Industry News 10/14/2011

B$Z: SDSI News Wrap-Up


SDSI hires Lisa Freedman as Executive Director

Join SDSI in welcoming Lisa Freedman as the organization’s new Executive Director. Lisa brings to SDSI nearly 20 years of business development, management, marketing, operations and event production experience. SDSI Executive Chairman, Bill Walton, is very happy to bring Lisa to the team as she has “the guidance and foresight SDSI needs to continue to grow into the organization we all envision; one that is the frontrunner for sports innovation, entrepreneurship, business creation and collaboration.”  Lisa has worked on some of the world’s most prestigious sporting events including NFL Super Bowls, MLB all Star Games, multiple Winter and Summer Olympic Games and even a few awards shows in Hollywood.  Lisa is eager to meet the SDSI community and members and welcomes industry entrepreneurs, movers and shakers to reach out. Read full press release at TransWorld Business,, Shop-Eat-Surf, San Diego Metro. Contact Lisa at

SDSI CEO Dream Team Luncheon sponsored by Security Business Bank is now open to SDSI members

Security Business Bank has graciously opened this previously invite-only event to SDSI’s CEO members at a limited first-come-first-serve capacity. The CEO Dream Team Luncheon series provides a unique opportunity for CEOs to share successes, challenges, confidential business strategies and management techniques for overcoming obstacles and accelerating growth. The November 9 Luncheon at PETCO Park will feature Jeff Moorad President and Owner of the San Diego Padres. If you are interested in attending the November 9 luncheon please RSVP to Renne Catalano at with your first and last name, company and title. You will be contacted if there is room to accommodate your interest.

Save the Date - November 15!  SDSI presents: Why SDSI? Hear first hand from the faces behind SDSI

Mark your calendars, for the next SDSI event.  Help SDSI welcome Executive Director Lisa Freedman as well as our newest members. Hear from SDSI members, the SDSI advisory board, Lisa and Bill as to why they chose to be part of an organization that has become home to sports innovation, entrepreneurship, business creation and collaboration.  More details will follow.

Do you have a track record of managing and growing sports related companies, brands or products? SDSI Springboard program needs you!

SDSI is looking for mentors to advise our sport minded entrepreneurs and early stage companies through the CONNECT Springboard program; a FREE mentoring program where innovators and entrepreneurs are matched with experienced, C-level executives - CEOs, CMOs and CFOs - to develop a compelling business model and investor pitch. Give back, help entrepreneurs avoid some of the mistakes you wish you didn’t make and gain first exposure to some of the breakthrough technology, ideas and brands developing in Southern California. Read more here.

VAVi’s Del Mar Mud Run to benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation

Don’t forget to Get Dirty in Del Mar at the Del Mar Mud Run sponsored by VAVi Sports and Social Club. SDSI is happy to announce that this year the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a long time partner and friend of SDSI, will be the main beneficiary. If we can help meet the goal to raise $5,000, CAF will present a bike or hand-cycle on stage to a disabled athlete during the awards ceremony.  It’s not too late to create a fundraising page and help VAVi and CAF hit their goal!  Top 200 fundraisers who raise $100 or more will also get access to the privately hosted VIP party. Check out the fundraising page here.

SKLZ hires CFO

SKLZ, the industry leader in sports performance training and skill development products named Stefan Karnavas as chief financial officer. "Stefan brings a broad set of financial management skills and a track record of partnering with operating teams, customers and vendors to support and drive growth. This is an important addition to our management team as we continue to grow the SKLZ brand across the U.S. and internationally," said John Sarkisian SKLZ CEO and SDSI advisory board member.  Read full press release here.  The fun work environment SKLZ prides itself on creating may be influential in the continued growth of the SKLZ team.  SKLZ was featured on CarlsbadPatch for balancing high sales and profits with a fun and competitive atmosphere.  Sarkisian says “it’s all about balancing work and play.”  Read fill article here.

