“A New Concession Retail Model Emerges” by Tiffany Montgomery via (Exec Edition)

By Tiffany Montgomery | Published Oct 28, 2019 A new kind of retail concept has opened at Fashion Island in Newport Beach with a playbook that has intrigued industry insiders for years: the concession model. The General Store pop-up opened this month, and is the brainchild of longtime retail executive and consultant Erin Bell. Several brands, including L*Space, Roark and Spiritual Gangster are renting space at the store, and have complete control over their presentation and assortment. Erin does not own any inventory, but does staff the store and manage operations. Erin believes the retail industry, including landlords, need a new operating model given the massive changes that have happened in the space. She first thought of the concept about eight years ago, but brands weren’t ready and neither was the Irvine Company, which owns the shopping center. Roark has a large space toward the front of the store This time around, people were much more open to the idea. “Brick-and-mortar retail is changing,” Erin said. “Shopping is no longer a necessity and retailers need to change things up.” Her goal with the concept was for brands to be able to showcase their vision rather the vision of a boutique owner or a retail buyer. Another benefit for brands – they don’t have to commit to a long-term lease like they do when they open their own stores. At the General Store, the brands decide what product is in their space, when they change it and how they merchandise it. “It’s their store and how they treat it is up to them,” Erin said. “I’m looking to form a partnership... read more

Meet the USA Skateboarding National Team That May (Or May Not) Go To The Olympics by Dave Carnie via

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

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

Photos and links to video of the SIMA E-Commerce Speaker Series Event via PR from plus commentary from BRA Executive Director

PRESS RELEASES | Published Oct 22, 2019 SIMA hosted a Speaker Series event at The Ocean Institute where brand leaders explored the latest in e-commerce strategies. This session was for any industry employee who is looking to enhance or gain new insights on e-commerce performance. BRA Executive Director, Doug Works, attended the SIMA E-Commerce Speaker Series. Above is a photo captured by Doug of @shaunneff speaking about everything from going to the 99 cents store to purchase headbands and beanies that he would sharpie his name on and give to guys like @travisrice and @chadotterstrom to wear (since their contracts did not preclude them from wearing a different brand of headwear) to doing deals with @snoopdogg to getting hired by Target to redo their kids biz to starting his Brand Incubator (Beach House) to his super successful hot tub shorts to him being the 2nd largest shareholder of @sunbum, to the importance of working closely with retailers and more. Such a remarkable event at such an epic venue. Thanks for the invite, SIMA. – Doug Works, BRE Executive Director Shop eat Surf PR continued Speakers included: SHAUN NEFF – Founder – Neff & Beach House Group.  Entrepreneur – Advisor – Investor – VIDEO of his presentation: Shaun Neff’s Monologue at SIMA Speaker Series JAKE KASSAN – Co-Founder and President, MVMT and CODY DEBACKER – Head of Retail Experience, Shopify and Director of Shopify LA – Video of their presentation: Conversation between Jake Kassan and Cody Debacker at SIMA Speaker Series   Event photos   Photos by Jerry Kasai ABOUT SIMA SPEAKER SERIES, POWERED BY GROUP Y Introducing the SIMA Speaker Series, a set of local seminars that will explore pertinent topics brands are facing in... read more

Solite (BRA Supporting Event Partner) Reinvents Wetsuit Boots via

PRESS RELEASES | Published Oct 21, 2019 When you think about it, wetsuit booties haven’t changed much in the last 30 years. Every wetsuit boot on the market is made the same way and suffers from the same drawbacks: they are heavy, leaky, awkward, and don’t last long. Solite boots was founded by two guys, Jamie Meiselman and Tyler Callaway, who grew up surfing frigid Northeastern winters. We knew that booties are the often overlooked key to performance in cold water, so we set out to do one thing better than anyone else: reinvent wetsuit boots. Fit, weight, durability, and warmth are all critical to performance in cold conditions. We asked ourselves, “What if we could find a material and construction that did everything better?” Boots are literally the connection between your board and your body. Any move you make must pass directly through your wetsuit boots. If we can optimize that connection, we can change the game in cold-water performance. We decided to redesign the wetsuit boot from the sole up. Instead of gluing layers of rubber and straps to a neoprene sock, we started with a seamless, injection-molded sole. This sole is made from an exclusive thermo-forming material, which is nearly half the weight and twice as durable as neoprene. We patented our construction, and now we offer the world’s only heat moldable wetsuit bootie. The results in the water have surpassed our highest expectations. Just like custom ski/snowboard boots or hockey skates, custom-fit Solite boots have a precise fit that moves instantly with your foot. Tripping over your toes on takeoffs is no longer an issue. The response is... read more

