Surfindaddy checked out the 2007 Surf Expo held at the Orange County Convention Center so that we could share a few of the trends for the coming year.
Surf Expo is pretty awesome in scope – over 250,000 sq ft of booth space, in excess of 1000 booths, in a hall that is approximately 600,000 sq ft! In order to see and highlight it all, we’d have had to have gone all four days, and this article would be massive in length. Still, in the few hours we spent at Surf Expo, we met a lot of nice folks, and saw some really unique products. So, without further ado, here, for your viewing and reading pleasure are a few of the fun, interesting, and innovative things that we found!
The year 2007 is all about THE FISH. While obviously there is a demand for all sizes and shapes from short boards, thrusters and guns, fun shapes and retros, longboards and stand ups, all in all, we felt that the most popular board of the day is the fish.
No matter how you spell it (Physh, anyone?),
whether you like an old school style with symmetrically foiled fins or the new style with a single sided foil, Fish are the new short board. The folks at 9 Fish Surf have got you covered! It was fun talking to Matt, Wayne & Sunny – they’re some great and enthusiastic young guys on a mission to make wave riding easier.
And speaking of making wave riding easier, have you seen the latest in body boards endorsed highly by none other than Tom Morey? It’s called the Wave Skater, and the technology behind it’s manufacture is the best in it’s category. Whether you want something that your little groms can learn on, or you want something that will make it more comfortable for you to keep up with your off-the-lip popping hotshot teen, you gotta check this out. It’s soft, but firm closed cell – won’t become a sponge – color is integrated throughout the material, it’s mold resistant and designed to be super easy to maneuver! Bruce Blumenfeld, the founder and designer (in the yellow below) is a darned nice guy – down to earth and friendly just like his body board.
While at the show, we stopped by to say hello to our local contingent which included Erie Peeples (Erie Surfboards) with Protocol Boarding Company:
Tony (aka Surfindaddy – pictured below with Mike Roberts) loved this fun shape by Shane for it’s old school styling and it’s modern rocker and flow:
We stopped and talked for a bit with Doug Simpson who is using the space age technology employed in boat racing and by NASA to make a stream-
lined new style fin that increase lift and decrease drag. It’s an interesting concept, one that Tony would like to try . . .
There was just so much to see! Check out this radical copper and wood trimmed Harley hanging out at Rich Price Designs:
Checking out the Al Merrick Channel Islands booth, we found some cool color change boards as well as stand up boards with beautiful, lightweight carbon fiber paddles.
Reef has sponsored a board “build-off” on both East and West Coasts, and while we haven’t yet heard who won, Surfindaddy had two favorites:
First, a wild and wacky 3D design you really had to see in person to believe – these photos don’t do it justice – by Rich Price:
and second, this fantastic carved balsa by Ricky Carroll:
If you’re a skateboarder, Surf Expo didn’t leave you out – there was a large area devoted to skateboarding and gear along with a 35K Pro and Am Skate Contest sponsored by Volcom – we didn’t try to watch as it was too crowded for us! But having walked through the area earlier in the day, we can tell you that Volcom’s tent was not just Hip – it was pure hippie – take it from us – we grew up in the late 60’s early 70’s!
While skateboarding is not really our thing, there were some really cool boards at the Expo – take a look at these by Soul Ryde Longboards:
Finally, and just for fun, Tony enjoyed having his photo taken with a number of legends in the surfing world:
Herbie Fletcher whose artboards have been in high demand for 40 plus years:
(gotta read his site – fun stuff each week)
Hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into Surf Expo 2007! Be sure to check out the latest Surfing photos at Kaycees Pix Gallery! Happy Surfing!
Tony & Kay