WILMINGTON, NC, MAY 20, 2011 — The Board Retailers Association (BRA) joined the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) to co-host Surf Summit for a second consecutive year. Surf Summit is a three-day event, held this year in San Jose del Cabo. The event, sponsored by Surf Expo, Red Bull and Walter Wilhelm Associates, was toted as highly successful, evoking passionate discussion and generating ideas, all the while nurturing the action sports industry’s relationship as a whole.
The education portion of the Summit was carefully intertwined with relaxation time. Attendees enjoyed the perfect weather with morning golf games and dawn patrols, and memorable dinners together with crashing waves as the soundtrack. TransWorld Surf’s SURFari was a popular event, with the TransWorld team taking the ladies at Surf Summit out for a beautiful morning surf session at Old Man’s. A special retailer-only meet and greet and the first-ever “BRA Power Lunch” brought retailers in to get to know each other and catch up on the latest issues affecting shops to date.
“In order to do business in this new industry, retailers and vendors must communicate,” said BRA Co-Chair Duke Edukas of Surfside Sports in San Diego, CA. “I can only imagine how difficult it is for retailers who do not have shops near the vendors’ headquarters. Surf Summit is the Number One meeting of the minds. It’s a unique opportunity that every retailer should try to take advantage of.”
Attendees were briefed on the state of the industry by SIMA President Doug Palladini and BRA Co-Chairmen Duke Edukas and D. Nachnani. Bill Walton of basketball fame delivered a passionate keynote speech at the Welcome Dinner. Day Two included an inspiring discussion with Jeff “Yoki” Yokoyama about brand development and awareness. Consumer Psychologist Kit Yarrow shined the spotlight on the ever-popular topic of speaking to Generation Y. Baratunde Thurston, Digital Director of the Onion, closed Day Two with a brilliantly funny yet profound look at using social media to grow your brand image and your business. The closing ceremony starred Martin “Pottz” Potter hosting a talk-show style conversation with surf legends Lisa Andersen, Jamie O’Brien and Mark Healey.
Surf Summit is an event known for bringing all the hot-button topics to the surface, and after a few busy weeks of action sports in the news leading up to the event, this year was no exception. The unarguable highlight of the Summit was the Roundtable discussions on Day Three, where Manufacturers and Retailers traveled from topic to topic every thirty minutes, meeting with different colleagues at each station. Topics, which were moderated by industry leaders, included “The New Era of Discounting, Re-defining the Surf Girl, Sustainability, and Social Media.
Mike Duncan, President of BRA and founder of Warehouse Skateboards, was among those moderating the popular panels. “The discussions got passionate– uncomfortable, even—at times, as issues like mass discounting and direct selling came to surface,” he said. “But that’s what this is all about. This is how the industry evolves. BRA looks forward to more roundtables in the future.”
BRA would like to again thank Surf Expo, Red Bull and Walter Wilhelm Associates for their support of Surf Summit 14, and especially SIMA for maintaining this crucial partnership with us for this iconic annual event. Already looking ahead to Surf Summit 15 in 2012, we are intent in growing retailer participation down to take advantage of this impactful opportunity. Every member is invited to attend. Without you, the conversation is incomplete.