Mossimo joins The Wheat Group advisory board

Fashion industry icon, Mossimo Giannulli, launched the Mossimo beach lifestyle brand nearly 25 years ago out of his father’s garage.  The company now does $2 million annually in global sales. As a member of The Wheat Group advisory board, Mossimo will provide insight into retail and fashion. Brothers Chad Grismer, CEO and Kelly Grismer, President, initially launched The Wheat Group from their small ocean-front surf and skate shop in San Diego. Today, the company serves nearly every tier of retail distribution and licenses the accessory categories for Hurley, Skullcandy, PUMA, Cobra Golf and Modern Amusement.  Read full press release at Shop-Eat-Surf and more about The Wheat Group at

Member Spotlight- Liquid Force family tree - featured in TransWorld Business

Fate was met 26 years ago when Tony Finn and Jimmy Redmon were placed at adjacent booths at a trade show in 1985.  What started as a friendly, competitive relationship, lead to the creation of a world renowned sport, wakeboarding, and one of the world’s leading wakeboard brands and manufacturers with Liquid Force. Looking for alternatives to waterskiing and surfing, Finn and Redmon created waterboards that could essentially “surf” the wake behind a boat. Finn’s model, the “Skurfer,” was shaped very similar to a surfboard.  Redmon’s water ski board, produced by his Redline Designs, was a bit lighter and the first to have foot straps. In 1991 Finn and Redmon joined forces and started Waketech. In 1993, after much research, testing and innovation, they produced the first twin-tip board, which would change the sport forever. From there, “launched on stoke, faith and a lot of energy,” Liquid Force was born. Read full story at TransWorld Business.

Luce Forward on social media and the workplace

Radical revolution. Breaking boundaries. Peak performance. Sounds like the last ten years in surfing, skating or riding, right? Probably. But that also describes the advances in personal communication platforms. These changes have altered how we all play, live and work. What was once spoken, or written and edited, is now instantly uploaded for all to see and hear. Coupled with eroding workplace boundaries, employers face new challenges with employees. In the article by Cordon T. Baesel, member and Co-Chair of the Action Sports Group at Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP, Baesel briefly discusses how these personal communication platforms (i.e., social or new media) are impacting the workplace and potentially increasing liability risks for employers.  Read full article at TransWorld Business.

Ludus Tours growing fast

Ludus Tours, a provider of complete travel, tour and hospitality packages to the world’s premiere sporting and cultural events, recently renewed its partnership with USA Track & Field as its official tour and hospitality provider offering USATF fan tour packages to Pan American Games, U.S.A. Team Trials and London Summer Games. Congratulations to Ludus Tours as well for being ranked the #2 top Travel Company on the 2011 Inc. 5000 Travel Companies List and #4 on San Diego Business Journal's 2011 Fastest Growing Private Companies.

State of the employment market, 2011 survey - read more AND TAKE PART! and TransWorld Media are partnering on a mission to get the down-low on the current state of the action sports employment market.  The results of the survey, along with a separate, targeted employer survey, will be released in the December issue of TransWorld Business and made available on  Help the industry get a better sense of the current mood of the employees and job seekers by participating in the Employee and Job Candidate Survey here. Read more at and TransWorld Business.

Last days to register for BRA and SIMA Industry Bootcamp

It’s time again in the Boot Camp series, for Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) and Board Retailers Association (BRA) to bring both manufacturers and retailers together for Industry Boot Camp. This full day event includes keynote Kelly Gibson, president and CEO, Rip Curl USA as well as roundtable and panel discussions on a range of topics including state of the industry, new vs. traditional marketing, PR and media, generation Why, best practices, social media and much more.  For more details and registration for this October 23 event, click here. Registration deadline is October 17.

Don’t be marked as an amateur!

Investors all have an internal switch that can flip in a meeting with an entrepreneur.  What can an entrepreneur say in an investor meeting that instantly marks them as an amateur? Fourteen investors from Boston chimed in on what triggers their “armature alarm”.  Read full Column here.

New green furniture company features legendary surfers

Nomad Mobili, a new green furniture company inspired by California mid-century design, launched at the Sacred Craft Consumer Surf Expo this past weekend.  The line features pieces by legendary surfboard shapers Carl Ekstrom, Tim Bessell and Ned McMahon. The furniture is made from soy-based polyurethane foam manufactured by Malama Composites. Each piece is surfaced with natural fiber cloth and bio-based epoxy resin produced by Entropy. Audi A8 water-based automotive paint was used to achieve the high-performance satin finishes. Nomad Mobili was founded by David Saltman. Read more at North County Times, Shop-Eat-Surf and Surfersvillage.

Sacred Craft wrap up, photos and videos

This year’s Sacred Craft Consumer Surfboard Expo, which provides an opportunity for shapers, surfboard craftsman and surfboard manufacturers to come together and share their passion with the surfboard-loving public was the largest to date. Over 6000 attended the Expo at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  The 160 booths included SDSI members Hydroflex Technologies, Boardworks Surf and SurfAid International. Wayne Rich won his second Tribute to the Masters Shape-off Competition and Daniel Thomson of Tomo Surfboards in Encinitas won “Best of Show”.  Read full press release and view photos and interviews at TransWorld Business.

TransparentSea crew pulls into San Diego

TransparentSea is an awareness campaign - championed by professional surfer Dave Rastovich - aiming to bring awareness to coastal environmental issues, specifically focusing on whales and dolphins and the waters they inhabit. The first voyage (Byron Bay to Bondi, Australia, 2009) successfully highlighted the plight of humpback whales and the threat faced by Japanese whaling fleets. The TransparentSea crew is now on its second voyage from Santa Barbara to Baja to trace the southern migration of the California Grey Whale. Join the crew as they dock in San Diego on October 23.  There will be a screening of the documentary Minds in the Water, followed by live a concert by Band of Frequencies, an art show and an auction - all  in support of Surfer’s for Cetaceans (S4C) and other ocean minded charities.  Learn more here.

Billabong recognized by United Nations for social change

Billabong was one of 10 companies recognized by the United Nations and the Foundation for Social Change at the Global Conference for Social Change last week in New York City. Companies and organizations who received the “Leaders of Change” award demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the pursuit of sustainability by embedding environmental and social performance in the competitive strategy of the firm or organization. Read full story at Shop-Eat-Surf.

Hurley names new CEO

Hurley and Nike Inc. name Mike Egeck as new CEO of Hurley.  Egeck brings nearly 30 years of experience to Hurley from the apparel industry, most recently working for True Religion Jeans, VF Corporation and Seven For All Mankind. “With his wide-ranging experience and passion for the industry we are confident he will lead Hurley into its next phase of growth,” said Roger Wyett, former CEO Hurley and current president of Nike Affiliates which oversees Hurley.  Read full press release at Shop-Eat-Surf.

California Surf Festival kicks off today

The 4th Annual California Surf Festival, produced by and benefiting the California Surf Museum, is a four-day, fundraising festival filled with events, music, movies, surf-culture and awards. Kids 18 years and under can enter the “Big Shorts from Little Groms” - a competition of short films on any subject within the action sports genre. The finalists are judged on Sunday by a group of action sports filmmakers. Feature films such as First Love by Claire Gorman (West Coast Premiere) and Oceanside by Lorène Carpentier (USA Premiere) among others. Short films and presentation of the “Silver Surf Award” are other highlights.  Full press release at Shop-Eat-Surf and Festival details at

Shaun White launches new brand

Shaun White is launching his own brand, Shaun White Supply Co., which - in collaboration with D6 Sports - will create a wide range of products including bikes, skateboards, helmets, stunt scooters, ramps and rails. The company website, went live earlier this month. Look for the official launch this weekend in conjunction with the Dew Tour. Read more at TransWorld Business.