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Nike 6.0 Continuing Push into Action-Sports Industry

Friday, April 4th, 2008

nike 6.0 logoNike’s push into the action-sports industry took another large step with the recent announcement of the upcoming 6.0 Lowers Pro. It will be held at Trestles in San Clemente, Ca. for the first stop of the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series April 29 to May 3, 2008. The ASP and WQS event will initially launch as a 4 Star for 2008, and as part of a three-year deal, will upgrade to a 6 Star in 2009 and 2010.

Nike’s venture into the action-sports world has been fun to watch. They went pretty hard after Jordy Smith, only to lose him to O’neill. Their signing of Dusty Payne to their surf team was huge for them, and their continued progression in this direction will bring a lot of positives to the world of surfing.

While the money for sponsorship contracts continues to move northward, the prize money for tour events has been relatively stagnant over recent years. Having an ‘outsider’ company with the deep pockets of Nike throw their name onto the tour scene will put pressure on the big boys(i.e. Quiksilver, Rip Curl, Billabong, O’neill) of the action-sports industry to up the ante. Production value for the WCT events still leaves a lot to be desired as well. As Nike 6.0 continues in this direction and eventually makes a move for ‘CT events I look forward to seeing what they will bring to the table when it comes to putting on events, as well as their production of webcasts.

nike 6.0

Posted in Brands, Surfing | 5 Comments »

Surface Skis: A Collaboration of Skiers

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

surface skisA new breed of corporation, Surface is independently run, funded, and promoted company. Their goals is not to “keep” up with the mainstream companies out there, rather, focus their energy on what they do best and love the most, skiing. Always open to new ideas and concepts, Surface has its heart in skiing and not the idea of gain and lucre of the corporate world. It’s a group of skiers, and friends that are interested in skiing and making skis. The line up includes three different models, the live life, the life live soft, and the watch life.

In the beginning, Surface was plagued by edge problems. Since then Surface has found a new home in Austria to house their pressing. Unfortunately, I was unable to ski the live life series but I did get the chance to ski the watch life and they’re a lot of fun. A poppy, park inspired ski that is able to go and ski anywhere. I found it a little soft at high speeds in the powder but over-all I liked the ski and felt it was a well made stick that was a lot of fun to ride.

If you are interested in a different ski and a new company check out Surface. The team is made up mainly of local Salt Lake skiers that are extremely talented and approachable. Blake Nyman being the unofficial spokesperson of the collaboration is a dedicated skier and a would be able to answer any questions you may have about the company. Jordan Seldin, also a team rider is much like Blake and would love to talk skiing to just about anyone. Most of the days the Surface family can be found at Alta where they enjoy the world famous snow and terrain.

Posted in Brands, Snow | 1 Comment »

Volcom Still Waiting For Kick-Flip

Monday, March 31st, 2008

volcom kick flip surfboardThe search still continues, and apparently this one may take a while…

Last November Volcom launched its Kickflip-off contest in hopes of pushing surfers to progression while obtaining the rights to footage of the first ever documented kickflip on a surfboard. Over 4 months and many failed attempts later, they’re still waiting. The $10,000 grand-prize is still without a home and could be without one for some time.

One thing I found kind of interesting, is that unlike the first couple of months after launching, there are no mentions of the contest on their homepage. Their YouTube kickflipoff page has a few entries of near-makes, but not as many as I would have imagined at this point. Is this a sign that Volcom has lost a bit of interest in the contest, or is it a testament to the difficulty of executing such a technical maneuver? The ‘above the lip’ qualification can’t be making this any easier as well.

Someday someone, somewhere will put this one down. I thought going into this it would happen sooner and I’m guessing Volcom did as well.

volcom

Posted in Brands, Surfing | No Comments »

K2 Takes Control of Planet Earth and Adio

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

A recent article sparked my attention about the take over of Earth Products (which includes the likes of Planet Earth Clothing and Adio Shoes) by K2 Sports. It also seems like they want to make room in their Adio warehouse for what I am guessing is more shoes? Which would in some way explain why they would be tearing down the indoor skatepark they have within their facility.

I myself have skated the Adio park before and I must say it is a super fun park to session. But seriously, back to the main course. Not to long ago I read a somewhat similar article about Alien Workshop and Habitat being purchased by a mighty large Snowboard company as well. This all really makes me think about the skateboarding brands of today.

Honestly, how many skateboard brands exist today that are owned and operated solely by skateboarders? The answer is, not that many. It seems every company is signing there lives away this day and age for the almighty dollar. And a lot of these companies “used” to be the core brands of the industry. I remember personally looking up to them and being stoked on there products. I won’t even get into throwing in other companies names either. But let’s just say you would be amazed at what other companies are “faking the funk” as I would like to say.

