Melbourne, Florida – September 19, 2015 – The semi-annual surf lifestyle trade show is one for the books. It ended on Saturday, September 12th at 3:00 PM after a three day run. This September over 2,600 booths, 7,500 store fronts and over 26,000 buyers, sellers and media crowded in the North / South halls at the Orange County Convention Center to see, talk about and place orders for new surf lifestyle products coming out later this year or during the spring of 2016. Trade shows like Surf Expo offer surf lifestyle marketers one of the best ways to get surf, skate, wake, sup, wind swim, boutique, resort, coastal gift and performance products and brands in front of a lot of customers in a relatively short amount of time. Surf Expo gives the Surf Lifestyle Brand sales and marketing teams the opportunity to not only show their products, but also create that all important first impression (How Stuff Works).
Surf Expo is collection of sights and sounds. Booths of all shapes and sizes abound the convention center hall floor. The following is a summary of noteworthy outdoor apparel brands that were exhibiting their new collections for fall 2015 and spring of 2016.
Kühl ® – This is the first time Kühl ® has attended Surf Expo. Their booth was really empty most of the show. Greg Smith, Kühl® sales rep, said during an interview by atombash.com that he was not surprised that the Kühl ® booth had little traffic. He said that it can take up to three years before a new brand starts to get recognized. But, if you are a real outdoor mountain and hiking gear and clothing junkie, you know Kühl®. This brand was started back in 1983 as Alfwear with their Peruvian-inspired Alf hat. Later in 1990 the brand was born. Today Kühl ® is top manufacturer of men’s outdoor rugged pants. The design of all the Kühl ® men’s pant styles are truly amazing. The design, construction, fit and trim cannot be found in any other brand. You can find other great outdoor clothing in these categories: Jackets, Outerwear, Long & Short Sleeve Shirts, Fleece, Merino Wool, Shorts, Hats, Performance & Travel, and Boys. In addition to the men’s lineup, the women’s line has Skirts, Skorts and Dresses.
HOWLER BROTHERS – This brand is a Surf Expo mainstay. You can depend on them to roll out new cool clothing and hat styles each season. The new 2015 fall lineup was on display in all its glory. You can see all the new stuff on their webpage. Click HERE for the 2015 lineup. Also Howler Bothers has a partnership with Smith Optics where they created two pairs of cool sunglasses, a new hat and two shirts. You can check these new products out on their webpage. You watch Chace, one of the founders, and Mason show you some of their new fall clothing in a Surf Expo YouTube video. Click HERE to watch. You can purchase all their apparel on their webpage or from re-sellers like Sierra Trading Post or Backwoods.com.
HIPPY TREE – An interesting trend that has invaded the surf lifestyle market is the trend of outdoor mountain and hiking clothing being worn my skaters and surfers. One can suspect that if you live on the west coast where the surfing or skating along the California coast is just a short drive to the mountains, you would wear outdoor fit for both these sports. During the winter you can surf in the morning and drive to a ski area for afternoon or night skiing. Hippy Tree is one of those brands that cater to surfers, skaters and mountaineers. This brand has partnered with JanSport to create the Watchtower and Outbreak backpack. You can shop for Hippy Tree clothing online at REI and Backcountry.com.
MOJO GEAR – If you visited the Mojo booth you might find Bobby Merritt or Denny Penry showing the new collection of Mojo outdoor apparel in the revamped Mojo booth which looked amazing. Each year since Mojo started exhibiting at Surf Expo their presence gained more momentum. This year was no exception. The Mojo booth was buzzing with buyers all three days. This brand is one of the fastest growing water sports brands known for their high quality, clothing functionality and durability. Just walking the Expo floor, one could see attendees wearing shirts that exhibited the recognizable Mojo logo. During an interview with Bobby Merritt, he let it slip that Disney visited the booth and was very interested in all the new apparel for the fall and spring of next year. Click HERE to find a location near you where you can purchase Mojo Gear.
A new addition to the entire collection were new shirts and shorts that were made from high technological advanced fabrics that will keep you cool and dry at the same time. In addition Mojo uses a revolutionary ComfortWeave fabric in some of their clothing that gives the wearer a UPF sun protection factor of 50+. In the bright sunshine here in Florida, sun protection is all the rage. Wearing Mojo UPF 50+ shirts will definitely give the outdoor aficionado the protection he or she needs. Click HERE to visit the Mojo webpage to see their collection of great outdoor apparel.
On January 14-16, 2016, 2015, the doors of the 2016 Surf Expo will open and the fun will begin all over again. It will be held at the Orange County Convention Center – NORTH & SOUTH CONCOURSE – 9899 International Drive – Orlando, Florida 32819. Will you be there?
Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.