MORE FOR 2019 DECEMBER 10, 2019 BY TODD PRODANOVICH In case you hadn’t heard, last Thursday was the capital-b Biggest Night in Surfing. It was a big ol’ party at Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu, where elite surfers dressed to the nines, The Mattson 2 melted some faces and gorgeous bronze statues were handed to the year’s most impressive surfers. One of the biggest shifts in our sweeping overhaul of the Awards this year was that all the winners in the live show were crowned by the Surfer Awards Academy, consisting of nearly 50 experts and icons like Gerry Lopez, Bruce Irons, Albee Layer, Taylor Steele, Carissa Moore and many many more (the only exception to this rule is the award for Battle of the Vlogs, which was awarded based on the Fan Favorite Poll). The Academy was broken into panels of 10 judges based on their specific expertise, and judges couldn’t vote in categories they were nominated in, of course (you can see the full results voted by the Academy here)). But we didn’t just want to know how surfing’s elite felt about the year in surfing, so we decided to do a Fan Favorite Poll to run in tandem with the Academy vote. The fan poll winners may not be crowned on the night of the big show, but it certainly does give a different kind of bragging rights to the winners—the people’s champs, as they were. What follows are your picks for the Surfer... read more

“BRA Regional Retailer Roundtable Highlight Reel (SHACC Nov 2019)” filmed and edited by Noah Schuler

Such an outstanding event.  Massive thanks to the Distinguished Panel and Supporting Event Partners including Surfing Heritage and Culture Center, Locally, Solite Boots, Action Watch, Exchange Collective and Sambazon as well as all of the Retailers, Brands and Vendors that attended this outstanding Regional Retailer Roundtable Event.  Check out the Highlight Reel by clicking below.  Filmed and Edited by Noah Schuler. The next BRA Regional Roundtable will happen at Surf Expo in the Learning Lounge on January 9, 2020 at 4 pm.    For additional details on this and other upcoming BRA events, click:... read more

“Jon Comer, Pioneer of Adaptive Skateboarding, dies at age 43” via ESPN (X-Games.com)

ESPN Images Considered the godfather of adaptive skateboarding, Jon Comer’s influence on skateboarding transcended boundaries and pushed the awareness of adaptive skating to the forefront. Jon Comer, the first pro skateboarder with a prosthetic leg, died on Thursday, Dec. 5 at age 43. Comer turned pro in the mid-1990s and won fans around the world with his vert and concrete skatepark videos, including a full part in the 1999 Powell video ‘Magic,’ inspiring a generation of athletes with disabilities to take up skateboarding and other action sports. “It goes without saying: Jon Comer was the godfather of adaptive skateboarding,” says Daniel Gale, the sport organizer for adaptive sports at X Games including the Adaptive Skateboard Park event that debuted as a medal event at X Games Minneapolis 2019. “A lot of skaters seeing his videos and photos in magazines in the ’90s didn’t even immediately notice the prosthetic leg. The stuff that he was doing on vert ramps on a prosthetic leg when nobody else was, was as good as just about any other pro skateboarder at the time.” Comer injured his right foot in a car accident when he was four years old, and had it amputated several years later, at age 7. It didn’t stop him from taking up skateboarding at age 12. The 2004 documentary ‘Never Been Done: The Jon Comer Story,’ directed by Matthew J. Powers, chronicles his life and skateboarding career and won awards that year at the San Diego Film Festival, Houston International Film Festival, Tiburon International Film Festival, and the X-Dance Film Festival. Comer was humble about his accomplishments when interviewed for... read more

“BRA Releases Recap Video of Retailer Roundtable” (SHACC Nov 2019 – Filmed and edited by Noah Schuler)

