Industry News 1/31/2007

Debut of Brands, Special Areas and Events Energize ASR January

Debut of Brands, Special Areas and Events Energize ASR January

A united group of lifestyle, action sports and youth culture brands make waves during 3-day event

San Juan Capistrano, CA (January 29, 2007) – A jam packed Action Sports Retailer Expo, ASR, was filled with buyers ready to write orders for next summer and fall. From January 25-27th in San Diego, ASR showcased next season’s trend setting styles and cutting edge gear from over 500 surf, skate, snow, moto, lifestyle and youth culture brands. Between writing orders, checking out new labels, networking and stopping by the many special events at ASR, there was little time or reason for the over 18,000 ASR attendees to rest.

“There was high energy on the floor throughout the show” says Andy Tompkins, ASR Show Director.  “In addition, we were excited to hear that most vendors appreciated the Thursday – Saturday format of ASR, as it brought professional buyers to the show Thursday and Friday, and helped the final day have stronger attendance than in years past.”

 The ASR show floor facilitated a great deal of order writing over the three day event. Interest in action sports lifestyle lines continues to blossom, expanding the variety and size of retailer shopping at ASR. A diverse mix of buyers ranged from the world’s largest department stores, the trendiest boutiques and specialty retailers from over 40 countries. “ASR has been awesome for us, I did more business in the first day at ASR than I’ve ever done in a single day, ever,” says Jon Montgomery, from nationwide retailer Tilly’s.

While some retailers use ASR as a place to spot trends, build relationships and glean knowledge from seminars, many do big business on the floor. “We’ve been busy all day booking all of our wet suits, boards, watches and eyewear for the fall on the first day,” says Ron Abel, Owner of Jack’s in Huntington Beach.

Brands showing at ASR felt the buying power from the major specialty, chain and department stores in their booths. “ASR is the epicenter of the industry from a commercial standpoint,” says Adam Schatz, President of SHUT. “Having a presence here is invaluable to any brand committed to the action sports industry.” Adidas’ Skateboarding’s Jess Weinstein agrees saying, “This is our first real launch into skate. ASR is the single most effective means for getting our product, marketing and messaging out there.”

ASR’s reputation as ‘the place where trends are made’ is confirmed each show in the aisles, with fashion driven soft goods playing an even larger part in the growth of action sports worldwide. “ FEW is new to the US and we had a wonderful show. The number and quality of buyers we saw was excellent!” says Kena Lucy, US Director of New Zealand-based FEW. “This show was business from the start.”

Board Builder’s Pavilion
Putting the spotlight on individuals who shape, create and innovate products to further surfing, ASR and SIMA debuted a special area dedicated to the surf hard goods market. Retailers swarmed to see the 20 surfboard shapers and surfboard material producers exhibiting in the ASR/SIMA Board Builders’ Pavilion. “We learned a lot in the Board Builder’s Pavilion, where we are able to see new trends first such as quad fin bat tail boards,” says Leo Herrera, ZJ’s Boarding House in Santa Monica. Buyers and media from around the world used the Pavilion as a place to learn about the future of surfboard manufacturing, while also having the opportunity to meet with legendary shapers.

Having a community of builders in the Pavilion built a new optimism in the surf board shaping world following last year’s closing of Clark Foam. “The Board Builder’s Pavilion brought everyone together in a central location. While we have smaller booths individually, collectively we have a giant presence at ASR,” says Ned McMahon, GM of Home Blown Surf Blanks. Robert Hartman at Aviso, a new carbon fiber surfboard technology brand, also appreciated the unification of builders provided by the Pavilion, “This area helps to unite what is a fragmented industry in many ways.” Hartman added that an enormous amount of work was done, “We’ve taken a HUGE number of orders and set up distribution throughout Europe, Asia. This is the platform for our exponential growth on the east and west coasts.”

The Reef Board Build-Off drew thousands of show attendees to the Board Builder’s Pavilion to bid on unique, collector boards built specifically to be auctioned off for charity. All together the auction raised over $20,000 for charities of each shaper’s choice, with Rich Pavel's board going for the high bid of $3,700.

Green Steps
Green Steps environmental initiatives at ASR include; a fully wind energy powered event, expanded recycling efforts sponsored by OP, the ASR Line Up printed on recycled paper, recycled paper badges printed with soy ink, recycled show bags and recycled aisle carpet. Within the aisles of ASR, established and emerging surf, skate, snow, swim, lifestyle and youth culture brands are launching expanded lines of sustainable and organic product for fall 2007.

“What ASR is doing to protect the environment and what it represents is at the forefront of the action sports sustainability movement,” says Frank Scura, President of the Action Sports Environmental Coalition. “It shows how united our industry’s becoming on every environmental front.” The combination of sustainable event production efforts and sustainable product lines gave ASR January a lower impact, ‘green’ glow.

Goldbox Mission
A priority for many at ASR is not only to pinpoint the latest trends, but also scope out the next big labels. ASR’s Goldbox Mission presented by Boost Mobile, a section of new, up-and-coming brands, makes that task possible even in a packed schedule. The number of art driven, lifestyle brands tripled in size from its debut a year earlier with 36 labels. This allowed the box to place even more creative energy and entrepreneurial spirit at buyers’ fingertips.

Brands rooted first in the boutique market such as Scrapbook, Ed Hardy Shoes and Lifetime use ASR to reach out beyond fashion boutiques to action sport’s top specialty retailers. “The Goldbox gives us a chance to take a look at brands that fly under the radar that we may have otherwise missed,” says Anthony Walsh, Owner of Shaka in Ukiah, CA. On the flipside action sports rooted labels, met with boutique and specialty buyers in the Goldbox. Atwater, an up-and-coming surf lifestyle brand from Orange County, was so packed with appointments on the opening day that the brand’s President, Dean Bradley, says he was still showing their line to a retailer when ASR lights were turned off. Also, skate eyewear brand, Brigada, debuted in the Goldbox to an astonishingly high number of orders over the 3-days.

A DJ, bar, and comfortable area to hang out made the Goldbox Mission a meeting place for ASR attendees throughout the day. Boost Mobile’s ‘Goldbox Looks’ filled the section with even more attitude as the high energy Boost Girls took to platforms in the area modeling new products from Goldbox exhibitors.

The ASR Runway Show presented by Foam Magazine highlighted young contemporary fall trends found throughout ASR. Putting the fashion in motion gave buyers a complete picture of what will be hot next season.

Adding more skateboarding action to the event was Matix’s Lord of the Lines. Ronnie Creager was the lord of the manual pad, flat bar and up ledge to win first place and $10,000. Joey Brezinski and Dennis Busenitz pulled down 2nd and 3rd place for the remainder of the $15,000 prize purse. The mini-ramp went off throughout ASR with the next big things in skate sharing time with skateboarding legends.

Be sure to catch ASR Holiday, May 23-24, 2007 at the Orange County Fairgrounds!


ASR, a division of VNU Expositions, is a full service tradeshow whose goal is to create, market and produce high quality tradeshows and educational conferences.  ASR is the leading action sports industry trade event, bringing together top manufacturers, retailers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of surf, skate, snow, swim, style, moto and youth culture.  Now in its 26th successful year, ASR gathers over 500 action sports brands and approximately 7,000 retail buyers and decision makers three times a year, with Spring and Summer season shows in San Diego and ASR Holiday at the Orange County Fairgrounds. For additional information regarding ASR, please contact Lora Bodmer at Deep Communications by phone, 949.200.7134, email,, or check out