It seems that if the skateboard companies aren’t being purchased by snowboard companies then it’s some corporation that has nothing to do with action sports in general. And its not that I have anything against snowboard companies, its just that I think it would be fantastic if they would stick to there designated audience.

Skateboarding has always had its ups and downs. But you and I both know that right now, skateboarding has never been more accepted than it is. You can thank television for that one. From shows on MTV to the X games being broadcast on some of the world’s biggest stations. Tons of companies are now trying to get there hands into the skateboarding market. More than half of them weren’t even into skateboarding to begin with. But in the words of the WU TANG CLAN “Cash Rules Everything Around Us Cream get the money dolla dolla bill yall”.

planet earthadio
k2

Posted in Brands, Skateboarding | 2 Comments »

Vans “Endangered Waves” Sandal: Style Meets Substance

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

vans surfrider endagered waves sandalThe heightened awareness of the perils facing our environment has inspired companies throughout our industry to find creative ways of helping out, more so now than ever before. The surfing community, as much as any other, has risen up to take the lead on this cause. And why shouldn’t we? We as surfers are completely dependent on Mother Nature and her well-being.

With that being said, substance alone usually won’t sell a whole lot of product. In order for products aimed at helping out the environment to be successful, it is imperative that companies are combining their substance with a whole lot of fresh style. With the “Endangered Waves” sandal(or ’slippah’ for the braddahs out there) Vans and Surfrider have done just that.

With the loss of prominent breaks over the last few years and the endangerment of so many more, Vans, Surfing Magazine and Surfrider Foundation have teamed up to produce a sandal featuring images of four of the most threatened waves from around the world. Ma’alaea in Hawaii, El Gongal in Spain, Bastion Point in Australia and Trestles in California can all be seen on the sandal. It’s a classy design and just an all around great looking set of footwear.

When speaking of the sandal, Surfrider CEO Jim Moriarty had this to say…

Right now a surf break is being lost or otherwise diminished somewhere on this planet, people need to understand that waves are finite resources. Once they are lost or damaged it is difficult, if not impossible, to restore them.

Thanks to Vans, a portion of proceeds, totaling $10,000, from the sales of these sandals will be donated to the Surfrider Foundation to assist them in their efforts to protect and preserve oceans, waves and beaches across the globe. Not only are they doing it with substance, but they’ve got a whole lot of style as well.

vans
surfrider foundation

Posted in Brands, Surfing | No Comments »

Flip Seven Snowboards: Homegrown in the USA

Monday, March 10th, 2008

flip seven snowboardsBusiness is all about making money right? Well, that’s certainly a part of it but Flip Seven Snowboards has a slightly different and refreshing view on what defines a successful company. Although every company has to make money to stay in business, making great products should always be the main focus and if you build great products the dough will follow.

Building exceptional products is what F7 is all about. They’re unique from others because they still believe the best products are made in the USA, not in China. Product made in the USare more expensive but, it goes to support our economy and F7 feels they can maintain a certain quality control over how each product is made when they are produced here in the good old US of A. Flip realizes that they may not build products that are best suited for everyone, however, they hope that people will consider the quality of home grown products. As far the boards go, Flip offers eight snowboards that are all constructed with wood cores, sidewalls, and 360 hardened edges.

Companies like Flip are often over looked but they still make boards that are every bit as durable and performance driven as most larger companies. Some of the best product come from smaller local and rider inspired companies. In an industry that is constantly growing there is more and more room for companies willing to get out there and share their passion through building products that stand above the rest.

flip seven snowboards

Posted in Brands, Snow | No Comments »

Matthew McConaughey Launching Surf Line

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Matthew McConaughey‘Core’ just took on a whole new meaning. Actor Matthew McConaughey is throwing his hat into the surf industry with the release of his own line of swim and surf apparel named j.k. livin, after his production company — and personal mantra — “Just keep livin’.”

McConaughey recently stated “There’s a perception of me as a beach guy,” and now feels the need to put his stamp on a line that is said to be a one-stop supply for everything you need at the beach.

As I covered previously with Evolution’s release of celebrity designed surfboards, it’s always fun to see celebrities giving it a shot in the industry. It’s almost like the kid that just can’t keep his hand out of the cookie jar. To each his own I guess and it will be somewhat interesting to see the designs they come up with.

I will say this much, if McConaughey himself is going to participate in the marketing of his own line it definitely will put a premium on the many skin-laden shots taken of the actor parading around Malibu.