The Board Retailers Association (BRA), a non-profit organization representing independently owned surf, skate, snow, sup and wake retailers, announces the release of the Recap video that showcases the recent BRA Regional Retailer Roundtable Event which was held earlier this month at the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (www.shacc.org) in San Clemente. Noah Schuler of Schuler Films captured, edited and produced this remarkable recap video: BRA would like to sincerely thank Glenn Brumage and the epic staff at Surfing Heritage and Culture Center for hosting the event as well as each of the Supporting Event Partners including Solite Boots, Exchange Collective, Locally, Action Watch and Sambazon.  Board sport specialty retailers from throughout Southern California and beyond as well as board sport related manufacturers and trade organizations participated in this open forum solutions-oriented discussion about the issues and opportunities facing our industry today and in the future. This event marked the first of many BRA Regional Retailer Roundtables, which will serve as a template for more of these discussions throughout the country (in addition to trade shows) on how the manufacturers and retailers can work together to continue to support the board sports that we are all passionate about. Southern California is the epicenter of board sport culture and Surfing Heritage and Culture Center served as the ideal location for this initial event. BRA Chairman, George Leichtweis of Modern Skate & Surf, moderated a panel of key manufacturers reps and BRA retailers / Board members. The distinguished group of panelists included Coco Tihanyi (Surf Diva and BRA), Sean Smith (SIMA), Teddy Schiavoni (Locally and former Chairman of National Ski and Snowboard Retailers Association),... read more

“Snowboarding visionary Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65” by Eddie Pells (AP) and Dan D’Ambrosio (Burlington Free Press)

Eddie Pells, Associated Press and Dan D’Ambrosio, Burlington Free Press Whether you had a gold medal hanging from your neck, were just learning how to stand on a snowboard, or were one of those flustered skiers wondering where all the kids in the baggy pants were coming from, you knew the name “Burton.” Jake Burton Carpenter, the man who changed the game on the mountain by fulfilling a grand vision of what a snowboard could be, died Wednesday night of complications stemming from a relapse of testicular cancer. He was 65. In an email sent to the staff at Burton, CEO John Lacy called Burton “our founder, the soul of snowboarding, the one who gave us the sport we love so much.” Carpenter was not the inventor of the snowboard, but 12 years after Sherman Poppen tied together a pair of skis with a rope to create what was then called a “Snurfer,” the 23-year-old entrepreneur, then known only as Jake Burton, quit his job in Manhattan, moved back to Vermont and went about dreaming of how far a snowboard might take him. “I had a vision there was a sport there, that it was more than just a sledding thing, which is all it was then,” Burton said in a 2010 interview with The Associated Press. For years, Burton’s snowboards were largely snubbed at resorts — its dimensions too untested, its riders too unrefined, its danger all too real — and many wouldn’t allow them to share the slopes with the cultured ski elite in Colorado or California or, heaven forbid, the Swiss Alps. Read the Burlington Free... read more

“Some ways to boost holiday sales (AND MARGINS)!” by Dave Seehafer of Global Wave Ventures (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

Some ways to boost holiday sales (AND MARGINS)!   Importance of specialty store “experience”—think Apple, Nike, Starbucks! –this is your time to shine—share passion & stoke, offer product insight –give incredible customer service—i.e. free local delivery, board storage, gift wrapping –do whatever is necessary to keep your customers loyal and coming back to YOUR store –offer gift ideas/gift list to every customer as they walk in the door –have some popular items gift-wrapped near the cash register –offer holiday payment plans on big-ticket items — have a holiday raffle for a slow-selling surfboard or snowboard your cost $500.00 = sell 100 tickets at $5 great way to build customer database   Train employees on the subtle art of “up-selling”—do a quick training demonstration –find out as much about the purchaser AND receiver of gift as possible –merchandise the store so that “like” items are in the same area –don’t assume that purchaser knows about surfing or boarding –suggest related items once you know key purchase—i.e. leash with new board –ask each customer “have you seen the new ….?” and point it out in the store   Put your high quality, high margin shop-logo products to good use –use for gift-with-purchase or purchase-with-purchase specials i.e. spend $100.00—get free shop sweatshirt or rashguard i.e. spend $75.00—get shop t-shirt or hat for $5.00 –give a “free” item to loyal customers–be sure to track in terms of sales or marketing costs –put shop stickers in every bag/give away with every purchase –put a shop sticker on every new & used surfboard, snowboard, etc.   Maximize use of gift cards/gift certificate–20+% of all gift... read more

“Will Inflatable Artificial Reefs Turn Lackluster Beaches Into Pumping Peaks? The “Airwave” will soon be making its debut in West Oz” by Ashtyn Douglas via SURFER

