Welcome to 2010! Time for another round up of the news from SurfExpo 2010 in Orlando!
Surfindaddy & Kay (cee) dropped in on Saturday, the last day for the show – January 16, 2010. Each year it seems there is an overriding theme – but sometimes trends stick for a while, and so it is this year – the big news is still all about the SUP – Stand Up Paddleboards! The thing Surfindaddy really likes about SUPs is that fact that when there is no surf, you can still have fun and get some exercise! One can explore the intra-coastal waterways, check out the local whitewater (if you have some near you) or fishing areas you just can’t get to any other way. We saw SUPs by all the major manufacturers and the prices are coming down.
This year, there was even a pool set up in the Convention Center so that those who wished to do so could give it a try – first hand. Surfindaddy would almost assuredly have given it a shot had we had more time to spend, but we knew we had a lot of ground to cover!
It seems like everybody we met had some form or another of SUP, and one of the most unique ones (or so Kay thought) was the inflatable model by C4 Waterman – the iSUP. This travel-friendly, nicely rigid inflatable includes a carry bag, hand pump and gauge.
The iSUP pictured above was in the Boardworks Surf booth – as was this great Hynson model shown with Surfindaddy.
As usual, there was lots of interesting artwork – both traditional (for your walls) and non-traditional – on boards. We thoroughly enjoy seeing all the sights each year:
Speaking of art, if you recall, last year we showed you the larger-than-life statue of Kelly Slater that was in the works:
Thanks to the fine work of artist Natasha Drazich, the statue is now well on it’s way:
It’s quite wonderful to see up close – so lifelike, and such a trademark Slater stance on the board!
We were also thrilled to meet again an old friend, Bruce Blumenfeld – of Wave Skater!
After a few hitches (losing their original manufacturer, for one) they’re back better and stronger than ever. The new manufacturer and design is better than ever, stronger, more durable, and has a nice textured surface now. We can’t wait ‘til it’s a little warmer to try out our new 48” Wave Skater Pro! (Hey, this is Florida afterall – water temp is currently 58 degrees, and Kay won’t stick a toe in ‘til it’s at least 75!) We also got to meet a couple of Wave Skater’s distributors. These are all great guys – Philip Little is from Titusville, Tony Girgenti the West Coast & Hawaii distributor – and their testimonials are a must read! We’ll try to be sure and post more info on the board this spring!
For those who are interested in skateboards, we did a quick detour into the skateboard area and met Craig Hiller of Bilt Surf & Skate where they were showing off some of their radical remote control skateboards!
We stopped by the Anderson Surfboards booth and chatted with Josh Farberow – what a nice guy! Surfindaddy talked to Josh about this modern alaia like model – I believe he called it a slip and glide – but memory may be faulty!
Now if you’ve invested in a large SUP, you already know that it’s a little tougher to tuck it under your arm as you head down to the beach! Why not check out SUP’s Porter? This is a unique design that will clean up easily – made of PVC, so no rust problems, big tires, easy and responsive to move! Folds up so it will easily fit in the back of your truck, SUV or minivan!
Next up is a really unique product – in fact, it was so unusual, that while we were looking at it, we didn’t fully comprehend it’s use – but after reading about it online, now it makes sense to us! Surf-Grip is a cool product to help you with bouancy when you’re body surfing. If you’re making a trip to an area of good surf and just can’t take your surf board or wave rider with you, these might make an easy and portable substitute – and I’ll bet they’d be perfect for those who currently bodysurf without any aids!
Our friends at Witz Sportcases have “prettied” up their line of cool waterproof cases! Check out the flowered cases! Surfindaddy uses his as a wallet and has carried one for at least the last 12 years – and he’s only on his second case (first one finally bit the dust at the hinge area – but only after being opened and shut several times a day for about 8 years!)
Okay, you’ve got your favorite board – but would you like to make it just a little faster down the line? Check out SNP – Surf Nano Products. This unique product goes on like a polish, but then bonds to the surface of your board creating a clear, hydrophobic “water shedding”, and UV resistant coating.
Hampton Cruiser was at the show with a number of their gorgeous beach cruisers and surf racks.
As was Stykor – we didn’t get to meet anyone in their booth, but their unique product certainly warrants being mentioned – if you carry your surfboard on a roof rack on a smaller car, you know that some more stability would really be a help!
True Ames surf fins have always held a special place in Surfindaddy’s heart, simply because of the beauty with which they do their job. We especially like the hand foiled glass on fins for fish, but all the fins they make are true works of art.
For some nice SUP’s to start out – check out Soflo Paddleboards! Great prices and bright colors!
You say you’d like to take your tunes and or your cell phone with you out in the lineup? Well, have no fear, Dry Case is here! Nice folks, and the prices seem very reasonable for the protection they provide!
Here’s a fun new idea for lacing tennis shoes! U-Lace is here – choose your favorite team colors, or a rainbow – you can now lace ‘em in any way you like!
We liked these ultra featherweight EVA shoes by Native Shoes – they come in many different retro designs and a rainbow of colors.
And speaking of versatile footwear, we ran into Christina Bracken at the show – she’s President of ZEM Gear (Zone of Endless Motion). She was wearing her ZEM shoes around the floor – they look fantastic! These can be used for a myriad of sports applications – the “stripes” are more than just a pretty decoration – they’re actually “Molded High-Frequency Tech Bands” which help to secure the foot during play. Designed to flex with the natural movement of the foot they provide ultimate stability and the needed comfort for many athletic activities. I took Christina’s picture but unfortunately caught her with her eyes closed (darned flash!) so you only get to see her product wearing foot!
Have you ever gotten tangled in your leash? I’m guessing most wave riders have at one time or another – and missed some nice waves because of it, too. Surf More XM has the perfect solution! It’s just a little weight that slides on the cord – not much mind you – you won’t even notice it’s there, but it will keep the cord from getting under foot. Jeff Michael showed me another product from Surf More XM that I was just wild about, a wax replacement! It is a traction surface that is virtually invisible on the board and has the unique property of being sticky in the water and not sticky out! Can’t get any better than that for a surfer!
As always, there are new products available for sun protection, and this one by Hawaiian Islands Creations seems like a great one! It offers 2X the waterproof, sweatproof and UVA protection of the leading product in their market – so check it out!
Finally, on our way out we stopped by the Body Glove booth and took a few pics of their new 4/3 super stretchy wetsuit. At about $250 retail, it’s a pretty sweet suit!
Well, that’s it for this years wrap up of Surf Expo, January 2010! Hope you enjoy reading about what’s new and fun for the coming season – and here are a few more pictures from our day: