Sorry for going missing out of the blue the past few days. I was whisked away to a large convention center in Orlando filled with beautiful boards, amazing beach gear, rad folks, and pretty much anything board/surf/beach/water you’d want to buy.
I was at the Surf Expo. And man oh man was it a good time.
Seriously. People started handing our beers at 3 pm on day one, and the next thing I knew it I was busting a move in front of the Reef booth. (They had a DJ, I wasn’t the only one.)
I love the surf industry, what it represents, and the people associated with it, so I was pretty pumped when Surf Expo invited me back again this year to check it out. ( Here’s last year’s post, in case you missed it.)
There was a plethora of radness, so I figured I’d bullet point out this bad boy before it turns into a novel.
Ready beaches? I thought so. Vamos.
Fist off, boards:
The Surfboards by Donald Takayama booth had me at hello. I kind of just stared at his longboards (and scorpion 2 – aka my dream board at the moment) and fell in love. Yes, I might’ve broken my longboard a week ago, so longboards looked extra juicy to me.
The Haydenshapes boards and booth were straight up eye candy. Just looking at them and talking to their (super nice) made me feel like I’m a much better surfer than I am. The overall simple, yet badass aesthetic of the brand, the new shapes (and updates on current shapes) how freaking lightweight they all are are. So. Much. Yum.
Then, Surftech is partnering up with Gerry Lopez again and is also making a foil board. High five for that.
And finally, the firewire, Machado Go Fish is still also on my board bucket list. I just wanted to hug it when I saw it.
Then, if you’re a fan of skateboards or foam boards, Penny Australia – has the brightest happiest looking boards, ever. Their new collab with Andy Davis (An artist I absolutely adore) – and the shaka board in the capsule reminds me of my dad if he’d grow out his hair.
Oh crap, this is turning into a novel…
This should be shorter:
Seafolly won the award for favorite bikini of the show (it was a tropical print one, go figure. I’ll link to it once it’s available to buy.)
Maui and Sons brought me back to my childhood and stealing all my older brother’s tee shorts, and they had some amazing tropical print shirts
Sanuk has these slip-on shoes in their Puff N’ Chill collection that resembles am ombre rainbow sleeping bag…and made my feet do a happy dance.
Favorite sunglasses = Electric women. The lenses even have melanin in them. Plus they’re the classic, surf-y, tough, and not too trendy shapes & shades I love.
Then, LIRA is a company I just learned about, and they had these belted wide leg jeans and buttery soft tees I wanted to live in. Maybe while wearing some Sanuk sleeping bag shoes.
And last but not least, gear.
Dakine got the award for coolest tropical printed coolers, backpacks, and stuff to carry anything to or around the beach or water.
The Kala Ukulele booth, along with all their beautiful ukuleles (and people playing their ukuleles) made me smile. I also got to meet Mandy Harvey, who was there promoting a ukulele she designed with them. So cool.
Da fin was da bomb. As expected. Especially the new colors of kicks fins.
If you’re looking for a (fair trade and handmade) hammock (like I am), CIELO had some jaw-droppers. Plus they were handing out shots of tequila. But really, their luxury crochet numbers were stunners.
Saltwater Hippie won the award for the best-looking booth (again)- VW surf bus, everything vintage/folk, orange terracotta mustardy hues. The only thing missing was Matthew McConaughey from Dazed and Confused.
And finally, a few notes…
It was cool how little plastic was used anywhere, and how many companies were selling or promoting reusable straws, and things like YETI/reusable beverage containers.
Also, the amount of reef safe sunscreen is on the rise. Raw elements has my vote (they also had an amazing booth. I’m a big fan of their branding/vibe.)
I love how Surf Expo highlights the shapers. (It has live board shaping as well as has interesting exhibits throughout the convention center.)
The free beverages weren’t too shabby (and were served in reusable containers – Bravo to Reef for the aluminum cups with bottle openers on the bottom, and 4 Ocean for your aluminum/reusable keg cups)
It all got me thinking, how the heck do buyers decide on what to carry in their stores? Gosh, if I had a store it’d be all over the place since there’s so much rad stuf…when it comes to surfing, and the beach.
So cheers to another surf Expo.
‘Twas a good time.
…And now, time to save up for that Donald Takayama.
*This post was Sponsored by Surf Expo. Thanks, Surf Expo for the fun trip, and thanks to you all for taking the time to check it out, and supporting companies who love Goldfish Kiss.