Robust Holiday Sales Forecast via NRF Press Release on

PRESS RELEASES The National Retail Federation today said it expects holiday retail sales during November and December to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent over 2018 to a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion. The numbers, which exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, compare with an average holiday sales increase of 3.7 percent over the previous five years. “The U.S. economy is continuing to grow and consumer spending is still the primary engine behind that growth,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Nonetheless, there has clearly been a slowdown brought on by considerable uncertainty around issues including trade, interest rates, global risk factors and political rhetoric.  Consumers are in good financial shape and retailers expect a strong holiday season. However, confidence could be eroded by continued deterioration of these and other variables.” “There are probably very few precedents for this uncertain macroeconomic environment,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “There are many moving parts and lots of distractions that make predictions difficult. There is significant economic unease, but current economic data and the recent momentum of the economy show that we can expect a much stronger holiday season than last year. Job growth and higher wages mean there’s more money in families’ pockets, so we see both the willingness and ability to spend this holiday season.” NRF expects online and other non-store sales, which are included in the total, to increase between 11 percent and 14 percent to between $162.6 billion and $166.9 billion, up from $146.5 billion last year. The effect of tariffs on holiday spending – either directly or through consumer confidence... read more


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

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 ( 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. BRA Chairman, George Leichtweis of Modern Skate & Surf, will moderate a panel of key manufacturers reps and BRA retailers and Board members in an open discussion about the issues impacting our industry today and in the future. All board sport retailers and manufacturers that would like to attend this worthwhile event should contact BRA Executive Director Doug Works at as soon as possible. About Board Retailers Association (BRA) The Board Retailers Association (BRA) is a non-profit national trade association representing board specialty store fronts across the country. The association serves as the preeminent voice for independent retailers on a grassroots level with manufacturers, trade show representatives, and other associations. BRA also works to provide educational resources and exclusive discounts and offerings from vendors on the... 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

Oakley’s Support of Surf Shop Challenge for Core Stores Endures via SES by Tiffany Montgomery

By Tiffany Montgomery | Published Sep 23, 2019 The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge just wrapped up another successful finals event in Nicaragua. The finalists included Catalyst, Surf Ride, Pacific Wave, Sunrise, Secret Spot and HIC, with Catalyst taking home the big win. We asked Marty Mathiesen, Oakley’s Sales Manager for the Surf Channel, some questions about the event and why Oakley continues to support it even with the major changes at Oakley over the past few years. Needless to say, the surf shops that participate love the event. HIC Owner Leigh Tonai gave a special toast in honor of Oakley during the closing dinner. “I’ve been on the retail and wholesale side of the surf business for over 35 years. The nature of retail is it’s difficult to pay your staff living wages, heck most owners can’t pay themselves a living wage,” Leigh said. “I’m stoked to see the level of support Oakley is giving to the core shops, the shops who consider selling surfboards as part of their DNA, through the surf shop challenge. “The regional contest is a great give back to the core shops but the nationals takes that to a new universe,” Leigh said. “Oakley put on a first class event. Investing in great judges, awesome accommodations and most of all a place that has consistent and challenging waves but nothing that’s going to kill you. “I was impressed with the level of surfing and competition. Congrats to Catalyst and all the competitors. It’s an awesome experience and could only be done with a big investment from Oakley.” Q&A with Marty Mathiesen Despite all the changes... read more

Ryan Hitzel on Roark’s Retail Strategy via SES by Tiffany Montgomery

By Tiffany Montgomery | Published Sep 17, 2019 Roark is jumping into retail with both feet, and has opened two good-looking stores in high profile California locations, with more on the way. Roark’s first store debuted in Berkeley late last year, the second store just opened on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles and a store in Del Mar opens in the second week of October. Early next year, a newly signed San Francisco location should be ready to open. And, it sounds like Denver could be next. We spoke with Roark Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Hitzel to find out more about the retail strategy. Why is Roark opening new stores in Los Angeles, Del Mar and San Francisco? Roark CEO Ryan Hitzel: It would probably help to pull the bow back a little more to understand where we’re going. We’ve always envisioned Roark as an omni-channel brand, mostly because of the depth of storytelling and the appeal to action sports, outdoor and menswear markets. So the brick-and-mortar flagships play a large role in each community and connect the dots between our wholesale, consumer catalog and e-commerce businesses. The strategy is pretty simple when it comes to target markets. We have two buckets. We’re looking to provide a brand touch point in communities that are over-performing yet undersaturated with wholesale accounts. Our stores in Berkeley and San Francisco are examples of an over-performing market that does not have many Roark wholesale accounts. The second bucket is regions that are still developing but have great potential and strong DTC demand. San Diego and LA are still developing for Roark and could use... read more

