The Surf Expo is an annual surf and skate trade show that is put together every year at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. This is the most popular surf and skate trade show for the last twenty years, and the most recent year was absolutely no exception to the rule. This year’s show had tricked out beach cruisers, environmentally friendly surf products, custom stand up paddleboards and a whole lot more. The Action Sports Environmental Coalition Green Room showed off alternative shoes, clothing and wax for a more environmentally friendly surfing and skating experience. The Action Sports Environmental Coalition, or ASEC, is looking to empower people to adopt a much more sustainable lifestyle while embracing their current lifestyle, spreading eco-education in the process.
There were plenty of eye catching goodies at the expo this year, including a life-size clay sculpture of Kelly Slater, a nine time Association of Surfing Professionals world champion. The statue was put on display in the convention center’s center row. The sculpture was created by Natasha Drazich, an artist who calls Florida her home, and it was designed to feature Kelly Slater performing his signature surfing move, which is called a front side cutback. Surfers who call Cocoa Beach their home have dubbed the statue “The Kelly Slater Project”, and they are proposing that a life size bronze version be sculpted in order to create interest, as well as to serve as a center point for visitors to the area. They also believe that Brevard County could be enriched by installing such a public art project.
Another fun eye catcher was a proposed specialty license plate that was on display at the East Coast Surfing’s Hall of Fame booth, which said “Let’s Go surfing”. The concept is still largely in its infancy, but if it is eventually approved by the state, then the proceeds from its sale will go to organizations based in Florida.
The annual Surf Expo is looked upon as the largest and the most successful trade show for surfing and skating in the entire world. It has taken place in the Orlando, Florida convention center for at least the past decade or so. Despite the slowed economy, the expo had not taken a hit, and was still quite busy and filled with people coming from all over the Midwest and the east coast. There was plenty of traffic and there were plenty of sales.
There was a lot to do and see, including some pretty awesome stand up paddle boards, which are expected to become extremely popular with the upcoming summer. There were a lot of big name companies at the expo, including Billabong, O’Neill and Quicksilver along with a lot of smaller, independently owned companies and surf shops as well. South Asian based manufacturers definitely managed to position themselves as the heart of the show, as they sold products at reduced rates including surf boards, body boards, skim boards and wet suits.