At the September 2015 Surf Expo intertwined between the surfboard and swimwear booths you would find all sorts of gear and accessories like watches, video cameras and bags and hats of all sorts. All the gear and accessory exhibitors try to show new products that match surf lifestyle trends. This year, there were a few brands that were rolling out new products that were a continuation from products that they showed last January and there were brands that did not come with any new products or upgrades to last year’s products. The gear and accessory vendor who stole the spotlight this year with a product for all practical reasons did not change except for the product graphics was “Freaker”. They did have add new graphic designs to their cool insulators but that did not generate more foot traffic to their booth. What generated the foot traffic at this year’s show was the band, Harmonica Lewinskies, they had in their booth. They brought the house down with their garage – grunge music.
The following is a summary of noteworthy outdoor gear and accessory brands that were exhibiting their new lines for fall 2015 and spring of 2016.
QUIKSILVER – Coming in November just in time for holiday shopping, Quiksilver is rolling a new line of watches. Many of the watch bands are silicone and retail for about $50.00. With this price point, these watches are sure to be a big hit. All the new watches coming out in the fall are rated to 10 atmospheres (ATM) / 100 Meters. The styles shown in the slide show are The Big Wave, The Addictiv and The Guide. There were 14 other new men’s watch styles coming out. Also on display were 17 new Roxy watch styles. When comparing the price point for these watchers, you can a new watch for every occasion for the price of one expensive surfing watch by other major brands.
ICEMULE COOLERS – A new entry into the soft-side cooler niche market is the IceMule Cooler. This is a lightweight, highly packable cooler that can keep beverages and food cold for up to 24 hours. It can even be rolled up in to its own stuff sack for storage. What makes this cool work is the fact that it is not sewn together and it has no zippers and sewn seams. It has a double-layered shell and is fully waterproof. You know how those waterproof bags roll up at the top, fold over and clip shut? The IceMule Cooler is built the same way. All IceMule Cooler come with a shoulder strap for carrying making it highly portable. Click HERE for a video from Surf Expo.
CHUMS – Chums is one of those iconic brands that you can find in almost any surf or outdoor gear retailer. They are known for their eyeglass retainer which comes in a rainbow of colors. The new Mossy Oak camo original eyeglass retainer was a big hit. At this Surf Expo, they exhibited their entire new Latitude collection of nylon and Storm water resistant bags.
FREAKER – What can one say about the one size fits all bottle or glass insulator. As they say, “Designed in Wilmington, NC and made in the FREAKIN’ USA”. Zack Carin, CEO and ringleader is Mr. Freaker. Zack is just crazy. When Freaker comes to Surf Expo, Zack and the Freaker is the show. He knows how to draw a crowd. Just before the end of the second day of Surf Expo, a garage – punk band from Rochester, New York called the Harmonica Lewinskis started playing at the booth. The more they played, the bigger the crowd got. They were smoking hot. Click HERE for a Surf Expo video of the Harmonica Lewinskis on stage. What a great way to end a Friday evening at Surf Expo. Oh, I almost forgot, the Freaker insulator is the best ever and it comes many different designs.
MOTOPED – The Motoped is a downhill mountain crossed with a moped. It comes in three basic configurations, commuter, off road or survival bike. With the 49cc motor, the bike can deliver between 80-130 MPG. Here in Florida, if a motorcycle has a motor less than 50ccs then you do not need a motorcycle license or an endorsement on your driver’s license. This makes the Motoped an ideal mode of transportation. In addition, according to Motoped “With proper engine certifications MOTOPEDS® can be equipped with larger engine displacements, achieving more power and speeds that can transform the MOTOPED® into a back-country, trail-eating monster.” Click HERE to watch a Motoped video. Click HERE to watch another video. It will not be long before you see these nifty bikes buzzing all around the countryside.
PUKKA – This brand of surfing hats has a wide selection of every occasion. They have a booth at both the January and September Expos. This Expo they showed their “Big Fit” hat size. Great to see that a snapback had design was created for guys with big heads. Pukka made it easy for buyers to add 12 “Big Fit” hats to any minimum order of 48 hats at no extra charge except the cost of the 12 hats.
RAW ELEMENTS SUNSCREEN – This is the second Expo for this sunscreen brand. This show they rolled out their new Raw Elements Tint sunscreen. When applied it blends into almost any skin color.
SIMBI – Simbi is one of those brands that works every day to make the lives of Haitian people better. Every Simbi high quality, handcrafted surf lifestyle accessory & Fashion line product that is sold helps the Haitian economy. All the products are made in Haiti by Haitian using Haitian materials. At this September show, the new braded cloth bracelets are fabricated from scraps of colored cloth discarded by clothing manufacturers in the island. Not only are the bracelets helping the economy, they are eco-friendly.
PELICAN CASES – When participating in outdoor activities in a digital age, outdoor enthusiast like to take along all their electronic gear. Because one never know when it will rain or you gear bag will get soaked with water while boating, kayaking or riding on a SUP, you might just need a water proof case. Pelican has been making rugged outdoor cases for the past thirty plus years. Their cases are being used today by firefighters, police, armed services, aerospace applications, in the entertainment industrial and by photographers and outdoor people everywhere. Pelican builds their products to last a lifetime. They currently have seven manufacturing locations in North America, Europe and Australasia. This means that you are never far from a Pelican seller anywhere in the world. The next time you are looking for an offshore waterproof case, give Pelican a try. You will not be disappointed.
DAKINE – What can you say about one of surfing iconic brands? You see their products everywhere surfers and beachgoers gather. On display at their booth were six different backpacks constructed with a new blue and white tropical and red and blue zig zag printed fabrics. See slide show. These new printed fabrics really made the backpacks pop. When they hit the shelves later this year, they should be real popular.
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.