  A little over a year ago, a Yallingup-based surfer named Troy Bottegal started a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the creation and launch of a new artificial reef structure he’s been prototyping over the last decade. Similar to artificial reef projects of the past (some of which failed miserably), this structure, Bottegal claims, once anchored to the seafloor can turn a bank-less coastline into a surfer’s paradise. The unique part that separates Bottegal’s invention from bygone made-made reefs? It’s inflatable. Bottegal’s brainchild is called the “Airwave”–the UFO-looking object. It’s a two-meter tall, twelve-meter wide dome-shaped bladder that, according to Waveco’s (the company now behind the Airwave technology) site, is designed to mimic a reef’s shallow leading edge to transform closeouts into fun, peaky A-frame wedges. The blow-up reef will be partially filled with tons of sand. This, combined with its large base footprint, will apparently render the structure impossible to move during big swells. The Airwave can be removed, however, in the event that it causes any negative environmental impact. According to the Waveco site, the installation process is fairly straightforward. “Six individual Airwaves can be installed at the same stretch of beach, in around 14 days,” the site notes. “That’s six new wave sites in two weeks. Compare this with the twelve to twenty-four months for a typical offshore surf reef installation, with only one wave site created.” Another point of difference between Bottegal’s design and other artificial reefs is that it’ll be placed in shallow waters. “Placing it in shallow enough water ensures the wave will not dissipate into deep water after it starts peeling,” he told MagicSeaweed earlier this... read more

“Meet the USA Skateboarding National Team That May (Or May Not) Go To The Olympics” by Dave Carnie in Transworld Skateboarding

October 28, 2019 By Dave Carnie You may have heard that the 2019-2020 USA National Skateboard Championships were held last weekend (10/18) at the California Skateparks Training Facility (CA|TF) in Vista, CA, and that USA Skateboarding (USAS, or “Us Ass” as I like to call it) announced the USA Skateboarding National Team roster. Or, if you’re like me, you did not hear that. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Though the event was not a secret, not many people knew about it—including (allegedly) some of the National t=Team riders themselves who only learned about it the week of. This is probably because information about Olympic skateboarding has been difficult to obtain and what is available is rather confusing to understand. To use a sports term (since skateboarding is apparently a sport now), Olympic skateboarding is very “inside baseball” at the moment and it’s causing concern and dismay around the skateboard community. What is going on? First, I understand that there’s been some mismanagement, some differences of opinion, communication issues, there might even have been some diarrhea involved (?), etc., but I think for the most part the confusion surrounding Olympic skateboarding can be attributed to the same woes a new restaurant faces when it opens: everything is new, no one knows what they’re doing, and the staff is trying to work out the kinks as they go. I trust they’ll get it sorted out soon, but if I were to write a Yelp review about USAS’ new “restaurant” right now it would be a complaint about the lack of information. For instance, USAS announced their new national skateboard team on Sunday, but... read more

Exposure Skate Open 2019 (A Women’s Benefit Event) in Huntington Beach on Nov. 2nd via ExposureSkate.org

Each year, Exposure presents Exposure: A Women’s Benefit Event to bring opportunity and visibility to women who embody courage and strength. Over 170 female skaters from around the world come to Encinitas, California (near San Diego) for the opportunity to share their skateboarding skills on a global stage. The event also serves as a benefit for survivors of domestic violence. This flagship event was created to further our vision of increasing the representation of powerful females in the media and to challenge societal norms. Furthermore, our event raises awareness of and donates proceeds to a local shelter for survivors of domestic violence. This dual purpose serves to strengthen women in our community and beyond. A key feature of this event is our vendor village that showcases women focused, health and socially-conscious companies. In 2012, Exposure Co-founder and Professional Skateboarder, Amelia Brodka, saw a gaping lack of support from within the skateboarding industry for women and was inspired to make a change. She created the documentary, UNDEREXPOSED, to explore the systemic problem of lack of support for women within the skateboarding industry. The documentary explores the root causes of this issue covering topics of major skateboarding competitions, such as the X-Games, removing women’s vert and bowl skateboarding events, and sponsorship and marketing support by skateboard brands. Although the population of female skateboarders was growing at the time of Exposure’s inception, there were not as many spaces for them to feel supported and encouraged to develop their skill as their male counterparts. The lack of competitive outlets for females meant less opportunities to compete for certain titles, connect with peers, and potentially win... read more

