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

“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

“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