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Specialty Retailers and the Board Sports Lifestyle
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Specialty Retailers and the Board Sports Lifestyle
Surf | Skate | Snow | SUP | Wake

“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: 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 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

BRA Covid-19 Retailer Resource Guide (strategies, webinars, loans and more) – updated Aug. 13, 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 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


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


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

“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


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


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


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: 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 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 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

“SHACC is Turning 20”

Please click on the following link to view this excellent Shop Eat Surf Article: SHACC is Turning 20 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

“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

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 (

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 ( 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

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


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. 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