“HOW SHOULD BRANDS BE RELEASING THEIR VIDEOS?” by ALEXIS CASTRO via JENKEM MAG

Without a doubt, the biggest and most popular skate media partner today is Thrasher, which boasts the highest following of any skateboarding outlet at over 5 million Instagram followers and over 2 million YouTube subscribers. This wasn’t always the case, but after Thrasher began uploading solo parts like Mark Suciu’s “Cross Continental” and full videos like 5Boro’s Join, Or Die to their YouTube account in 2012, they set the blueprint for what would become the dominant trend in skate video releases. That is, brands giving away their video content to publishers instead of publishing it themselves. The success of these early web-hosted parts and full-lengths, measured in view counts, likes, and positive comments, was a good proof of concept for brands to stop focusing on releasing their own content. Brands and skaters realized if they gave Thrasher and other media partners footage to run and help keep their sites afloat, they had a better chance of reaching huge audiences in the ever-expanding and finicky online environment. It’s unclear exactly what else brands get in exchange from giving their content to publishers—aside from the higher view counts—so we asked some people who have promoted videos through Thrasher to help us understand what makes them an attractive option and what brands may be potentially risking in the process. Some of the other benefits can be difficult to quantify, but they’re still very real. Richie Valdez, who has spent the last two years managing Welcome’s team and video department, explained that there’s an intangible, personal incentive for skateboarders to be featured on certain sites. “I think for the team riders especially, they’re like, ‘Oh, is this gonna be on Thrasher?’ I think that gives the people... read more

“Board Retailers Association (BRA) Announces Regional Retailer Roundtable” via ShopEatSurf.com

The Board Retailers Association (BRA), a non-profit organization representing independently owned surf, skate, snow, sup and wake retailers, announces a Regional Retailer Roundtable to be held at the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (www.shacc.org) in San Clemente, CA on Sunday November third from 9 am until 11 am.   Board sport specialty retailers from throughout Southern California and beyond as well as board sport related manufacturers and trade organizations will participate. This iconic venue will host the first of many BRA Regional Retailer Roundtables, which will serve as a template for more open forum discussions throughout the country (in addition to trade shows) on how the manufacturers and retailers can work together to continue to support the board sports that we are all passionate about.  Southern California is the epicenter of board sport culture and serves as the ideal location for this initial event. View entire article on Shop Eat Surf via this link: BRA Announces Regional Retailer... read more

“Tony Hawk On Why The Olympics Snubbed Vert” by Mackenzie Eisenhour via Transworld Skateboarding

Traditional vert is dead, at least to the Olympics. As detailed in our Olympics: Fact From Fiction article last month, neither vert nor mega ramp will be represented in Tokyo next year. Instead, the two ‘disciplines’ will be “park” and “street.” The reasons behind the decision — participation rates, accessibility, gender equity — are well intentioned, but the decision itself still probably came as a bit of a shock to the world’s vert skaters. And it will have far-reaching ramifications, considering that the 2020 Olympic Summer Games will almost certainly generate the largest global television audience skateboarding has ever seen. The traditional vert ramp was the cornerstone around which the ‘80s NSA contest circuit (and later the ‘90s/’00s X Games model) was built. The vert ramp was (and is) the backdrop for the cutting edge of progressive aerial tricks and vertical NBDs— Tony Hawk’s 900 in ‘99 being the most famous. Meanwhile, love it or hate it, mega ramp seemed like the obvious choice for the mainstreamest of mainstream crowds with it’s big air “wow factor.” Having been the poster child for vert skateboarding since his teens, and as skateboarding’s biggest ambassador for almost four decades, you might think Tony Hawk has an opinion about all of this. You’d be right. What are your thoughts on skating’s Olympic debut? You have said that the Olympics needs skateboarding more than we need them; do you still think that’s true?  Yes. Skateboarding is already more popular (in terms of participation and/or industry size) than many of the Olympic sports. We have established skating as something kids choose to do as readily as almost any other... read more

BREAKING: Outdoor Retailer cancels November show, The Winter Market is being united with the January Snow Show by Amelia Arvesen via SNEWS