Burton Co-CEO on Shutting Down for Global Climate Strike via SES article by Tiffany Montgomery

By Tiffany Montgomery | Published Sep 10, 2019 Burton is shutting its offices, stores and websites around the world to participate in the Global Climate Strike on September 20. The strike, inspired by 15-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, is being led by students globally. SES spoke with Burton Co-CEO Donna Carpenter, who is currently based in Europe, about why Burton is getting involved. Greta has sparked a movement of students who are striking every Friday and demanding action from political leaders. The strikes have grown to 3.6 million participants in 169 countries. Burton plans to shut offices in the U.S., Canada, Europe, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia. All global flagship stores owned by Burton will open as a community gathering space before and after the marches, but cash registers will be closed. Burton’s website will not accept orders for 24 hours worldwide and instead re-direct to the Global Climate Strike website. Patagonia is also participating in the strike along with companies such as Ben & Jerry’s, Lush Cosmetics, and Seventh Generation. When I first heard about Burton’s participation in the strike, I remembered you telling me when we last talked that one of your goals as CEO was to speak out more about issues. Donna Carpenter: We are at a time when businesses have to take this role. Before, we didn’t see ourselves as having to move the needle on social issues. But because the government isn’t doing anything, I think it’s up to individuals and businesses. We also have these grassroots groups at Burton like Women’s Leadership and we have an environmental one called EPIC. They are the ones that brought... read more


ORLANDO, Fla., September 1, 2019 — Due to the continued threat of Hurricane Dorian on Orlando, the state of Florida, the southeast and the east coast, Surf Expo announced today that it will cancel the 2019 event scheduled for September 5-7, as well as the pre-show outdoor festival Waterfest, on September 4, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Surf Expo’s leadership team has been constantly monitoring the storm closely and evaluating information from both local, state and federal officials and partners to determine the best course of action.“We understand that Surf Expo plays an important part in connecting buyers and sellers in the Boardsports, Beach & Resort industries and that many rely on our marketplace for filling their commerce needs, but travel and logistical difficulties and, more importantly, our customers’ safety is at the forefront of our minds.  Given the state of affairs regarding Hurricane Dorian today, we had no choice but to cancel Surf Expo. We recognize that many of our customers will be directly impacted by Hurricane Dorian and feel their focus should be on their families, businesses and community at this time”, said Roy Turner, SVP, Surf Expo Show Director, Emerald Expositions. Exhibitors click here for more information Attendees/Buyers/Media click here for more information To view this announcement directly on the Surf Expo site and learn more about the January show: click here On behalf of Board Retailers Association, although we are disappointed that the show was cancelled, it is completely understandable and are sending positive vibes to everyone that could be negatively impacted by this dangerous storm.  We are really looking forward to... read more

SIMA Sustainability Event Draws Robust Turnout via article on Shop Eat Surf by Tiffany Montgomery

By Tiffany Montgomery | Published Aug 26, 2019 Showing just how important sustainability has become to industry brands, SIMA had a great turnout for its Speaker Series event on the topic last week at Vans headquarters. More than 160 people registered, and a nice cross section of the industry turned out, including a wide range of brands and job titles. Speakers included Derek Sabori, a sustainability advisor and instructor who created Volcom’s forward-thinking sustainability programs years ago; Kim Matsoukas, Senior Manager of Sustainability and Social Responsibility at Vans; Wendy Savage, Director of Social Responsibility and Trace-ability at Patagonia; Megan Stoneburner Azim, Director of Sustainability and Sourcing at Outerknown; and Josh Reddin, CEO of Elastic. SIMA has posted videos of all the presentations here Doug Works, BRA Executive Director, was in attendance and asked a question related to Retailers at 43:09 here Click here to view the article on Shop Eat Surf Recap of SIMA Speaker Series “Sustainability in Our Industry: Moving Beyond Recycled” More than 160 apparel and surf industry leaders from Design, Product, Compliance, and Marketing gathered for the sold-out event on August 22nd. The afternoon featured a mini-masterclass, insights from experts, moderated discussions, and more on the topics of Foundational Sustainability Concepts, Sustainable Fibers/Materials, Fair & Decent Labor, and Differentiated Sustainability-Driven Marketing Opportunities. Attendees walked away with a better understanding of how the experts are talking about sustainability in our sector, what the hottest topics and our biggest concerns are, what solutions are readily available and utilized in the marketplace, and what steps you can take next to keep up with competitors. Full speaker videos & presentations at... 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 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