Surf Expo, a watersports and coastal lifestyle tradeshow, kicked off 2024 with a robust gathering filled with top exhibitors, important retail buyers, and exciting industry events.
“It was amazing to be in Orlando with the Board Sports and Coastal Life communities in early January at Surf Expo,” said Surf Expo SVP and Show Director Roy Turner. “The tradeshow floor was buzzing with a positive vibe and optimism as brands presented new products to buyers for 2024. Surf Expo was able to connect buyers from the United States and abroad with a wide array of manufacturers across multiple categories all related to the beach lifestyle.”
The show, which featured hundreds of brands across the surf, bluewater, shoreline, boutique, coastal gift, footwear, paddle, resort, skate, souvenir, and swim categories, welcomed nearly 800 contracted exhibitors, Turner notes.
He adds the show saw a lot of growth in boutique exhibitors as well as footwear.
The show also included a busy lineup of events.
“It’s been a few years since Reef has exhibited at Surf Expo, and it was great to get back in the mix on the show floor,” said Reef VP of Sales Mike Matey. “There was good energy and traffic, and our appointment calendar was booked solid all three days. We loved the open booth format and the variety of brands exhibiting.”
The section of the floor showcasing surf hardgoods, the heart and soul of the surf industry, was particularly vigorous, with a wide range of brands exhibiting including Firewire, Slater Designs, Channel Islands, Lost, Wave Riding Vehicles, Sharp Eye, and many more, according to a press release.
“January’s Surf Expo delivered great value for Firewire and Slater Designs,” said Firewire Surfboards CEO Dylan Slater. “The opportunity to connect in person with so many high-quality retail partners from all over the country while showcasing our brand story and products proved to be incredibly productive. We look forward to returning!”
While providing a venue for retailers to find new products is a key component of the show, Surf Expo is about more than the gear. In addition to the busy sales floor, Surf Expo hosted free professional learning labs, multiple fashion shows, and several happy hours and industry parties. The Florida Shape-Off, the annual surfboard shaping contest and exhibition that promotes the craft of hand-shaping surfboards, was won by Jordan Brazie of Valaric Surfboards. In addition, the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame inducted 11 new honorees during a gala ceremony at the show, the press release notes.
“Surf Expo was able to bring together incredible people from all corners of the surfing and beach business community, opening doors for opportunities, making new acquaintances, and celebrating the business of Surf,” Turner said. “All in all, it was an exciting event to kick off 2024.”
Surf Expo will return Sept. 5-7, 2024, to the Orange County Convention Center’s West Concourse. Find out more about attending, exhibiting, sponsorships, or other opportunities at www.Surfexpo.com.