The November show will not go on, Outdoor Retailer announced on its website on Wednesday. The Winter Market was scheduled for Nov. 5 to 7, but it is now being united with Snow Show slated for Jan. 29 to 31, 2020 in Denver. “We care deeply about our community, and alongside OIA, we’re working to support the diverse, evolving needs of the market in order to help the outdoor and snow industries thrive,” said Marisa Nicholson, Outdoor Retailer senior vice president and show director. “It’s our goal to bring our industry together and provide the most productive platform for success.” Outdoor Retailer held the first November show in 2018 after the outdoor community asked for Winter Market to occur before the buying season. It was previously held in early January and the Snowsports Industries America (SIA) show was later that month. But the first November show was rocky and received mixed reviews. Some said it was perfect timing and the quiet hallways allowed them to get real work done; others said it was a waste of their time and expenses. A SNEWS poll right after the November 2018 show found that 39 percent of voters felt the Winter Market was a disappointment and 15 percent said it was productive. Only 2 percent said it was the best show ever. After the cancellation of Interbike 2019, Outdoor Retailer announced that they were adding bikes to the 2019 Winter Market. Nicholson told SNEWS that they will continue to welcome bike brands to both shows. Nicholson in her statement continued, “Through ongoing feedback, it has become clear that one combined winter show in January will best support brands, retailers and reps,... read more

“Board Retailers Association Votes In New Chairman and Hires Executive Director” via Shop Eat Surf Press Release

PRESS RELEASES | Published Aug 7, 2019 BRA Names New Chairman, Executive Director The Board Retailers Association (BRA), a non-profit organization representing thousands of independently owned surf, skate, snow and wake retailers, is pleased to announce that it elected a new Chairman, George Leichtweis of Modern Skate & Surf this year.  Having been on the Board of Directors as the Chairman of the Skateboard Committee for many years, George was a founding member of BRA and has been in the specialty retail business for 40 years.  Former Chairman, Bruce Cromartie will remain on the Board of Directors. BRA Chairman George Leichtweis George is passionate about independent retailers being successful and believes that they are the backbone and feeder system for all the board sport industries.  “It is where young kids have their first impression of each sport that will stay with them as they continue to grow into adults and pass on the ‘stoke’ to others.  Board Retailers Association can provide smaller retailers with the tools to be successful and keep their doors open to continue to turn new kids on to the sports that they love.” George is the owner and president of Modern Sports, Inc, dba Modern Skate & Surf as well as Modern Skate Park.  Over the last 40 years, he has operated multiple Modern Skate & Surf stores in Michigan and also the world-renowned Modern Skate Parks in Novi, Madison Heights and Grand Rapids, Michigan and has been involved in the “Extreme Sports” arena since 1979.  He currently operates one location that consists of a retail store for Specialty Sporting Goods, a World Class Skate Park... read more

“Cutting Through the Noise Around Skateboarding’s 2020 Olympic Debut: Qualifying? Judging criteria? Uniforms? Drug tests? What exactly is going on?” by Mackenzie Eisenhour via Transworld Skateboarding

The spectrum of responses to skateboarding’s debut at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo range from “I can’t wait to see Nyjah on a Wheaties box!” to “Focus my board, all hope is lost.” Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, it’s likely you’re still plenty confused about even the most basic details surrounding the most hyped Olympic addition since snowboarding was added in 1998. I know I was. To separate the facts from some common fictions and misconceptions, I talked to Josh Friedberg, the CEO of Team USA Skateboarding and Skate Director at World Skate (the International Olympic Committee-recognized federation that governs skateboarding competitions and organizes the sport’s World Championships). Skateboarders everywhere already have an opinion about Tokyo 2020; Hopefully Friedberg’s insight into how this whole thing will actually work helps us all have an informed opinion too. 1) Fact or Fiction? Skateboarding will be represented in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics via Mega Ramp, Vert, Park and Street disciplines. Verdict: Fiction Fact: Park and Street will be the only two disciplines. Josh Friedberg: “The main driver of the choice of disciplines was gender equity. Outside of Park and Street there are not enough females competing in Mega Ramp and Vert right now to represent enough countries with both men and women.” 2) Fact or Fiction? The US skate team has been announced and everyone on that list will be heading to Tokyo. Verdict: Fiction Fact: USA’s national team has been announced, but that doesn’t automatically qualify those skaters for the Olympics. JF: “Any country can name a national team that they will support through the national governing body (in our case that’s USA... read more

