SIMA Surf Summit A Rioghteous Affair

This year’s Surf Summit events were many and varied. Surf Diva offered surf
lessons each morning at “Old Mans”, the infamous Cabo Crawl on Friday night
enlisted hearty souls into debauchery and revelry, and the standard
beach/surf/poolside business chats were the norm as well. Oh yeah, I almost
forgot, there was a mild uprising after game 5 of Laker V. Spurs. Not sure if we
should be proud or embarrassed, I think it depends on your nationality (and your
age). Either way, riots make great photo opportunities and help break those
uncomfortable and awkward silent moments when, later on, you find yourself
speaking with someone you don’t really know.

“So how about that riot last night…”

Of course there were also a series of informative and sometimes lively
seminars scheduled throughout the summit. One of the most contentious
was entitled “Shaping the Future: How the Changing Surfboard Market Will Affect
Your Business”. Royce Cansler of Billabong moderated a contentious but respectful
(for the most part) panel that included …Lost’s Matt Biolas, Rusty
Preisendorfer, Surftech’s Randy French, Hansen surfboard’s Josh Hansen, and Todd
Roberts of ZJ Boarding house. Two things came out of this meeting that were a
step in the right direction. Firstly, the panel shared in meaningful, respectful
dialogue. This isn’t entirely unexpected, however it should be noted that perhaps
no topic boils with as much passion as who, how and where our beloved surfboard
is created. Secondly, the Board Retailers Association (BRA) agreed to facilitate
the training of the retail sales force through a series of seminars. commends this group for steps in the right direction and hopes to
see more dialogue in the near future. To paraphrase Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight’s
keynote speech: We are not the enemy, let’s grow the pond and we all win.

With the closing ceremonies, AKA the SIMA Image Awards presented by the ASG,
preceding game 6 of the Lakers V. Spurs match up anxiety draped itself in the air
like a stale beach towel. Luckily the importance of these awards, Laker game or
no Laker game, to the entire surf industry was not undervalued. Proper kudos were
handed out in a patient and timely manner to all the deserving nominees and

SIMA IMAGE AWARD: Categories and Winners

  • Print Ad Campaign of the Year – Quiksilver
  • Product Innovation of the Year – O’Neill Superfreak Boardshort
  • Breakthrough Brand of the Year – RVCA
  • Retailer of the Year – Huntington Surf n Sport (Aaron Pie)
  • Board Builder of the Year – Channel Islands
  • Manufacturer of the Year – Billabong

Looking forward to next year. Ciao.