Who knows? Could we possibly have ourselves a J.K. Livin Pro on the ASP Tour in the coming years? I’m going to guess no.

j.k. livin

Posted in Brands, Surfing | 1 Comment »

Dragon Gold: Mick Fanning’s Signature Series Glasses

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

dragon gold mick fanning signature seriesWith the release of the Mick Fanning Signature Series Gold Brigade, Dragon could not have possibly picked a more deserving athlete to use for their very first Signature Series sunglass. They also chose an equally fitting name.

Mick’s partnership with Dragon goes back almost twelve years. They became the first brand to use Mick in a photo shoot and following his 2007 world championship and now the release of “Gold” that relationship has come full circle.

With the increasing use of the ’signature series’ in our industry I always find it refreshing when the brand releasing the series makes a point of really adding personal touch and meaning to the product. It would have been easy to simply stamp Fanning’s name on the shades and call it good, as many companies do when releasing a so-called ’signature series’. With “Gold”, Dragon makes it clear who this product represents. Not only does “Gold” represent his ‘07 crowning as world champ, but it also pays tribute to his homeland of Gold Coast Australia. Add that to the emblazoned Fanning family crest on the frame and you have a perfect tribute to surfing’s current king.

dragonmick fanning

Posted in Brands | No Comments »

AMPH: Progressing the Sport of Surfing

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

amphI’m not exactly sure why new apparel startup Amph (short for amphibian) was quietly going along with their business while planning for a stealth launch. Just as the ASR Blog mentioned, I was just recently alerted to Amph through a press release.

It doesn’t really make sense to me that a new company, who has obvious ties to O’neill, would sit out the two biggest trade shows our industry has to offer. None-the-less, Amph is here and after digging around a bit it seems like a fairly interesting model that is poised to progress the sport of surfing.

Pushing the sport of surfing in the name of Amph are Charly Martin, Christophe Allary, Hugo Savalli and Justin Mujica. The four surfers form part of The Amph Program – dedicated to breaking the boundaries of surfing with radical and progressive tricks. With no rules or limitations, the riders will be pushing themselves on the best waves around the world in order to bring something fresh to the sport.

Now here is what I really like about the Amph model, and it’s really a whole other post in itself but I’ll touch on it briefly here. Sponsoring progressive surfers and putting no rules or limitations on them. This is a good move as I see this as the obvious direction that surfing is headed.

I hate to say it because I love surfing for what it is, but you can’t deny that the sport is evolving rapidly. In the last 10 years it’s happened to other sports in our industry, such as skiing and motocross. They both took on serious freestyle movements that refreshed these sports. Surfing is now poised to take on a similar progressive transformation.

With the anticipation of what surfers such as Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith (not to mention the countless others who aren’t in quite the big spotlight like Jamie O’Brien) are bringing to the table, one can’t help but notice the difference in surfing between the new generation and the old. It’s way more exciting and progressive and you can tell which style the kids prefer. I’m getting ahead of myself though…

Back on the topic of Amph. They are set to launch and should be in stores this coming month. No word yet on which stores will carry this line but I’d imagine they will come out in force as they have O’neill backing them. Will Amph play a role in progressing the sport of surfing? Not really, but it sounds like they’ll be right there to support it.

amph
O’Neill

Posted in Brands, Surfing | No Comments »

Moment Skis: Innovative and Rock Solid

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

The idea for Moment Skis was, as most good ideas are, born over a pitcher of beer between friends. It’s a rider based company that thrives off of the love of skiing. Moment believes a ski should be more easily controlled thus making for a more enjoyable ski to ride. Using all the best materials, engineer’s knowledge, and rider feedback, Moment produces innovative skis that are rock solid. Moment is continually asking for consumer feedback as well so they can improve on current skis or create new models as needed.

Skis range from true twin(symmetrical sidecut) park skis, to all-mountain slayers, to reverse camber monster pow rippers. Take the Reno Rocker for example, a true twin built for both the park and back country. With dimensions coming in at 117-90-117, this is a ski that can be used anywhere your mind can imagine. Other skis include the Tahoe, at 127-96-118 it’s an all-mountain ripper. The monster Comi is a pow killer at 160-136-145. They offer also ski designs that are completely unique to Moment, like the Comi-Kazi which has the same dimensions at the Comi but also has a swallow tail for added emphasis in the powder.

Moment is a company that produces products that encourage creativity in your riding and gives you the option for something unique and different. Moment delivers with fair prices, quality skis, and designs & concepts that are all their own. Being a rider based company, you know you’re getting something that has been made well and has pride in the craftsmanship.

moment skis

Posted in Brands, Snow | No Comments »

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