“HOW CAN WE HELP KEEP SKATE SHOPS ALIVE?” by Larry Lanza via JENKEM MAG

HOW CAN WE KEEP SKATE SHOPS ALIVE?   As other retail industries have struggled in recent years, skate shops seem more uncertain than ever, and this past weekend we lost a longstanding one:Sunday Skate Shop in Buffalo, NY. This got us thinking about what skateboarders and the skate industry can do to help shops (obviously in addition to spending more money). But instead of rehashing reasons to Support Your Local, we talked with shop owners themselves about how we can help them stay in business longer and keep our local scenes healthy. We tried to represent a good chunk of the U.S. and a few other countries, but there’s no way to fit every shop in the world. Everyone had thoughtful and encouraging things to say, but to not let this become a 60,000 word thesis, we were only able to keep a small selection of responses. LABOR (New York, NY) Has the skate industry done anything to negatively affect core skate shops, and if so, how can we reverse what’s been done? There’s a lot the industry has done and continues to do to negatively impact independently-owned shops, while they shred crocodile tears every time a long-running shop closes. I don’t spend a lot of time being mad at companies for [trying to] grow as much as they can year after year. When companies make a big push to sell direct to customers—which is one of the biggest factors that drives business away from a skate shop—I can’t really be mad. As shop owners, we understand that’s where the biggest margins are. On the other hand, a company can’t be... read more

“New Wave Pool Set to Open in Palm Desert, CA in 2021” according to Surfer Magazine via ASN

New Wave Pool Set to Open in Palm Desert, CA in 2021 Catching up with CJ Hobgood about his new wave pool project, DSRT Surf. July 9, 2019 By SURFER  This story. originally appeared on SURFER and has been republished in ASN with permission. Words by Zander Morton. For more stories, visit SURFER Another wave pool will be gracing the state of California – this time in the dry city of Palm Desert, a roughly 2-hour drive from the nearest ocean (and a hell of a lot closer to popular surf towns than the wave machine in Lemoore). Just a few days ago, CJ Hobgood, Josh Kerr. and Shane Beschen announced on Instagram that they’re involved with the development of the new pool – DSRT Surf. – which is set to open in 2021. To find out more about DSRT Surf, we gave CJ Hobgood a call and asked about how it all came to be, what he’s learned from past mistakes (he was involved in a wave pool start-up back in the 2000s that unfortunately failed miserably), and what sort of surf we can expect to see in Palm Desert in the (fairly) near future. The news that you’re involved with a new wave pool project in Palm Desert dropped out of the blue last week. How did that all come about? What’s been cool for me during this process is I’ve been close to a couple other projects in the past. I was around when they tried to do the wave pool over at the Ron Jon in Orlando, Florida, and that one failed. I was talking to another guy down in South Florida early on where the WSL’s new... read more

5 SEO Tips You Can Do Right Now

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, might seem like an impossible-to-crack code. Yet SEO is incredibly important if you want your business to be found online. If your website is optimized for search engines, Google, Yahoo, and Bing will view it as a good source and offer it up to users who are searching for your products or services. If your website isn’t optimized, then it might as well be invisible. For many people, SEO is a full time job. You may think that due to your full-time job as a board retailer, you don’t have time to add SEO to your plate. This is where you’re wrong. Sure, you won’t be able to do all the things a digital marketing professional can accomplish, but everyone has time to make a few small tweaks to their website that will yield big results. Below are five things you can do this week to improve your SEO and make your website rise in the rankings. Try them out and see what a difference they make. Create unique content that people want to read and share. While filling your website with rich content isn’t exactly something you can do overnight, it is something you can start today. If you don’t have a company or business blog, it’s time to launch one! You can write “how to” posts, new product launches, behind-the-scenes information, or gift guides for various holidays. Use specific keywords in the title and first paragraph of your post so readers (and search engines!) immediately know what the post is about. Create internal links within your website. Internal linking helps SEO in... read more

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